iTUNES IS 10 YEARS OLD
May 3, 2013
"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."
-- Steve Jobs
I can't remember how many commentaries I wrote a decade ago when I started this newsletter, about how Steve Jobs would change everything in the industry with iTunes and iPods.
On the 10-year anniversary of iTunes, Rolling Stone has a column about Steve Jobs "culture-shifting vision" of iTunes, 'iTunes' 10th Anniversary: How Steve Jobs Turned the Industry Upside Down' and it's a great little read.
I thought I would also include some of the many things I wrote about iTunes and Steve Jobs in the newsletter as well.
"It's time the labels recognize this fact (the Internet not going away, that is), accept it, and now spend time brainstorming on how new revenue streams can be created within the framework of all the technology at hand. Steve Jobs is doing that with Apple's iTunes and in its early stages, Mr. Jobs has shown that with savvy marketing and a good online product, people WILL pay for music downloads." -- From the very first issue of the newsletter, back on November 14, 2003
"Of course, Steve Jobs figured it out some time ago when he was drawing blueprints in his mind for Apple's iTunes. Create a mass-market inter-personal resource for people to download music at a reasonable price, then use the website as an efficient tool to market the iPod, and if it works...boom. Success. Big time. And that's just what happened. Some 80 million songs sold later, and with the iPod now the primary choice for millions as the digital storage device/player, Apple has created a model of what opportunities really exist online and offline for significant revenue generation." (6/4/04)
"I think it safe to say that while many in the music industry are still trying to figure out how to create the new model(s) that will be the "labels" of the future, Steve Jobs has taken a giant leap forward for the entire industry by leading the way and showing just how much can be done with innovation and an approach that views the Internet as a vital and viable distribution system. Whether music industry executives like the fact or not, cyberspace is getting bigger, broadband is making it faster, and it is the media of the future. That future is now." (7/16/04)
"I've said here many times, it's quite amazing that a tech-savvy guy like Steve Jobs had to lead the way for the future (or a very big part of it anyway) of music distribution while the major music conglomerates stood by and watched. (Let's be honest here: none of the big labels wanted iTunes to succeed because the big profits are in selling CDs, not songs) Nobody in the music industry jumped on board while iTunes was growing and said "Gee, this thing is just the beginning...maybe we should have our own stores." (3/18/05)
"One reader e-mailed me recently and asked why I was "such a big Steve Jobs fan" ? I answered that e-mail by saying the following: "It's not that I am such a 'Steve Jobs fan' as much as I'm a fan of ANYBODY who utilizes technology at hand to advance the SALES of music online and keep consumers in the habit of BUYING." As I've said in the newsletter many times, Apple's iTunes has done that whether music industry executives want to give Mr. Jobs credit or not." (December 2005)
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
BITTORRENT WANTS TO MAKE PEACE WITH HOLLYWOOD
Because of its vast user-base, some executives think that Hollywood will have no choice but to eventually embrace BitTorrent. The open-source technology that is used to share large files has become synonymous in the entertainment industry with piracy. That's a perception the San Francisco-based company is working hard to change.
Full story at TheWrap.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
BEATLES SONG FACTS
Q: How many songs did the Lennon-McCartney song writing team give away?
From 1963 to 1964, the list is recounted in detail online, as Slate's writers follow the Beatles in real time, though some 50 year later! The feature is called "Blogging The Beatles" and aims to recap the Fab Four's career through to 1970. A: 16 tunes went to other artists including the Rolling Stones! UK: two hit #1 and ten more in the Top 40. US: one #1 and five others in the Top 40.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
WIMBO LETS YOU MIX MUSIC ON YOUR SMARTPHONE
Wimbo is an iPhone app for musicians that gives you control of the instruments and vocals of your favorite songs.
This preview version of Wimbo Music includes a single free blues song in the style of Jimi Hendrix's "Red House," recorded in the Wimbo studio. It features a harmonica, piano, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums, and a click track.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
LIVE STREAMING CONCERTS FROM THE SOUNDBOARD
Live audio performances streaming to your mobile. At Spacebar, they help musicians broadcast their live performances to the world and allow fans to support the artists they love in an inexpensive and convenient way. Download the app and listen to some live music at up to 256 kilobits per second.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
SOUNDROP NOW HAS WEB-BASED LISTENING ROOMS
TechCrunch reports that Soundrop, the social and interactive listening room music program that first launched as an app on Spotify, has launched a new web version.
Currently in beta, the new version allows users to take advantage of existing listening rooms based on artists, genres and moods, using Spotify for the audio component and YouTube for the video.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
DON'T YOU JUST HATE IT WHEN ALL THOSE CELLPHONES ARE IN THE AIR AT THE CONCERT?
Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.
This week it's 'At concerts, put that cell phone down.'
"Wow! I totally just watched the awesome cell phone video you shot at that concert!" Said nobody ever.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
AS IF ANYONE NEEDED MORE REASONS NOT TO LIKE WINDOWS 8
Forbes' Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wrote an article this week titled 'Why Windows 8 Is The First Windows Release I Absolutely Hate.'
Obviously, he's not holding back his feelings. Read his reasons why
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* 20 Songs Named After Other Musicians: The Wanted's 'Walks Like Rihanna' & More
* 10 Tips For Choosing Speakers for Amps and Cabinets
* 7 products that seemed so weird...at first
* The end of plasma?
* Apple hints at 'exciting' new products
* Smartphones outpace feature phones for first time ever
* Apple, Samsung's next critical play: Affordable smartphones
* Seven questions about Amazon's mystery streaming box
* The 13 best gadgets under $100
* Larger iPhone to launch in 2014, says analyst
Short News Items ...
Lady Gaga has been named godmother to Elton John and husband David Furnish's baby son, Elijah. The pop singer is already the godmother to John and Furnish's two-year-old, Zachary, and the couple were so impressed with her guidance that they doubled down on Gaga's godmother duties.
Neil Diamond will be donating royalties from sales of "Sweet Caroline" since the Boston Marathon bombings to a charity that is helping victims of the terrorist incident earlier this month.
AOL MUSIC NO MORE:
AOL employees revealed Friday on Twitter that news website AOL Music and properties associated with it closed and employees in the division will be immediately laid
"The Great Gatsby" is getting a release worthy of the Jazz Age. Jack White's Third Man Records announced that they will produce the much-anticipated film's music on vinyl as well as digitally. The soundtrack features new tracks from White, Florence and the Machine, Emeli Sandé and the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, Beyoncé and Andre 3000 and more.
MONKEES ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
The Monkees are returning to the road in July for a 24-date American tour they are dubbing "A Midsummer's Night With the Monkees."
NEW MAC MUSIC:
Fleetwood Mac have returned with their first batch of new music in 10 years. Extended Play, available now exclusively on iTunes, contains the new tracks "Sad Angel," "It Takes Time" and "Miss Fantasy," penned by Lindsey Buckingham. It also includes "Without You," a rediscovered and revamped track originally written by Stevie Nicks from the pair's Buckingham Nicks project.
Cee Lo Green will return to The Voice next month to perform, along with Rod Stewart, Pharrell Williams, T.I., Lady Antebellum and Robin Thicke. Green and Stewart will perform on May 8th, according to The Associated Press, while Williams, T.I., Lady Antebellum and Thicke will perform on May 14th
SERIOUS INCREASE FOR SIRIUS:
Sirius XM Radio ended March with a total subscriber base of 24.4 million, an all-time high for the company.
BRITNEY HAS WILL POWER:
Will.i.am has confirmed to Rolling Stone that he will be acting as executive producer on Britney Spears' forthcoming album, her eighth.
A BILLBOARD AWARDS SHOW YOU CAN MISS AND WON'T CARE ABOUT:
The stellar lineup for this year's Billboard Awards show includes such musical greats as Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown, Akon, and Ne-Yo. (There are others, but isn't that enough reasons NOT to watch?)
STONES TIX STILL AVAILABLE AT LOTS OF DATES:
Gee, I guess a whole lot of people aren't coughing up the big bucks to see the Stones on what could be their last tour. Ticket sales are surprisingly soft in some markets, and for evidence, go to RollingStones.com and check out what's still available.
Kanye West decided to delete all his tweets this week, except one that says "June 18th!" Who knows what that means. Maybe a new album? Maybe he's divorcing Kim Kardashian already? Maybe he's decided not to make music anymore? Do we care? NO. But, isn't it great? No more tweets from the megalomaniac!
DYLAN LYRICS UP FOR AUCTION:
A previously unreleased Bob Dylan song lyric entitled "Go Away You Bomb" will be auctioned by Christie's on June 26th. The song was written by Dylan in 1963 for Izzy Young of the Greenwich Village Folklore Center.
ALL FOR GOOD CAUSES:
To fight world hunger and transform their fans into social activists, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Black Sabbath, Neil Young, My Morning Jacket and dozens of other stars will donate two tickets to every show they play for the next three years. The Global Citizen Tickets Initiative, announced today, allows fans to earn points (one for sharing a Facebook video dealing with extreme poverty, 20 for raising $20 or more for a participating charity) and apply them to a ticket lottery.
George Jones, the Country singer affectionately called "the Possum" and known for hits including "He Stopped Loving Her Today," died last Friday at 81. The Country Music Hall of Famer, member of the Grand Ole Opry and Kennedy Center Honoree, died last Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. He was hospitalized April 18th with fever and irregular blood pressure.
The colorful promoter who made Colorado a destination for the biggest names in music died Sunday. Barry Fey was 73. The cause of death was not immediately available, but an unusually downtrodden Fey told The Denver Post last week that he was recovering from hip-replacement surgery. "Barry Fey is one of the giants of a generation," said William Dean Singleton, chairman and publisher of The Denver Post and a close friend of Fey's. "He brought the music scene to Colorado, and every part of the music scene you see here today has his fingerprints on it."
Chris Kelly, best known as one-half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died this week. He was 34. The Fulton County Medical Examiner confirmed to Billboard that Kelly was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home and pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center just after 8p.
Jeff Hanneman, one of the founding guitarists of the pioneering thrash metal band Slayer, died Thursday in Southern California of liver failure. He was 49. Hanneman had been on hiatus from Slayer since early 2011, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that doctors believed might have been caused by a spider bite.
Quotes of the week
"There's something to be learned from this. And that lesson is, never marry a man who has the same name as your mom."
-- Jimmy Kimmel, commenting on Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' long-awaited divorce settlement, on his late-night show (Also: NEVER marry a Kardashian!)
"The idea of people collaborating is cool. But I think more than anything else I'm just excited about the change, a new wave in music. There's something happening in the ether, and you know about it or you don't. And if you know, it's because you're probably somewhere engineering the change. If you don't know about it then you're probably somewhere missing your call, and you're gonna end up chasing it."I think the robots are leading. Daft Punk, they're definitely leading."
-- Pharrell Williams, who turned 40 earlier this month, back on the top of the charts with "Get Lucky," his collaboration with Daft Punk, sharing his thoughts about EDM. (Electronic Dance Music)
"The big picture is to change the centricity of what has been closed systems to an open Internet system ... If you don't like cable, paying $150 a month or so for services, if you don't happen to not live without ESPN ... being able to watch all free broadcast, all the events all of the local television for $8 a month is an alternative."
-- Major Aereo investor and IAC Chairman, Barry Diller, speaking at the Milken Institute's Global Conference in Los Angeles, and sees the over-the-top service as a gateway to future Internet growth.
"In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,"
-- BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday. (Editor's note: Wow, really? In five years I don't think they'll be a reason to have a Blackberry anymore)
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Disney Finds Dozens Of Unauthorized Characters Appearing Illegally Inside Theme Park
Read the rest here and laugh: Click Here.
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The Internet I answer questions on EconTalk
I did an interview about the industry and the Internet at EconTalk with host Russ Roberts. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics. He's also the co-creator of the Keynes-Hayek rap video. (And if your understanding of the economic meltdown that occurred needs to be enlightened, this video will do it)
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry, the impact of the digital revolution, and I give my reasons for believing in the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry. I point out, as I have many times here in the newsletter, that the internet allows numerous artists to make money from their music and it can enhance revenues from live performances by expanding an artist's base. We also discuss the challenges facing record companies and I suggest that the full potential of the Internet as a distribution channel has yet to be fully exploited. There's a lot of ground covered, but based on the comments already posted of those who have tuned in, they've enjoyed it.
Read more about it by clicking here.
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"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon