TV Evolution Continues
June 7, 2013
"Why should people go out and pay to see bad movies when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing."
-- Samuel Goldwyn
TV must be broken, because everyone's trying to fix it. Fanhattan joined the long list set on "simplifying the TV experience."
It's the same territory that's been tackled, with decidedly mixed success, by Google TV, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, and Boxee Cloud DVR, not to mention the upcoming Xbox One.
And more ... Fanhattan -- the video-streaming app turned Web service turned set-top box -- is finally showing off the device it believes will transform consumers' content viewing habits. Named, "Fan TV," the Yves Behar-designed entertainment system combines the functionality of a cable set-top box with that of a streaming device like Apple TV. As The Verge reports, however, Fan TV's success if far from certain.
While all that is happening, here comes more niche programming: Longtime network programming exec Garth Ancier is planning to launch four decade-specific classic TV channels (from the 1960s through the 1990s) next year, and he's brought along several other execs -- including two from TV Land's early days -- to help the effort.
Preliminary talks for nonexclusive programming rights are said to be underway with the likes of CBS Paramount, Sony Pictures Television, 20th Century Fox, MGM, NBC, Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and Carsey Werner. The model for Ancier's idea? SiriusXM's satellite music channels that play music by the decade. His new firm is called Zeus Media Partners and possible acquisitions include "Lost in Space" and "Three's Company." –
"I think it's brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television -- but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent." --Steve Jobs
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
SPOTIFY ROLLS OUT APP FOR NEW MUSIC DISCOVERIES
Pandora, the Internet radio service, has unveiled tv.pandora.com, the company's next-gen television experience to offer personalized radio to millions of listeners in their living rooms.
The new offering provides simple navigation with controls and displays developed for the big screen and users can easily sign in to Pandora and access their customized radio stations, make new ones and look through more than 500 curated genre stations.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
GLOBAL MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT SPENDING TO HIT $2.2 TRILLION (YES, THAT'S TRILLION!) BY 2017
Worldwide spend for media and entertainment is expected to reach $2.2 trillion in 2017, rising steadily from the $1.6. trillion tracked in 2012, according to the latest forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"Digital media — fueled by the expansion in ownership of smart devices — is expected to account for 43% of all media spending in the U.S. by 2017," writes Meg James in The Los Angeles Times. "That's up from 31% of the total in 2012."
The report has less-happy news for the newspaper business: "Total U.S. newspaper revenue is projected to slip at a combined annual growth rate of 2.9% between 2013 and 2017," writes Advertising Age's Michael Sebastian.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
YOUTUBE TO GET COMPETITION?
Taking on YouTube is a BIG gamble, but Maker Studios will launch its own online video site by the end of the year, according to multiple individuals with knowledge of their plans.
Maker is one of YouTube's biggest partners, a network of channels that reaches more than 30 million people a month in the United States alone, according to ComScore.
Full story at TheWrap.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
MICROSOFT READIES OVERHAUL
Microsoft has been on a mission to transform into a "devices and services company" since last year.
Now, the software giant is reportedly considering a major overhaul to achieve that goal. "CEO Steve Ballmer is working on what is likely to turn into a significant restructuring," AllThingsD reports. "What seems likely is an organizational structure that will focus on configuring Microsoft around devices and services."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
FASTED GROWING TECH COMPANIES RANKED BY FORBES
Three Silicon Valley tech giants, Mountain View-based LinkedIn, Menlo Park-based Facebook and Cupertino-based Apple, top Forbes' newly released list of America's Fastest Growing Tech Companies.
The rankings are based on the three-year average sales growth of public technology companies with revenue of at least $150 million and market caps of at least $500 million. LinkedIn led the list with three-year average sales growth of 103%.
THE 'A-SIDE' - BONUS TRACKS
* The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the Golden Globe givers) has always been the subject of man y jokes. Read about skinny dipping and naked cell phone photos -- a night in the life of an HFPA member at TheWrap.
* The 10 Most Annoying Rock Star Behaviors
* Flashback: Neil Young and Pearl Jam Rock Austria in 1995
* 15 headphones and music gadgets we love
* Bose SoundLink Mini: Tiny $200 Bluetooth speaker delivers big sound (hands-on)
* Bonnaroo 2013: 10 Must-See Acts
* Film to digital: Seeing movies in a new light
* Hulu, Amazon nibbling at more of Netflix's streaming-TV pie
* Intel's new chips are here. How fast are they?
* Apple reaches iRadio deal with Warner Music, suggesting WWDC launch
* Your next computer will be exactly this fast
* Windows 8.1 revealed in new Microsoft video
* Is this the best free Microsoft Office alternative?
* Apple to offer low-cost iPhone in five different colors -- analyst
Short News Items ...
MACCA NEXT WEEK ON COLBERT:
Paul McCartney will appear for an interview and performance on an extra-long episode of 'The Colbert Report' on June 12th. The one-hour music special will include songs featured on McCartney's current 'Out There' tour, the new 2013 reissue of "Wings Over America" and more.
BRIAN WILSON FLICK GETS GIAMATTI:
Paul Giamatti will play Brian Wilson's therapist Dr. Eugene Landy in Bill Pohlad's indie movie 'Love & Mercy.' John Cusack and Paul Dano are set to star as the troubled Beach Boys frontman during different points in his remarkable life.
IN OTHER BRIAN WILSON NEWS:
Brian Wilson is working on his 11th solo record (which will be on the Beach Boys original label, Capitol Records) at Los Angeles' Ocean Way Studios and is set to embark on a short tour this summer with fellow former Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks, Billboard reports.
iPOD TOUCH PASSES 100 MILLION.
Mashable reports that Apple has reached 100 million sales for the iPod Touch, almost six years after launching the pocket-sized media player in 2007. Apple introduced the first generation iPod back in 2001 and has sold a projected 350 million devices to date.
FARMVILLE OR NOT, GAMING COMPANY SLASHES STAFF:
Social gaming company Zynga said Monday that it would layoff 520 employees, approximately 18% of its global workforce, and close several offices including the one in L.A., in a bid to slash expenses. Zynga has approximately 250 million monthly active users playing its games, including the popular "Words With Friends" and "Farmville." However, many other games are underperforming.
JACK WHITE DONATES:
Jack White has been outed as the anonymous donor who paid the $142,000 in taxes needed by Detroit's Masonic Temple to stave off foreclosure, the Detroit Free Press reports. The Temple's Cathedral Theater will be renamed the Jack White Theater in the rocker's honor.
UNDERWOOD READIES CMT SPECIAL FOR TORNADO VICTIMS:
Carrie Underwood will honor the victims of the fatal tornadoes in Oklahoma at the CMT Music Awards tonight. The Country singer will perform her new single, "See You Again," with a 24-voice choir from Nashville Christ Church as a somber tribute to the victims, The Associated Press reports.
AND UNDERWOOD WINS AT CMT:
Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert doubled up on trophies, and Carrie Underwood claimed the biggest Buckle in the Bible Belt during Wednesday's CMT Music Awards, a prologue to the four-day CMA Music Festival.
WHEN THINGS GO FROM BAD TO WORSE, DEPT:
"American Idol" earned historically low ratings for its 12th season. Now the annual summer tour is feeling the pinch as well -- nine dates have been canceled.19 Entertainment, the company that produces the singing competition show, has announced that the tour is down to 31 stops from 40 and the tour will now begin July 19th instead of June 29th. And the show is firing longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick in a continuing bid to win back viewers and shake up the show, an insider with knowledge of the show told TheWrap.
AND "THE VOICE"DROPS
In other bad news for singing competitions, "The Voice" saw a new low for its Tuesday results shows, according to preliminary numbers. "The Voice" at 8p posted a 3.0/11 -- down 6% from last week and a new low for Tuesday results shows -- and had 10.6 million total viewers.
BLAKE SHELTON BENEFIT DOES GOOD:
Blake Shelton's "Healing in the Heartland" benefit concert raised more than $6 million for victims of a deadly tornado last week in Oklahoma, The Associated Press reports. Proceeds from ticket sales and pledges will go to the United Way of Central Oklahoma.
U2 caused a stir in recent days around New York City, where producer Danger Mouse was putting the finishing touches on their next album. The band had Chris Martin in as a guest and played an acoustic "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on the rooftop of Electric Lady Studios.
VIVA LA DYLAN:
Bob Dylan's nomination for France's Legion d'Honneur has been approved after a previous bid for the country's highest honor had reportedly been thrown out, Reuters reports.
BLADE RUNNER SEQUEL WRITER:
Writer Michael Green ("Green Lantern") is moving from superheroes to replicants, as he's in negotiations to write the sequel to 'Blade Runner' for Alcon Entertainment and director Ridley Scott's production company Scott Free, an individual familiar with the Warner Bros.
Five years after "Modern Guilt," Beck is finally back with new, original material. A source tells Rolling Stone the songwriter is planning two new albums for upcoming release, and he'll preview them on tour.
STING BACK, TOO:
Sting will release his first full-length album of original material in a decade this September. "The Last Ship," the follow-up to 2003's "Sacred Love," grew out of musical of the same name that Sting has been working on, The New York Times reports.
ANOTHER CLUB BITES THE DUST:
Maxwell's, the beloved rock club, restaurant and longtime anchor of the rock scene in Hoboken, NJ, will close when its lease is up at the end of July. Co-owner Todd Abramson told The Star-Ledger of Newark that changes over the years in Hoboken have made it more challenging to run the venue.
LENO STILL WINNING BIG:
Jay Leno might be on his way out at 'The Tonight Show' -- but he's leaving his network a nice parting gift. With numbers in for this year's May sweeps period, Leno's 'Tonight' has widened his lead over his competitors David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel, posting impressive advances over the same period last year. Full story at TheWrap.
REED HEALING AFTER LIVER TRANSPLANT:
Lou Reed, the songwriter, poet and vocalist with the Velvet Underground, had a liver transplant last month, according to his wife, the musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson.
SHARON JONES SURGERY:
Sharon Jones is postponing the release of her new album and an accompanying tour after she was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, the soul singer said today. Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings had planned to release 'Give the People What They Want' on August 6th, but the singer has scrapped her schedule to undergo surgery and recover.
Jonathan Poneman, who co-founded Sub Pop with Bruce Pavitt and helped bring seminal Seattle acts like Nirvana and Mudhoney to the world, has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, The Seattle Times reports. In an interview with the newspaper, Poneman said that he began slowing down and having trouble with his right hand a few years ago. It was only after a radiologist friend asked him directly about his health that Poneman realized, "I can't deny this anymore."
Jean Stapleton, the award-winning actress who played long-suffering Edith Bunker on the landmark 1970s television series, "All in the Family," died of natural causes. She was 90.
Joseph "Joey" Edward Covington, best known for his involvements with Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane died this week when his car slammed into a wall in Palm Springs, California. He was 67.
Dells singer Marvin Junior died last week from kidney and heart problems at his home in Harvey, IL, the New York Times reports. He was 77. Junior, who was once called "Iron Throat" by the Temptations' David Ruffin, helped form the doo-wop and R&B group as a high-schooler in Harvey in the early '50s.
Jerry McGill, a singer, songwriter and guitarist who recorded for Sun Records, died last week in Alabama at the age of 73. McGill had suffered from cancer and kidney trouble, although no cause of death was announced, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
Quotes of the week
"I will have you escorted out right now."
-- Beyoncé, who received an unwelcomed slap on the rear from a Danish fan during her Copenhagen concert stop, on YouTube
"The first thing that I said was, "Oh, thank you, Paul," It was very difficult for me to not have that support for those 40 years. But I also knew that it would be very difficult for him to say something like that, because, you know, there are many people who wish that we would be always fighting. But, no, he said it, and it was very sweet of him. We understand each other so well, in many ways, I think. After 40 years, to think that we don't know each other? I think we are on good terms. And also, I have a lot of respect for him."
-- Yoko Ono, commenting on the fact that Paul McCartney said nice things about her recently. ["She certainly didn't break the group up."] in Rolling Stone
"They didn't want me on for more. (The shows in London) They said, "You only do two songs. Mick said that. So that's why I didn't go to America, you know? Because I said, "I'm not [traveling] for two weeks to do three concerts for two songs," you know? And I don't want to get into this anymore."
-- Ex-Rolling Stones bass player, Bill Wyman, in Rolling Stone
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Street Musician's Mother Really On His Case About Practicing His Buckets
NEW YORK—Insisting that if the young street musician doesn't apply himself more, he'll never work his way up to a good busking spot in Times Square, local mother Rita Skolnick reportedly told her son Wednesday to "go upstairs right now" and get to practicing his buckets.
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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Smart Marketing Consulting Services has been in business sixteen years, and consults clients in the music, entertainment, attraction, media, and technology industry on branding, marketing, online exploitation, maximizing new media, and more.
"And the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... drums keep poundin' rhythm to the brain."
"Work is life, you know, and without it, there's nothing but fear and insecurity." -- John Lennon