A GOOGLE EXEC SAYS "YOU CAN'T DEVALUE MUSIC"
November 8, 2013
"The devaluation of music and what it's now deemed to be worth is laughable to me. My single costs 99 cents. That's what a [single] cost in 1960. On my phone, I can get an app for 99 cents that makes fart noises — the same price as the thing I create and speak to the world with. Some would say the fart app is more important. It's an awkward time. Creative brains are being sorely mistreated."
-- Vince Gill
This week at the Future Music Summit in Washington D.C., Google Play executive Tim Quirk let fly with an explosive diatribe against critics of online music consumption.
"We're devaluing music!" said Quirk. "It's amazing how often people invoke that word 'devalue' as if it means something. It doesn't. You know why? Because you can't devalue music. It's impossible. Songs are not worth exactly 99 cents and albums are not worth precisely $9.99. When I hear people complain about discount pricing in online stores or fret about on-demand services such as Rhapsody and Spotify, I rebut them with another rule of mine that makes me sound like a hippie but I promise I'm not: Music is priceless."
Yes Tim, music is indeed priceless in the greater sense of the word, but the problem is that in the minds of tens of millions of people all over the globe, music has been devalued now for almost two decades. P2P websites and file-sharing made it too easy for those millions to grab a whole lot of music for free for too long.
Like it or not, too many people got accustomed to NOT paying for music for too long.
Like it or not, too many people still download music illegally all over the world.
Like it or not, when people can buy songs at 99 cents (and cheaper many times), I'd venture to say that music has been devalued.
It's only those artists who produce albums with great songs who still sell millions each time after time.
Their audience doesn't devalue those artists, because their music is worth the money.
Time after time there will come an instance when an artist sells five million or more. (Adele being the latest example, I guess)
But those artists today are getting rarer and rarer.
The flavors-of-the-month artists come and go like Mexican jumping beans on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
When music becomes as trendy and disposable as much of it today, it will remain devalued.
Gee, who is that Korean guy dancing around now in pistachio nut commercials? Did he have a big hit this year?
The audience who supports the artists they love don't devalue the music that draws them to the artists in the first place. But the emotional ties, and personal finances are two separate things.
Read Quirk's full speech here.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
A GREAT ARTICLE 'HOW AN INDIE-ROCK LABEL SAVED MY LIFE'
John Roderick is the principal songwriter of the Long Winters.
He released three albums on Barsuk Records, who are celebrating their 15th Anniversary this weekend in Seattle.
In his article in Rolling Stone, he tells how Barsuk Records played a big part in allowing him to make music and money, even without widespread fame and riches. Read the article
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
HURRICANE SANDY CONCERT MOVIE
The documentary features Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Kanye West ... and no crying storm victims
Amir Bar-Lev, the director of the Hurricane Sandy concert film and documentary, "12 12 12," said there's a good reason his film includes no shots of anguished, weeping storm victims in between performances by Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Kanye West and others.
Read story at TheWrap
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
THE WHO READY 'TOMMY' DELUXE EDITION
The Who's historic rock opera Tommy will be repackaged as a limited edition Super Deluxe Box Set and Deluxe Edition on November 11th.
A newly uncovered and unbridled version of "Amazing Journey" (one of 20 outtakes), which is culled from the reissue's bonus material is included. Listen here
"People used to call me Tommy," Roger Daltrey tells Rolling Stone. "It got on my tits."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
DIRECT TV DOUBLES EXPECTED NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS
And in my opinion, as more people subscribe to satellite and/or cable, the less will end up watching network TV shows.
Read story at TheWrap
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
BLOCKBUSTER IS OVER
The DVD-rental chain will close down its remaining U.S. stores and curtail its DVD-by-mail rental service. Read more
(Editor's note: Weren't they really over a few years ago?)
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
ONCE AGAIN ... HERE'S WHERE THE BIG DOLLARS ARE IN ENTERTAINMENT: GAMES
Activision's sales of the game 'Call Of Duty: Ghosts' to retailers have topped $1 billion in just one day, but the announcement also indicates that $1 billion in sales to customers has yet to be reached. (Editor's note: It will be reached, and when it does, it will have grossed as much as the biggest box office movie of all time, 'Titanic') Retailers enlist $1B worth of Call of Duty: Ghosts
And ... Yahoo reports that Call of Duty: Ghosts has now broken the record for game sales in a single day. On the day of its release, Activision reports revenue of more than $1 billion. After its midnight release across 15,000 different locations on Tuesday, the game also managed to grab the title of the most-played game on the Xbox Live platform.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
MICROSOFT WILL OFFER FREE MUSIC STREAMING
Hypebot reports that Microsoft is planning to offer free music streaming with the release of its new gaming console, the Xbox One.
This decision was confirmed in a tweet posted by Albert Penello, head of Microsoft Xbox product planning. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
* Eminem Returns: The Billboard Cover Story
* 5 Educational Things About Jimi Hendrix
* Glen Hansard Covers Springsteen
* Jerry Garcia Animated Over Acid Tests
* Lady Gaga Splits From Troy Carter, Manager Who Made Her a Star
* Lady Gaga Streams 'ARTPOP' on iTunes Radio
* Obamacare and Miley Cyrus Tweaked at CMAs
* YouTube Music Awards: 6 Odd Things That Couldn't Go Unnoticed
* Music Photos Of The Week
* 5 Clever Movie Schemes You Didn't Realize Were Stupid
* An awesome-sounding desktop system from PSB Speakers
* Holiday Gift Guide: The best gadgets in every single category
* As BlackBerry looks for fresh start, its fate still looks grim
* These are the new cars being shown off at SEMA
Short News Items ...
VentureBeat reports that Justin Bieber has made an investment of $1.1 million in a new teen social app called Shots of Me, created by developers behind RockLive, a mobile games company. John Shahidi, CEO of RockLive Games.
BOB KEEPS TO HIMSELF:
When My Morning Jacket, who are set to begin their next record, hit the road with Wilco to support Bob Dylan on a six-week tour, Jim James had pipe dreams of late-night campfire sessions. He never even met Dylan, he tells Rolling Stone: "He does not hang." Read More
STING AND SIMON:
Sting and Paul Simon are hitting the road together to perform their own hits and a few duets, too. The pair will announce a joint North American tour called 'Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together' that will last for 18 dates from February 8th through March 16th, including a March 4th appearance at New York's Madison Square Garden, with the possibility of more dates to come.
THE BOSS TO PLAY SOUTH AFRICA:
Nearly three decades after a member of his band launched a protest against apartheid, Bruce Springsteen is performing in South Africa next year for the first time. Springsteen will take the stage in Cape Town on January 28th and 29th. He'll then head to Johannesburg, where he'll play a gig on February 1. The Boss will perform with his E Street Band, whose member Steven Van Zandt founded the Artists United Against Apartheid protest group in 1985.
AND MORE BOSS STUFF:
Bruce Springsteen is a man of many talents. At last night's Stand Up for Heroes benefit in New York, he noted that none of the comedians -- Jon Stewart, Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld -- had told any dirty jokes. "I can't let that happen," he said, and proceeded to tell one about Viagra. Read More
After a 20-year break, David Crosby is returning to his solo career with the release of 'Croz,' an 11-track LP he made with help with from his son James Raymond and co-producer Daniel Garcia. The new album is due out January 28th.
GAGA SET FOR SPACE:
Lady GaGa is planning to sing in space, Us Weekly reports. The gig will go down in 2015 in conjunction with the Zero-G Music Tech Festival at New Mexico's Spaceport America. She'll board a Virgin Galactic spaceship for a performance that is reportedly planned for dawn on the festival's third day. In preparation, Gaga will have to do a month of rehearsals because of the change in atmosphere. No word on the price tag to catch Gaga's space set, but expect it to cost a pretty penny.
EMINEM IS BACK:
"I'm probably working harder than I've ever worked in my life," Eminem tells Rolling Stone in an exclusive interview about his new album, 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2.' Read excerpts from our new cover story about the recording process, going blond again and more. Read More
PITBULL TO HOST AMAs:
Pitbull will host the American Music Awards when they air live November 24th on ABC, The AP reports.
EMINEM RED HOT:
Eminem notched a few more Billboard chart accomplishments this week upon the release of his eighth studio album, 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2': Not only did he score his first #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, but he became the first artist since the Beatles in 1964 to place at least four songs in the top 20 of the Hot 100 as a lead artist.
"PEARL" GETS HER STAR:
Clive Davis spoke and Kris Kristofferson sang "Me and Bobby McGee" at a ceremony for Janis Joplin's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Kristofferson told Rolling Stone he first heard her version of his song on the day she died in 1970. Read More
Howard Stern will celebrate his birthday in a big way this year, with SiriusXM announcing a special live broadcast from New York City, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, on the evening of January 31st, 2014. 'Howard Stern's Birthday Bash' will be the first of its kind since Stern made the jump from terrestrial to satellite radio. Specifics of the event – including venue, VIP guests, performers, and other surprises – will be announced on The Howard Stern Show in the coming weeks.
The 'Inside Llewyn Davis' soundtrack will be getting an early release that plays up the film's old-school origins. It will be available on vinyl at indie record stores one week ahead of the CD and digital versions' official November 11th street date. But more than coming out on vinyl, its real tie-in to the movie is its "throwback Sixties" price of $5.98. The soundtrack features folk music by Dave Van Ronk, the Greenwich Village folk artist whose story served as the basis for the movie, as well as songs performed by Bob Dylan, Marcus Mumford and some of the stars of the movie.
Hypebot reports that The Echo Nest has now partnered with Rhapsody to provide a new service, Rhapsody Radio. Rhapsody subscribers, who are based in U.S., and Napster subscribers, who are located in Europe and Latin America, will now be able to create and curate stations based on artists and songs. The new playlists will be powered by the Echo Nest. Read More
SEE YOU IN COURT, DEPT:
A record label representing the now-deceased R&B artist Eddie Bo has filed a copyright claim against Jay-Z for allegedly using Bo's 1969 funk single "Hook & Sling Part 1" without permission, according to New York Daily News. The label, TufAmerica, claims the sample appears in Jay Z's 2009 Grammy-winning single "Run This Town," which featured Rihanna and one of the song's producers, Mr. Kim Kardashian ... Kanye West.
THOSE ZOMBIES BEAT THE NFL:
'The Walking Dead' is on a roll: A week after beating the World Series and "Sunday Night Football" -- television's biggest show -- in the key demographic, the AMC zombie drama beat "Sunday Night Football" again. A 'Walking Dead' episode featuring one survivor being expelled from the prison and another battling the bottle earned 13.3 million viewers, including 8.7 million viewers 18-49 — good for a 6.8 rating in the key demo.
BREAKING BAD SEQUEL? PREQUEL?
The 'Breaking Bad' Spin-off Could Be a Sequel, Bob Odenkirk Says. Read the story at TheWrap
American Horror Story' has been granted a fourth run. FX made the announcement Wednesday, saying that the 13-episode fourth season will debut in 2014.
The Mouse House is farming out moviemaking duties to Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar — and turning them into so much more. Disney has settled on a brilliant business strategy — make as few movies as possible. Sure, it releases plenty of films made by Pixar, Marvel and DreamWorks. It makes nature movies through Disneynature and animated movies through Disney Animation and Disneytoon Studios. It will soon make "Star Wars" movies under the Lucasfilm banner. Read the story at TheWrap
STAR WARS IN TWO YEARS:
Disney and Lucasfilm will release J.J. Abrams' 'Star Wars: Episode VII' on December 18, 2015.
Quotes of the week
"Her producer gave me the record and it was pretty hard to listen to. I was listening to it at my publisher's office where we used to hang out, there was nobody there and I was playing it over and over again just so I could hear it without breaking up."
-- Kris Kristofferson, recalling hearing Joplin's rendition of his tune "Me And Bobby McGee" on the day of her passing.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Print Dead At 1,803
NEW YORK—Sources close to print, the method of applying ink to paper in order to convey information to a mass audience, have confirmed that the declining medium passed away early Thursday morning.
The influential means of communication was 1,803.
Print, which had for nearly two millennia worked tirelessly to spread knowledge around the globe in the form of books, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and numerous other textual materials, reportedly succumbed to its long battle with ill health, leaving behind legions of readers who had for years benefited from the dissemination of ideas made possible by the advent of printed materials.
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.
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