Apple Readies Cloud-Based Video Streaming Service
March 28, 2014
The big news everywhere this week is that Apple intends to allow users to stream live and on-demand programming stored in "cloud" servers.
If it goes through, the deal would signal a new level of technology and partnership with cable TV companies -- as it would eliminate the need for a set-top box. Read the whole story
And the new report suggests Apple and Comcast are in the early stages of discussing a deal where an Apple set-top box would receive special treatment on Comcast's cables. Read more
The Wall Street Journal's take on the reports says the discussions are the initial stages and there are numerous obstacles to be overcome before a conclusive agreement could be signed. Apple, which wants its TV service's traffic to be detached from the public Internet for faster broadcast, is looking for preferential treatment from Comcast. Read More
And now Netflix is accusing Comcast of seeking a tiered Internet as well if the deal goes through. That story at TheWrap
If Apple is able to successfully launch the service, it will no doubt change the home-user landscape when it comes to cable and satellite TV. But in my opinion, both cable and satellite are running on borrowed time as it is with more and more "smart TVs" becoming available.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
IS THIS REALLY NECESSARY? A BILLBOARD/TWITTER CHART PARTNERSHIP?
I've said for a long time that the relevance and importance of Twitter has been over-hyped.
Aside from the millions of fake followers already discovered, the Hollywood PR flacks who use Twitter for their clients press releases (but they make it sound so "cool" on Twitter), and people who actually believe 140 character tweets are significant, Twitter is just another social media toy/ploy in my opinion.
Now this: "Billboard and social media platform Twitter today announced an exclusive, multi-year partnership to create Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts. The charts, which will launch in the coming weeks, will track U.S. music conversations among the millions of Tweets sent each day. Combining the authority of the Billboard charts and Twitter's public, real-time data, these powerful co-branded charts will reshape for consumers and the industry the way music success is measured." Read the whole article here: Billboard and Twitter Partner to Create 'Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts'
But seriously, the tracking of "U.S. music conversations among the millions of Tweets sent each day" will factor into these charts?
Hollywood PR people and fan-club people will no doubt be feeding more fodder to the Twitter machine that will churn out great numbers of tweets. Giving further evidence that those who will get their fingers busy tweeting away to hype whoever they want on these charts, are twits.
And more important, do we care? As it is, one need only look at the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart every week to see albums fly into the top 10 or top 20, only to disappear a week later. That's real-time retail. And real-time retail is the result of dollars being spent at the cash register. Where it counts.
So, a ton of music conversations might be of interest to some industry people (again, if they can wade through the hype), but you know that age old adage, "Money talks, BS walks."
And, since we're talking about Twitter, look out, Twitter -- Instagram is gaining on you. Use of the photo- and video-sharing service jumped 35% in the U.S. last year to nearly 35 million people on a monthly basis, according to new data from eMarketer. By the end of this year, the research firm projects that figure will grow another 25% to 40 million. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
BILL CLINTON SEZ IF U.S. GIVES UP INTERNET OVERSIGHT, IT WILL RESTRICT FREEDOMS ONLINE
VentureBeat reports that according to former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the Obama Administrations' decision to give up oversight of ICANN risks having the effect of allowing foreign governments to put restrictions on Internet use.
"I understand in theory why we should have a multi-stakeholder process ... I just know that a lot of these so-called stakeholders are really governments that want to gag people, and restrict access to the Internet," said Clinton. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
CHUCK D SEZ RECORD STORE DAY MATTERS
"Maybe we can do something together," said one musician to another at L.A.'s Amoeba Records.
"I have beats," said the other. Public Enemy's Chuck D and Doors drummer John Densmore had never met, but they were on hand to announce this year's Record Store Day.
Chuck D, John Densmore and Julie Edwards speak to 'Rolling Stone' following the press conference at Amoeba Records. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
BOX READIES IPO
Nearly two months after the news first was reported, Los Altos-based Box, the developer of an online file sharing and collaboration service, revealed late Monday that it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $250 million in its initial public offering (IPO).
The company has not yet disclosed specific details of the offering, such as the number of shares to be sold or their expected price range. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
COACHELLA PARTIES: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Where will everyone be going on Coachella's first weekend?
TheWrap's continuously updated guide from Party Report's Mikey Glazer has it covered. Full story at TheWrap
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
PANDORA CREATES RETAIL ALLIANCE
Peet's Coffee & Tea has formed a partnership with Pandora to provide customized in-store music and branded radio stations.
For Pandora, it marks the first time the company has teamed with a brick-and-mortar business to "define their sound" through a set of specialized stations. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
'AMERICAN IDOL' CONTINUES ITS DROP IN RATINGS, AND DAVE GROHL SUMS IT ALL UP ABOUT THESE SHOWS
"American Idol" hit an all-time Wednesday low in the key demographic. The episode, in which Jennifer Lopez let slip the F-word, scored a 2.1 rating/6 share in the 18-49 demo and averaged 9.1 million total viewers. The Wednesday low for "Idol" was the second-lowest rating for the show overall: Last Thursday it scored a 1.9 rating that was eventually upgraded to a 2.0. (Source: TheWrap )
And, this quote from Dave Grohl just about sums it up in regards to all the talent shows, ""When I think about kids watching a TV show like 'American Idol' or 'The Voice', then they think, 'Oh, okay, that's how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight fucking hours with 800 people at a convention center and ... then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it's not f***in' good enough.' Can you imagine?"
"It's destroying the next generation of musicians! ... Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old fucking drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they'll suck, too. And then they'll f***ing start playing and they'll have the best time they've ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they'll become Nirvana. Because that's exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some shitty old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-ass shit, and they became the biggest band in the world. That can happen again! You don't need a fucking computer or the Internet or 'The Voice' or 'American Idol'."
Thanks Dave, you said it all.
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
* 20 Best Second Albums of All Time
* Fleetwood Mac With Christine McVie Announce North American Tour
* Madonna Producer Patrick Leonard Talks 'Like A Prayer' at 25
* Johnny Cash Has 'Four or Five More' Albums' Worth of Songs
* Idina Menzel's Fairy Tale Journey: From Broadway to 'Frozen' and a 'Gorgeous' Note From John Travolta
* Seth Meyers Sets 'Late Night' Limit on Music
* Billy Joel's SiriusXM Channel to Air Hits, Rarities and Interviews
* Jimmy Fallon Crashes Billy Joel's 'You May Be Right' on 'Tonight Show'
* Spotify Cuts Service Costs For College Kids
* 60 Things You Probably Didn't Know About New York City
* 5 New Places to Promote Your Music
* Lollapalooza 2014 Lineup: Outkast, Eminem, Kings of Leon to Headline
* Bose SoundTouch 20 review
* A super deal on super audiophile speakers
* Beats Studio Wireless Headphones review
* Sustain Your Music Career – Nine Insights To Help You Do It
* Shazam goes vinyl
* HTC One M8: HTC's stunning sequel steals the show
* The most expensive TV ever?
* 35 Last-Second Casting Changes That Altered Movie History
Short News Items ...
AND DID ANYONE REALLY CARE?:
A bug in Twitter's inner-workings has caused certain tweets to disappear, including some from music's biggest stars. According to BBC News, the problem impacted the accounts of Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, members of One Direction and surely many ordinary Twitter users throughout a roughly 12-hour period yesterday (March 25).
LIVE BUSH AFTER 35 YEARS:
British singer Kate Bush has booked an upcoming 15-date London residency, her first live appearances in 35 years. The news crashed her website and made her a trending topic on Twitter. In 2011 she said she hoped to do some live shows "before I get too ancient."
Rock singer Paul Rodgers, best known as the frontman for Bad Company, has channeled his lifelong passion for soul and R&B into a new album. The Royal Sessions features musicians who backed Al Green and Isaac Hayes. "To me, this music never died," Rodgers says. Read More
Lana Del Rey's major label debut album 'Born To Die' has sold its 1 millionth copy in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set, released by Polydor/Interscope Records on Jan. 31, 2012, sold another 5,000 copies in the week ending March 23. That brings its cumulative sales total to 1,001,000 million.
MACCA SEZ NO TO AUCTION:
Lawyers for Paul McCartney have stopped the auctioning of clothing and a lyric sketch that were due to hit the block this week. The family of the Beatle's now-deceased housekeeper and nanny, Rose Martin, had put up the items – a cape and a suit once worn by McCartney and a scrap of paper with three lines of lyrics – but the Beatle said that they were not theirs to sell. Martin's family had claimed that McCartney's late wife Linda had given them the apparel three decades ago, according to the Telegraph.
A huge trove of John Lennon's writings and drawings is coming up for auction in New York City this summer, offering a renewed look at the former Beatle's lesser known comic literary side. According to Sotheby's, the 89-lot collection titled "You Might Well Arsk" constitutes the most extensive sale ever of Lennon's original artwork, autograph manuscripts and corrected typescripts.
CHEECH & CHONG TO MAKE NEW FILM:
It's been more than two decades since Cheech & Chong blew their signature weed cloud over the face of American cinema. But it's time to wake and bake: The world's most famous stoner duo are teaming up with director Jay Chandrasekhar (veteran of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe) for a new film, according to The Hollywood Reporter (via Celebstoner.com). A spokesperson for Cheech Marin confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.
Celebrating her 72nd birthday, Aretha Franklin told Rolling Stone about her new concept album and her collaboration with Andre 3000. Read More
NEVER SAY NEVER:
Forty years after their debut album, Kiss have finally made the cover of Rolling Stone. To mark the band's upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, senior writer Brian Hiatt tells the sad, hilarious, triumphant story of one of rock's biggest bands. Read More
Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín ("No") is in negotiations to direct the new 'Scarface' movie for Universal Pictures and Marc Shmuger's Global Produce, TheWrap has learned. 'Scarface' will reimagine the core immigrant story told in both the 1932 and 1983 films. Universal's update will be an original story set in modern day Los Angeles that follows a Mexican immigrant's rise in the criminal underworld as he strives for the American Dream.
GWYNETH & CHRIS SEPARATE:
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin have announced they're separating after more than a decade of marriage. The pair, who tied the knot in 2003 and have two children, delivered the news in a joint statement titled "Conscious Uncoupling" on Paltrow's GOOP website. (Editor's note: "Conscious Uncoupling"? Oh, a new way to say "we're basically over")
Passenger's debut hit "Let Her Go" is still going strong on the Hot 100, but British singer Mike Rosenberg already has a new album locked and loaded for this summer. Rosenberg – a.k.a. Passenger -- will release "Whispers" June 10th via Nettwerk.
SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE HERE ON EARTH?
The Season 5 finale of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" dropped significantly than last season's capper. Wednesday night's "Duck Dynasty" season finale drew 6 million total viewers — which put it up 28% against last week's episode, but down considerably from the 8.4 million total viewers that the Season 4 finale drew last year.
EDC FILM COMING:
An Electric Daisy Carnival Documentary will hit theaters this May. "Under the Electric Sky (EDC 2013)" hails from "Katy Perry: Part of Me" directors Dan Cutforth & Jane Lipsitz. Full story at TheWrap.
Dave Brockie, founder and lead singer of outlandish metal band Gwar, died Sunday at the age of 50. The news was first reported by Richmond outlet Style Weekly and confirmed by the band's manager Jack Flanagan. Police were called to the singer's Richmond home Sunday night after responding to a call by Brockie's roommate. Brockie had already died by the time police arrived. Foul play is not suspected at this time, but a cause of death has yet to be determined.
Quotes of the week
"All the credible bands can kiss my ass, with all due respect. The original forefathers who are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and I don't mean the disco or the hip-hop artists, what the fuck are they thinking? – couldn't spell the word 'credibility' and never thought about it. It was an antithesis of the self-imposed mandate, which is, 'Do what you want to do.' In other words, no rules. The most important thing is that it's validation for fans who were picked on for liking Kiss as opposed to, I don't know, Air Supply."
-- KISS's Gene Simmons, in Rolling Stone, on the band's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Read the full feature here. Read More
"If I take another drink, I'm going to die, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I'm dead," Cassidy, 63, said. "You know, they say it's a slippery slope. ... It's not a slippery slope. It's from 12:00 to 6:00 on the clock and the whole face is ice. One sip, one drink, because there is no such a thing, not to an alcoholic. You have one and you're -- you're done. I'd be done."
-- Pop icon David Cassidy, in an interview with Piers Morgan admitting he's an alcoholic, in rehab after his latest DUI arrest, says if he ever takes another drink, it could be fatal.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
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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