From Pitchfork: The Past, Present & Future Of Streaming Music
April 18, 2014
"Beginning with Pandora's 2005 launch and dramatically ramping up with Spotify's controversial 2011 debut, streaming has become the preeminent technological force driving digital music into the 21st century."
-- Pitchfork Media's Eric Harvey
Pitchfork Media's Eric Harvey has published a great (lengthy) cover article on the evolution of streaming music that explores how services from YouTube to Pandora to Spotify are affecting ideas of taste, access and ownership in the 21st century, and what this shift means for fans and artists alike.
From his article," On-demand streaming music has been part of the collective imagination for more than a century. It can be traced back to the 1888 publication of Edward Bellamy's million-selling science fiction novel Looking Backward, in which a man falls asleep in 1887 and wakes up in 2000. Amidst the mind-blowing technological developments he encounters on his journey is a "music room," in which 24-hour playlists are piped in to subscribers via phone lines. With no shortage of astonishment, the man proclaims that "an arrangement for providing everybody with music in their homes, perfect in quality, unlimited in quantity, suited to every mood, and beginning and ceasing at will" is perhaps the pinnacle of human achievement."
If you want to know where streaming has been, is, and is going, Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
FOLLOW-UP TO LAST WEEK'S COMMENTARY RE: TV'S FUTURE
Last week I ran this quote from NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, "We think that having broadcast be a 35-week season is an anachronism. We live in a completely different time now."
I talked about how network reruns have been one of the greatest factors for people have turning to cable options with many more channels.
As a follow-up, this week, though it's only mid-April, I noticed that NBC's biggest show, 'The Blacklist,' was a rerun. (BIG mistake. Once you stop the momentum on a hit show, it slows it down in building/retaining audience)
ALL the late-night talkers (Fallon, Kimmel, Letterman) are reruns. One would think that at least ONE of them would take advantage of the other two being in reruns and generate new audience and better ratings. Nope. That wasn't the case. Guess nobody ever heard of counter-programming to gain the edge.
'Criminal Minds,' 'CSI,' and so many other top-rated network shows were also reruns. Meanwhile, on the cable side FX debuted 'Fargo' to a very respectable audience (see details below in 'News In Short'); their hit series' The Americans' was new, and after checking a bunch of cable channels and shows for the week, reruns were limited.
Again, Mr. Burke's comments are correct about it being a different time.
The question is when will he and other network executives wake up and smell the coffee they aren't drinking. Because while they are slowly waking up, the rest of the viewing audience has already digested breakfast and is ready for their next "meal" from a new menu.
That new meal is not the stale food masquerading as reruns. It's something NEW, something fresh.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
'THE ART OF PAUL McCARTNEY' ALBUM IN THE WORKS
From The Examiner comes news that 'The Art of Paul McCartney,' a 32-track tribute album featuring covers of Paul McCartney songs both from his Beatles days and solo career by the likes of Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Roger Daltrey, Jeff Lynne and more, was announced April 3rd by Arctic Poppy Records.
The company says the list of artists besides those already mentioned also include Billy Joel, Steve Miller Band, Willie Nelson, Barry Gibb, Jamie Cullum and Corinne Bailey Rae. The songs to be covered include "Live and Let Die," "Let It Be," "Yesterday," "All My Loving," "Things We Said Today," "The Long and Winding Road," "Hello Goodbye," "Drive My Car," "Hey Jude," "Let Me Roll It," "Listen to What the Man Said" and "Every Night." Read more about it on The Examiner
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
THE RIAA STILL FIGHTING A WAR LOST LONG AGO
The RIAA is gearing up its lawsuit against Kim Dotcom's Megaupload website, accusing the file-sharing site of "rapid, unrestricted downloading of popular, infringing content"
"It's just sort of a psychology -- once you start litigating, and you have a winner, why stop?" asks Larry Kenswil, a Los Angeles attorney who was a digital executive at major label Universal Music during the original Napster era. "I'm not sure there's a downside of continuing it." Read about the lawsuit on Rolling Stone
Larry is an excellent attorney and I had the privilege of meeting him when I worked at MCA Records in a previous lifetime. But Larry, actually there is a downside. The money the RIAA will spend to fight the battle would be better spent on helping the industry navigate survival through the digital storms. And filing another lawsuit isn't going to help much.
I certainly do not condone illegal file-sharing, or what Kim Dotcom did, but they beat him and then what? Will it solve all the illegal downloading still occurring daily on a global basis? Will it stop Intranets from being created for the same purpose? Darknets?
I believe Kim Dotcom has enough lawsuits to fight without the RIAA piling on to plant a flag on victory.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THE OCULUS RIFT AND HOW IT WILL CHANGE ENTERTAINMENT
In the wake of Facebook's $19 billion purchase of messaging service WhatsApp, the recent $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR seems like a bargain.
Here are some of the ways the virtual reality headset known as Oculus Rift could change entertainment as we know it. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
DIGITAL AD REVENUES SURPASS BROADCAST FOR THE FIRST TIME
Well, it took some time but "In the battle of the small screens, Internet advertising may have the upper hand, according to a new study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Banner ads, mobile spots and digital video teasers drove interactive advertising revenues to a record-breaking $42.8 billion in 2013. That figure eclipsed the $40.1 billion that broadcast television advertising racked up last year, marking the first time ever that digital has trounced that particular sector of the traditional media landscape."
Mobile ad revenues grew 110% in 2013, according to report. Full story at TheWrap
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
MORONIC COMMENT OF THE WEEK AWARD
This might be a keeper for the Most Moronic Quote Of The Year Award.
And it goes to Ms. Courtney Love who said, "My Springsteen problem is just that saxophones don't belong in rock & roll. They just don't belong." Read the rest on Rolling Stone
Really Courtney? Are you serious? Gee, then I guess Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock'n'Roll" and Pink Floyd's "Money," both of which have legendary sax solos, aren't rock and roll, huh?
Ms. Love also went on to say, "I don't think he (Springsteen) sits around listening to Hole records, do you?"
No, Courtney I'm quite sure he doesn't sit around listening to Hole records.
In fact, I'd bet a whole bunch of people, millions in fact, don't sit around listening to Hole Records either.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
IT'S EITHER IN THE GROOVES OR IT'S NOT
I've said in the newsletter a whole bunch of times that all the hype in the world won't help sell music if the music just isn't that great as far as the audience is concerned.
Been seeing a lot of Shakira lately in commercials?
Oh yeah, she's in them big time the past few weeks. And on top of that, she's on 'The Voice' every week.
This week, although Shakira also performed on the ACMs (with Shelton), her self-titled album falls #5-9 (17,000; down 41%) in its third week on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.
I have nothing against Shakira, just pointing out these current facts. And as it says on the newsletter above, "Commentary and ONE man's opinion"
Things are definitely bad out there at music retail. This from Rolling Stone, "Any chance Adele could come out of whatever British domestic utopia she's living in to (re-)rescue the record business? Because, no offense to the 'Frozen' soundtrack, things are bleak out there. Albums are down 17%, singles are down 13% and . . . well, just read on for the gory details.
And we can slice it and dice it any old way as to why sales are so dismal.
But let's face it: If it ain't in the grooves to make people want to buy it, it's just not going to fly.
As Neil Bogart said, "If you hype something and it succeeds, you're a genius -- it wasn't a hype. If you hype it and it fails, then it was just a hype."
And it seems like right now there's a lot of hype out there on a lot of mediocre music.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
A FLASHBACK FROM THE NEWSLETTER 10 YEARS AGO...
In August 2004 I wrote this in the newsletter, "About three years ago I was asked by a good friend here who is an executive recruiter, to talk to a Silicon Valley start-up that had had developed a new technology for radio. The technology allowed advertisers to encode digital codes in commercials which could then be tracked by consumers with a small keychain-sized device. If they heard a commercial while driving in the car or at home they could click the button on the device and then via a computer plug-in go the company's website and retrieve all the information about the ad/commercial they'd heard. That was their 'Stage 1' ... 'Stage 2' was tracking commercials."
That start-up failed back then. I told them radio would never pay the money needed for the technology they wanted to sell them, Go to Madison Avenue, I recommended.
In any case, the technology was good and I thought it would re-emerge eventually in another form.
I believe what I saw and witnessed in 2001 was the precursor to what is now Shazam.
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Nirvana & Friends Fill It Up at Brooklyn's Saint Vitus Bar
Read Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band Induction Speech
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction 2014: 20 Best Moments
Joan Jett + Nirvana: Five Reasons Why She's a Good Pick for Rock Hall of Fame
Coachella 2014: 10 Best Performances
Summer 2014's 40 Hottest Tours
Aretha Franklin Filing $10 Million Lawsuit Over Fake Patti LaBelle Fight Story
Kurt Cobain's death and the '90s
Shocker: The most-deaf musicians aren't rockers
Which Music Era Do You Actually Belong In?
Money and Music Sales – A Quick Tour of Current Web Stories
Braven BRV-1 rugged speaker
The exciting new TVs coming this spring
Cracking Open the Amazon Fire TV (video)
Amazon: Fire TV sells out
Short News Items ...
THE WORST WHEEL OF FORTUNE CONTESTANT EVER:
An Indiana University student managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Check It Out At TheWrap
'Fargo,' the 10-part limited series starring Billy Bob Thorton and Colin Hanks, drew 4.15 million total viewers and 1.79 million Adults 18-49 for its first installment. The Coen Brothers are executive producing.
'QUADROPHENIA' FILM COMING:
The Who are issuing a concert film of their performance from their worldwide Quadrophenia tour at London's Wembley Arena in 2013. 'Quadrophenia: Live in London,' out June 10th, contains all 17 tracks on the album as well as a six-song set of some of the rockers' greatest hits, including "Who Are You" and "Pinball Wizard." The film also comes in Blu-ray, standard DVD and video download formats, as well as a deluxe edition. The group is also releasing a 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the original 1973 release in Blu-ray Pure Audio to coincide with the release.
IMAGINE DRAGON LEADER HONORED:
Dan Reynolds, frontman of the chart-conquering rock band Imagine Dragons, will receive the Hal David Starlight Award at the upcoming Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala. The award honors young songwriters who have made an impact in the music industry, which Reynolds certainly has. "Radioactive," Imagine Dragons' biggest hit so far, peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 and topped Alternative Songs and Rock Songs, setting a record for its 23 consecutive weeks atop the latter.
THE NIRVANA R&R HALL THING:
"We conjured the spirit of the band," says Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic after the group enlisted Joan Jett, Lorde and Kim Gordon to sing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. After Novoselic suggested Jett, Dave Grohl "ran with the idea of having all women lead." Read More
MORE MACCA LIVE:
Six more U.S. shows confirmed for summer 2014: June 14th: Lubbock, TX - United Spirit Arena; June 16th: Dallas - American Airlines Center; June 21st: Atlanta - Philips Arena; June 22nd: Jacksonville - Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena; June 25th: Nashville - Bridgestone Arena; August 7th: Salt Lake City, UT - EnergySolutions Arena
GOOGLE PARTNERS WITH SONOS:
VentureBeat reports that Google has entered in a partnership deal with wireless speaker-maker Sonos to introduce Chromecast functionality to Sonos wireless audio systems. Android users can now send music openly to Sonos high-fidelity speakers without depending on Sonos Controller application. read more
SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE HERE ON EARTH?
Fox's 'Hell's Kitchen' hit a new regular episode low in both key demo ratings and viewers last week.
Eighteen percent of U.S. Internet users have had important personal information, such as Social Security numbers and credit card and bank account information, stolen as a result of their online activities, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet Project. read more
BILLY JOEL'S DAUGHTER FAINTS ONSTAGE:
Billy Joel's daughter with Christie Brinkley fainted on a New York cabaret stage last Saturday, her rep said Monday. An emergency room doctor concluded that Alexa Ray Joel, 28, experienced a common cause of fainting that "is usually harmless and requires no treatment," Joel rep Claire Mercuri said. Joel was performing to a sold-out crowd at The Café Carlyle on Manhattan's Upper East Side when she collapsed and was rushed to the emergency room at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Mercuri said.
BONNAROO & RED BULL:
Hypebot reports that Bonnaroo music and art festival has announced a partnership deal with Red Bull Music Academy that joins the two with the new Southland Conference to stage a Hackeroo, a Bonnaroo-focused hackathon, from June 12th to 15th. Read More
AC/DC NOT DONE YET:
After much speculation, AC/DC have shot down rumors that they're calling it quits. They've also confirmed that Malcolm Young is suffering from a debilitating illness. The band plan to convene soon, says singer Brian Johnson, to "have a plonk" and start work on a new LP.
APPLE & ALPINE:
VentureBeat reports that Apple is apparently partnering with car electronics manufacturer Alpine on an aftermarket CarPlay unit, according to Japanese business news site Nikkei. The unit will debut in Europe and the U.S. first and will retail for around $500 to $700, the report indicates. read more
As Led Zeppelin gear up for a massive re-release of their entire catalog, hear an exclusive preview of "Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown," recorded live in Paris in 1969. It's a track from a wealth of previously unreleased bonus material. Read More
GLEN CAMPBELL UPDATE:
Glen Campbell has been moved into a care facility three years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, People.com reports. The singer, whose "Rhinestone Cowboy" topped the charts in 1975, had been suffering from short-term memory loss in recent years. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in early 2011.
Jesse Winchester, the esteemed singer-songwriter who became a symbol of the anti-war movement when he moved to Canada to escape the draft in the Sixties, died April 11th from bladder cancer. Winchester, who was living in Virginia when he died, was 69.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Good Charlotte Recording 10 New Songs To Be Played At Low Volume In P.F. Chang's
LOS ANGELES—Saying they were excited to take their pop-punk sound in new and barely audible directions, Maryland-based rock band Good Charlotte revealed Wednesday that the group is hard at work on an album that will be played at low volume in P.F. Chang's restaurants nationwide. Read the rest and laugh
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