Fine Young Cannibalization
May 16, 2014
"Who does better? The 'Voice' judges or the 'Voice' contestants? It's quite obvious the judges have sold a ton more records."
-- Simon Cowell
I wrote about the "Fine Young Cannibalization" of the TV music/talent shows several times in the newsletter, and now what I (and many others) predicted has come true. 'Idol' was too big to leave alone, so the networks put on their own shows as fast as possible. Most fizzled.
Mr. Cowell sums it up, "They flooded the market. There have just been a ton of shows, and something has simply gone awry."
And this hard reality as well, "The awful stat is in stars created by these shows. The last true breakout artist we had was Carrie Underwood on 'Idol.' That was eight years ago."
Yes, Simon was one of those responsible for putting on the shows in the first place, and he readily admits it. But he's not responsible for the glut of these shows, and their decline in the ratings.
Even 'Glee' is taking a major ratings hit. The show once averaged over a 6 rating in that 18-49 group. Now it barely can score a 1 rating.
Read the article Overextended, Music TV Shows Fade on The New York Times
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
FROM CNN: 'WHY EVERYBODY IS BUILDING A WEB MUSIC SERVICE'
"Why are so many Internet titans getting into the game? The answer is simple: dollars and cents.
Online streaming, by which users listen to music either for free or for a monthly fee, is the fastest growing form of music listening, according to industry reports." Read the rest
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
HOW L.A. REID PLANNED MICHAEL JACKSON'S 'XSCAPE'
From Billboard, "A little less than a year ago, L.A. Reid met John Branca for dinner at Cecconi's in West Hollywood. Reid had been the chairman and CEO of Epic Records ("the house that Thriller built," as Reid calls it) since July 2011, and he'd inherited a cold label that so far hadn't gotten much hotter ... One of the items on the table that night was Reid's idea for a Jackson biopic covering his life between the age of 19 -- when he filmed The Wiz, and first worked with Quincy Jones -- and 24, when he and Jones reshaped the world with Thriller. Branca had simple answer for Reid: No."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
HOW BIG MUSIC FESTIVALS HAVE RESHAPED THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
In 2001, the last time Outkast hit the road for a major tour; they played 46 shows and grossed $4.8 million.
Compare that with their reunion, when they'll play fewer gigs and earn about $60 million. Welcome to the strange economics of the modern rock festival. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THE APPLE & BEATS THINGS
By now you've probably read all about Apple's buying Beats Music. Now it's rumored Jimmy Iovine will probably join Apple in a new role once the acquisition takes place.
So here's some articles on the whole thing you can read and catch up on:
Apple's alleged interest in Beats is causing furrowed brows, but might it see Beats as a slightly outrageous, cool little brother? Read more
Billboard reports that Apple could unveil Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as its latest recruits at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, according to people familiar with the Beats Electronics acquisition talks. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
FROM CNET: 'MAKE YOUR OLD ALBUMS SOUND BETTER FOR LESS THAN A PENNY'
Cleaning old records with plain water can significantly reduce surface noise. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Apple's iPhone 6 set for August unveiling, report says
The 100 most exciting products of May
'N Sync's 'Gone' Comes Back: Why Michael Jackson's Proposed Duet is an Essential Justin Timberlake Track
Neil Young and Jack White Booked for Joint 'Tonight Show' Appearance
6 Best Out-of-Print Beatles Releases
40 Albums Baby Boomers Loved That Millennials Don't Know
Unreleased Clapton Song From 1995
21 Important Questions Movies Forgot to Answer
Microsoft takes aim at Google with Xbox Music cloud locker -- report
Radiant Player, a Google Music player for your Mac
Short News Items ...
BROWN STAYS PUT:
Chris Brown admitted to violating his probation last Friday and has been sentenced to 131 days in jail. The Grammy-winning singer appeared before a judge in Los Angeles and admitted to violating his probation by assaulting a man in front of a hotel in Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reports.
Now that Jimmy Page is finally finished with the massive effort behind Led Zeppelin's upcoming deluxe reissues, he's ready to focus on his own career. "I've got lots of material," he tells Rolling Stone. "I intend to start getting to a point where I could play some gigs." Read More
NEIL AND WHITE:
Neil Young made his new album, 'A Letter Home,' featuring songs by Bob Dylan and Bert Jansch, at Jack White's Third Man Records in a 1947 Voice-O-Graph booth. When White suggested he add a greeting to his late mother, Young said, "Hell, I'll do it right now." Read More
DYLAN DOES SINATRA?
Without warning, Bob Dylan has posted a cover of a Frank Sinatra song on his website. A rep confirms to Rolling Stone that the 72-year-old singer, who kicks off a European leg of his Never Ending Tour next month in Ireland, will have a new album out later this year. Read More
THAT SOLANGE/BEYONCE/JAY-Z THING:
Solange Knowles has deleted numerous Instagram photos of her sister Beyoncé following the leak of a video that appears to show the singer hitting her brother-in-law, Jay Z, in an elevator. Initial reports stated that the singer had deleted all but one photo of her older sister, though it was revealed later that select photos of the pair remained
An online Bruce Springsteen museum, BlindedByTheLight.com, will feature 300 artifacts when it launches in June, a date that coincides with the 30th anniversary of Born in the U.S.A. Among the collected objects are handwritten lyrics, concert posters, report cards and more, with more to be added in subsequent months. The site's Facebook page currently features images of a number of Springsteen artifacts, including a passport photo, his driver's license and the lyrics to a song called "Henry Boy" that would become "Rosalita"
JACKO GETS SIRIUS:
SiriusXM is launching The Michael Jackson Channel, an exclusive, limited-run station focused on music from Jackson's iconic solo career -- from his breakout 1979 LP, Off the Wall, up to his latest release.
Dave Grohl is directing an HBO series in which the Foo Fighters visit legendary recording studios in eight cities to cut their next album. Guests will include Kiss' Paul Stanley and Fugazi's Ian MacKaye. Grohl recently hinted to Rolling Stone about the "badass" project. Read More
IT'S OVER WHEN THE BEARDED LADY SINGS:
The Eurovision Song Contest ended in victory Saturday night for Austria's Conchita Wurst, the bearded drag queen who won over the event's enormous audience with her Bond-theme-style ballad "Rise Like a Phoenix. The 25-year-old Austrian, whose name off-stage is Thomas Neuwirth, celebrated her win with a timely message.
MORE ENDLESS SUMMER WITH BEACH BOYS:
The Beach Boys will celebrate 50 years of their indelible summer smash "Fun Fun Fun" with a sprawling tour that will take them across North America and parts of Europe throughout the summer and fall. The trek kicks off May 25th at the Belvedere Festival Park in Louisville, Kentucky. After a few European dates, the group will return stateside for a gig at Jones Beach in Long Island, New York that will feature special appearances from Al Jardine and David Marks.
'ROSEMARY'S BABY DIDN'T DELIVER:
Part 1 of the miniseries "Rosemary's Baby" debuted to a weak 1.1 rating and had 3.7 million viewers. Full story at TheWrap
Steve Backer, a Force for Jazz at Major Labels, died April 10 in Englewood, N.J. He was 76. Steve ran successful jazz programs at several major record labels, shaping the careers of visionary avant-gardists like the saxophonist-composers Anthony Braxton and Henry Threadgill as well as potent crossover bands like the Brecker Brothers, died on April 10 in Englewood, N.J. He was 76. Read more
Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul – the director of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man – has died, the Associated Press reports. He was 36.
Surrealist painter Hans Ruedi Giger, whose designs inspired the creature in 'Alien' and whose otherworldly and often grotesque art graced album covers for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Debbie Harry and Danzig, died Monday, following hospitalization for falling down the stairs in his Zurich home. He was 74.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Report: Growing Number Of Americans Forced To Make Ends Meet By Collaborating On Song With Pitbull
MIAMI—In a further sign that the sluggish economic recovery continues to pose a challenge to the nation's workforce, a report published Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor revealed that a growing number of Americans have had to resort to collaborating on songs with Cuban-American rapper Pitbull in order to make ends meet.
Report: Growing Number Of Americans Forced To Make Ends Meet By Collaborating On Song With Pitbull
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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