To Stream Or Not To Stream ... That Is The Question
June 6, 2014
In about two months, Amazon will launch its music streaming service, which will be folded into Amazon Prime.
"The company will expand its Prime membership offerings by adding a stockpile of old and newish music for subscribers to stream on demand. The Prime music service, which is scheduled to launch this June or July, will not include recent releases but instead restrict its catalog to songs and albums that are six months old and older, five music industry sources familiar with the company's plans confirmed to BuzzFeed." Read the story on BuzzFeed
In the meantime, and with a different view of streaming services, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he has no interest in making its own video-streaming device like Amazon's Fire TV, nor will it pour money into licensing live sports. Read why Hastings isn't interested in streaming
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
APPLE ANNOUNCES IT'S LATEST OS, AND BREAKS INTO FORTUNE 500 TOP 5
At its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, Apple unveiled its latest operating systems for the iPhone and iPad. The "'Giant' iOS 8 adds widgets, new keyboard, home automation, health, Touch ID for all; arrives this fall." READ MORE
The company also showed off a new look for its signature operating system, named after one of California's most popular camping spots, Yosemite. Read more
This eWEEK slide show focuses on new features in iOS 8, which is being distributed to developers at WWDC and will be generally available in the fall. READ MORE
And, with a 9% jump in revenue from a year ago, Apple has broken into the top five of the newly released Fortune 500, an annual ranking of America's largest corporations, based on revenue. The Cupertino-based company came in at #5, up one spot from a year ago, with revenue of $170.9 million. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
GOOGLE READIES ANDROID TV
Gigaom reports that Google is going to introduce its new TV platform, Android TV, at Google I/O in June.
Android TV won't be another device, but somewhat a platform that producers of TVs and set-top boxes can utilize to distribute streaming services to the television. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
YAHOO AND FULLSCREEN TO COMPETE WITH YOUTUBE
Hypebot reports on efforts by Yahoo and Fullscreen to compete with YouTube.
The latest video effort from Yahoo is expected to launch in the summer, while Fullscreen, a major YouTube MCN targeting millenials, is said to be "building a subscription-based, premium video on demand service" separate from YouTube. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
KOBALT MUSIC EXPANDS
Hypebot reports that Kobalt Music Group has raised another $115 million in expansion capital. Kobalt Music Group is the foremost sovereign music publisher and music services company providing supreme transparency, online global copyright management, creative and synch/licensing services, label services, digital collections, neighboring rights management and advances to writers, artists, labels, publishers, and other rights holders.
Clients comprise Disney, Paul McCartney, Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Maroon 5, Dave Grohl, Skrillex and Ryan Tedder between some 2000 others. Kobalt achieves the rights of more than 600,000 songs. The company directly collects from 37 territories worldwide, managing over 250,000 copyrights worldwide on behalf of over 1,200 content holders counting the world's top artists, songwriters, and other music publishers. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
TV WASTELAND AGAIN
Well, it's summer, and once again the major TV networks believe nobody really needs to watch new television shows because it's mostly vacation time, etc. (Tell that to HBO, where 'Game Of Thrones' has now become the all-time biggest show on premium cable with big numbers. See the story below in the 'Some News In Short' section)
As I've mentioned previously, nothing drives people away from the networks more than reruns.
This past week, 11 of the top 20 TV shows were in reruns. And yes, the audience numbers were dreadful. (Duh!)
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Woodstock Organizer Plotting 50th Anniversary Concert for 2019
Hear Jeff Tweedy Perform With Son on New Song
Best of the British Invasion
Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The U.S.A.' at 30: Classic Track-By-Track Album Review
Unreleased Track From CSNY's 1974 Live Box
Gene Simmons to Produce 'Ugly Models' TV Show
A Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin
Vince Gill on Truck Songs, Clapton & Women's 'Unfair' Role in Country
King Crimson Will Reunite for Three New York City Shows
Justin Bieber Loses Again: How His Racist Jokes Will Impact His Career
The 25 Coolest Products You Can't Get In the United States
How to block TV spoilers on Facebook and Twitter
You can now ask Google to remove links about you
Intel aims to eliminate all PC cables in 2016
Apple wins patents on 3D tech in desktop user interfaces
Everything there is to know about Amazon's upcoming phone
Microsoft promises lower prices on Windows tablets, phones
Short News Items ...
ALLMANS' FINAL SHOWS:
The Allman Brothers Band have officially announced their final live shows, with six performances booked for late October at their legendary New York hot-spot the Beacon Theatre. Four of these gigs (Tuesday, October 21st; Wednesday, the 22nd; Friday, the 24th and Saturday, the 25th) are make-up dates, following the band's truncated Beacon residency in March (with front man Gregg Allman battling bronchitis); the final two dates are scheduled for Monday, October 27th and Tuesday, the 28th.
Jean Kasem. Wife of legendary DJ and voice-man Casey Kasem, threw a pound of raw hamburger meat at Casey's daughter, Kerri Kasem, while paramedics attended to the radio legend. The family dispute between Casey Kasem's wife and kids took a bizarre turn on Sunday, according to a report by NBC News
'GAME OF THRONES' RULES:
Sit down, 'Sopranos,' there's a new king in HBO-land. HBO's dragons-and-swords fantasy series 'Game of Thrones' has become the most popular series in the history of the premium cable outlet's history, with the current season averaging a gross audience of 18.4 million total viewers. Full story at TheWrap
"This is the most terrifying part -- the last day of the week," Dave Grohl tells Rolling Stone from New Orleans, the latest stop in Foo Fighters' eight-week trip to great local studios for their next album and an HBO series. If he's nervous about cutting a new song, it doesn't show. Read More
After an incredible performance at the Linda Ronstadt tribute during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, which aired on HBO over the weekend, the former 'American Idol' champ took home her third straight and fifth overall "Video of the Year" award this week at the CMT Music Awards. The latest win, for "See You Again," gives Underwood a record 11 belt buckles.
Melissa Etheridge married her partner of four years, Linda Wallem, on Saturday. Us Weekly reports that the pair tied the knot at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, CA in a wedding ceremony attended by famous friends including Chelsea Handler, Rosie O'Donnell and Whitney Cummings.
LENNON STUFF FOR SALE:
John Lennon's original poetry and drawings for his mid-Sixties books 'In His Own Write' and 'A Spaniard in the Works' are headed to auction. The books' U.K. publisher, Tom Maschler, has held onto the works over the past 50 years and, when the 89 pieces hit the Sotheby's auction block on June 5th, will comprise the largest-ever private collection of Lennon's work to be offered up. Prices for the works range from $500 to $70,000, according to The Associated Press.
"The Arsenio Hall Show" has stopped production, marking an abrupt end to the host's efforts to restart his late night franchise in syndication. The show was in reruns this week and will not resume production. The show's last original segment was May 21st.
After three years of work, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are nearly ready to unleash their new album, 'Hypnotic Eye.' Get a taste of the album's lead track here. Read More
Victor Spinetti, who died June 18th at age 82, will always be known as the actor who costarred in three movies with The Beatles. During 'A Hard Day's Night' (1964), Spinetti was the exasperated TV director who tries to get John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to settle down and rehearse. In 'Help,' Spinetti played the evil villain, Professor Foot. And in that most curious of all Beatles screen efforts, the hour-long 1967 TV special 'Magical Mystery Tour,' Spinetti was a double-talking military man.
Noted music producer/manager/journalist/educator Kenny Kerner, who was instrumental in the early career of iconic rock band KISS and whose credits include Gold and Platinum awards for Gladys Knight & the Pips and Stories, has died. He was found on May 27th, 2014, at his home in Northridge, CA. Kerner had suffered from diabetes. He was 66. Born Kenneth Alan Kerner on July 27, 1947, in New York City, he co-produced, along with partner Richie Wise, the first two albums by KISS: the band's self-titled debut and 'Hotter Than Hell,' both released in 1974. He also co-produced the #1 single, "Brother Louie," by Stories and the Top-5 records "I've Got To Use My Imagination" and "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" by Gladys Knight & the Pips.
Quotes of the week
"Mr. Ocean doesn't seem to understand U.S. copyright law. Anyone who knows anything should know you cannot take a master track of a recording and write another song over the top of it. You just can't do that. You can call it a tribute or whatever you want to call it, but it's against the law. That's a problem with some of the younger generation. They don't understand the concept of intellectual property and copyright. We work really, really hard on our material. We spend months writing it and years recording it. You don't go into a museum and paint a moustache on somebody else's painting. Nobody would think of doing that."
-- Don Henley, with strong words against Frank Ocean over the latter's song "American Wedding," which samples "Hotel California," and indie rockers Okkervil River, who wanted to remake one of his solo hits. In 2012, Ocean used the entire Eagles hit as background music to sing his own lyrics, though Henley refused to grant a license to the song. "I was not impressed [with it]," the Eagle told Sydney's The Daily Telegraph. "He needs to come up with his own ideas and stop stealing stuff from already established works."
"I think he needs to go to sleep and have a good rest, and think again. We have a great history together and like all brothers, we have these moments where we don't speak on the same page, but that's life."
-- Robert Plant, responding to Jimmy Page's comments that he was "fed up" with the singer holding back a Led Zeppelin reunion, telling reporters at a press conference he thought the guitarist needed to "have a good rest," The National reports.
"Mick Jagger is one of the greatest athletes who ever lived, just for how much he puts into it onstage. I saw the Stones in Vegas on their last tour and it's evident how hard they work at it."
-- Axl Rose, in his interview with Revolver, which coincided with Rose's acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the magazine's Golden Gods Awards in April
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Residents Plagued By Roving Pack Of Feral Celebrities Living In Hollywood Hills
LOS ANGELES—Often spotted rummaging in backyards or skittering across local streets in tattered designer clothing, a roving pack of feral celebrities continues to plague residents living in the Hollywood Hills, sources confirmed Monday.
The mangy film, television, and recording industry stars are reportedly proving a particular nuisance to homeowners, who say they cause property damage and often keep the neighborhoods they prowl awake with their loud, screeching vocalizations. Local business owners have also lodged complaints, saying the filth-covered celebs travel down the hills in groups by night to feed on scraps from dumpsters behind Spago and Chateau Marmont.
Authorities also confirmed the entire cast of the former NBC show Chuck had recently been found burrowing together for warmth beneath the "D" of the Hollywood sign. 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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"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