The CD Sales Declining Thing
June 27, 2014
"How much of that decline is due to fewer CDs being sold? It's hard to say, because we don't have detailed historical data for U.S. sales. But in the U.K., where Nielsen does have a more detailed breakdown, it's clear the death of the CD explains a lot of the reason behind the music industry's declining sales."
-- From 'Dear Mona, I Still Buy CDs, Am I Normal' by Mona Chalabi
To start off, last week I referenced this from The Wrap "Despite Jennifer Lopez's media circus taking place before the release of her new album (including a cover story on Billboard), "J. Lo's "A.K.A." is expected to move only 25,000-30,000 units during first week."
As a follow-up, I can report that the album sold 33,000. That was good enough for a #8 chart debut on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart, but pretty bad since it is Lopez's smallest sales debut for any of her studio albums, dipping below the 48,000 bow of her Spanish-language set "Como Ama Una Mujer" in 2007.
So, again ... all the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't hype J-Lo enough again to sell what a REAL megastar recording artist should.
My thanks to reader Rob Banagale who sent me the article I quoted from above.
Rather than just report what Mona Chalabi has written, take a few minutes and read the article for some eye-opening stuff. Another item from the article, "Nielsen published data showing that 165.4 million CD albums were sold last year (down from 193.4 million in 2012). Once we subtract those CDs, as well as LPs and digital sales, from all albums sold, we're left with almost nothing: That confirms how obsolete cassettes and minidiscs are. But more importantly, those CD sales confirm there aren't many Americans like you: Just 0.5 CDs per person were sold in 2013."
Read the article
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
SOUNDEXCHANGE PRESIDENT TELLS CONGRESS FAIR PAY FOR ALL MUSIC CREATORS ON ALL PLATFORMS
SoundExchange Pres./CEO Michael Huppe testified today at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill to discuss the current state of U.S. music licensing.
Huppe was joined by representatives of A2IM, RIAA, SiriusXM, Pandora, ASCAP and the National Association of Broadcasters, along with GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash.
Huppe's full written testimony can be found here.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
FROM VENTURE BEAT: THE APPS TEENS LOVE IN 5 CHARTS
Facebook and YouTube reign supreme, with 61% and 55% of daily active users, respectively. Instagram and the Facebook-nemesis team over at Snapchat are neck-and-neck in the race for photo sharing apps (around 50%).
The sad panda award goes to Foursquare, with a self-reported zero-percent daily active userbase among teens (3% overall). Read the article on Venture Beat
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
INDEPENDENT MUSIC IS HELPING DRIVE STREAMING MUSIC MARKET
Merlin, the global rights agency for the independent music sector, has published new data that highlights the value of independent repertoire across leading streaming services, alongside results of its annual member survey -- tracking developments in their digital business.
The key findings are: Independent music outperforms on streaming services; usage of Merlin members music on streaming services continues to outperform their share of the wider digital market by 10-20%. The trend is even more pronounced on premium paid-for subscription tiers, where usage was almost 30% higher than on free ad-funded tiers.
Read the other findings: New Data Shows Independent Music Is Helping Drive Streaming Market
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THE SUPREME COURT SAYS AERO IS ILLEGAL
In a blow to cord-cutters, the US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Aereo, a two-year-old start-up that relies on tiny antennas to stream broadcast television over the Internet, is illegal.
CEO Chet Kanojia says he will continue to "fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world." But where next? READ MORE
And more in The NY Times, which reports that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Aereo, a streaming video service, violated copyright laws by "capturing broadcast signals on miniature antennas and delivering them to subscribers for a fee." Read more.
Here is the statement in its entirety from Aereo CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia on yesterday's United States Supreme Court decision:
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
THE MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY CHANGES BRANCH CAMPAIGN RULES
New regulations come on the heels of the unprecedented disqualification of a song nominee earlier this year.
For next year's Oscars, branch members will be prohibited from contacting other members "to promote the nomination of their own song in any way, including via mail, e-mail, telephone or social media."
Branch members are also prohibited from attending the live performance of any of the nominated songs, unless the performance is part of a screening of the film. Full story at TheWrap
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
YOUTUBE BLOCKING INDIE LABELS THAT DON'T SIGN UP FOR ITS NEW MUSIC SERVICE - PART 2
Google's video site has a subscription-music service coming. Its leaked offer to independent labels confirms YouTube's terms. YouTube leaked contract hits off-notes for indie labels
And Hypebot reports that The UKs Music Publishers Association (MPA) has merged with the rising chorus of music industry trade groups that back independent music community's current battle with Google's YouTube over heavy-handed negotiations and the deal being offered for their upcoming streaming music service. If companies such as Google are now acting in the role of cultural gatekeepers, whether by accident or by design, they must bear some responsibility to not act against the interests of the creators upon whose labor large parts of their business are built, said Sarah Osborn, CEO of (MPA) Music Publishers Association. Read More
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Robert Plant's Percussive New Song
Jeff Bridges on Revisiting 'Lebowski'
No Apologies: The Best of Nirvana
Katy Perry Becomes the RIAA's All-Time Top Digital Artist
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young May Release 'Deja Vu' Box Set
45 Best Albums of 2014 So Far
Hear Jerry Lee Lewis' New Song 'Rock & Roll Time'
Best travel songs of all time
AC/DC Singer: Band Is 'Very Likely' to Tour This Year
Remembering Michael Jackson: How Artists & Fans Reacted to King of Pop's Passing
Electric Daisy Carnival 2014: Behind the Scenes Photos from Vegas
10 Worst Movies of 2014 So Far
T-Mobile Music Freedom Violates Net Neutrality, but There's a Fix
Best Bluetooth speakers under $100
Short News Items ...
DYLAN LYRICS SELL BIG AT AUCTION:
A draft of Bob Dylan's lyrics for his groundbreaking 1965 song "Like a Rolling Stone" sold for $2.045 million at auction Tuesday afternoon. The lyrics were sold to an unidentified bidder at auction house Sotheby's, who called the sale a world record for a popular music manuscript, according to Associated Press.
QUEEN & LAMBERT ... THEY WILL ROCK YOU:
Even during his "American Idol" audition, it was clear that Adam Lambert's octave-defying range and theatrical flair owed a clear debt to the late Freddie Mercury. In Chicago, the singer joined Queen onstage for the reconstituted band's U.S. tour kickoff. Read More
GET WELL, MERRY:
Merry Clayton, the "Gimme Shelter" backup singer whose story was featured in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, was badly injured in a car accident in L.A. earlier this week. Representatives for the singer posted news of her condition in a statement on her website.
KIM DOTCOM'S BABOON COMING:
Hypebot reports that Kim Dotcom's Baboom streaming music service will soon be launching publicly. Baboom assures higher payouts to artists along with FLAC high quality streaming and downloads. To prepare for the launch, company officials last week expounded on the qualities of a music company founded by the controversial Megaupload founder. Baboom will deliver advertisements together with authorized content, as well as, provide paid downloads. Read More
After being hospitalized for a virus he contracted in Japan and postponing the beginning leg of his U.S. tour, Paul McCartney says he's "feeling great, rocking and rolling." The word came from the 72-year-old Beatle great via an energetic YouTube video he posted Tuesday. Those dates have been rescheduled for this fall, too, including the addition of his first ever Greensboro, NC, show at the Greensboro Coliseum on Oct. 30th.
AVICII CONCERT IN BOSTON HAS HOSPITALS BUSY:
Thirty-six people were taken to the hospital during an Avicii show at the TD Garden in Boston, according to the Boston Globe.
WHOOP-DEE-DO ... FOR ANYBODY STILL WATCHING:
"American Idol" has locked down talent for its upcoming 14th season. The long-running singing competition series is bringing back its trio of judges, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban, along with host Ryan Seacrest.
Attorneys for the FBI are seeking to get the Insane Clown Posse's lawsuit against the organization dismissed on grounds that the group should not be able to sue them. In 2011, the FBI classified the horror-core rap duo's fans, Juggalos, as a gang akin to the Bloods or Crips. On Monday, Justice Department attorney Amy Powell, representing the FBI, said the government is not responsible for how police use information in its gang report and that ICP has no grounds with which to sue, according to The Associated Press.
IT WAS FIVE YEARS AGO MICHAEL JACKSON LEFT US:
To mark the five-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's shocking death, Rolling Stone has gathered tributes from some of the King of Pop's biggest fans -- his fellow superstars. Michael was "the last emperor," says Stevie Nicks. Read More
YOUTUBE GETS SIRIUS:
YouTube has begun curating a radio show, "The YouTube 15," to air on SiriusXM Hits 1 as a weekly showcase for songs that are making a splash on the video site. Each week, it will examine the growth rate for current and old music videos to create a list that accurately reflects people's music interests, from breaking artists who are blowing up to the latest Rickrolling phenomenon. The first episode, featuring host Jenna Marbles, will air on July 11th at 6p ET and replay throughout the weekend.
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, the guitarist and songwriter responsible for the Al Green hits "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," "Take Me to the River" and "Love and Happiness" alongside a slew of tracks for influential soul label Hi Records, died at 68 from emphysema complications, according to Memphis newspaper the Commercial Appeal.
Horace Silver, the innovative and prolific jazz pianist best known for such pieces as "Song for My Father" and "The Preacher," has died. He was 85. Silver died last week in New Rochelle, New York, according to a statement from his longtime label, Blue Note Records.
Eli Wallach, one of the most prolific and recognizable character actors in a career spanning six decades, has died. He was 98. Wallach is perhaps best remembered as the villain in Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," as well as "The Magnificent Seven." He died on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. No other details have been provided.
Quotes of the week
"I told them there won't be much money left because we are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn't much left," he said. "I certainly don't want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks."
-- Sting told the UK publication The Mail on Sunday that he won't be leaving his more than $300 million fortune to his six children.
"What are the rules about biting in the World Cup? There probably should be one. Biting has no place in sports."
-- Bruce Springsteen, who has been following the World Cup "a little bit," had some strong words in a recent interview for Uruguayan soccer player Luis Suarez, who bit Italian footballer Giorgio Chiellini at a recent match.
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Where Are 'American Idol' Stars Now?
Ever wonder what 'American Idol' greats have been up to since they won the judges' (and our) hearts on stage? Check out where these fan favorites are now.
Read about these alleged former Idol contestants 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.
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