Believe It Or Not: '5 Lessons The Music Industry Could Learn From Television'
August 8, 2014
"I think it's brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television -- but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent."
-- Steve Jobs
Whatever you may think about TV, there's lessons to be learned from the television industry, and this week a terrific article on The Daily Beast by Ted Gioia, brings to light just five things (important ones at that) the music industry could learn from watching what television has done so successfully.
From the article," Creative people in a wide range of fields keep hearing the ridiculous mantra that â€œcontent wants to be free.â€ The music industry is the worst offender. Many label execs tell artists -- maybe the execs even believe it themselves -- that musicians shouldnâ€™t expect to generate income from their recordings. But no worries, mate, you will make it all up by selling T-shirts at your gigs. The experts who offer this bad advice need to watch some more TV. While record labels have been shrinking, TV networks have reinvented themselves by selling content via a profitable subscription model. TV has reversed the trend: households once got it for free, but now they are willing to pay for it. Yes, you can still get broadcast TV channels without paying a monthly fee, but only seven percent of American households go that route."
And my favorite quote from the same article, "Music is the only branch of the entertainment world to embrace progressively inferior technologies."
Read this terrific article
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
STREAMING MUSIC REDUCES ARTIST REVENUES
From HighSpeedInternet, a great article by John Dilley, 'Gutting the Music Industry One Stream at a Time.'
"When iTunes launched 10 years ago, it became the model for buying and legally downloading music. Soon services like Spotify came along and changed the game from a purchasing model to a licensing model. How has this changed the industry? For consumers itâ€™s great, but for the music industry it has meant tons of competition at the bottom, a vanishing middle, and more corporate domination at the top â€¦ Streaming services like Spotify give artists the ability to make their music available all over the world. But this convenience has two costs -- the dollars paid and the watering down of creativity." Read the rest
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
PANDORA AND ARTISTS MAKE NICE?
Pandora's first-ever direct deal with labels marks a new age for artist relations at the #1 streaming-music service and may usher Pandora into a world of long-term opportunity.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FROM ROLLING STONE: MARIANNE FAITHFULL SEZ HER EX-BOYFRIEND KILLED JIM MORRISON
Marianne Faithfull said in a recent interview that her boyfriend at the time, a heroin dealer named Jean de Breteuil, was responsible for Doors frontman Jim Morrison's death in the summer of 1971.
The singer recalled a sense of foreboding when Breteuil told her he intended to visit the Doorsâ€™ frontman, so she decided to stay at their hotel and take barbiturates. "He went to see Jim Morrison and killed him," Faithfull told Mojo. "I mean, I'm sure it was an accident. Poor bastard. The smack was too strong? Yeah. And he died. And I didn't know anything about this. Anyway, everybody connected to the death of this poor guy is dead now. Except me." Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
RHAPSODY ACQUIRES SOUNDTRACKING TO MAXIMIZE MUSIC SHARING
TechCrunch reports Rhapsody, the stalwart music streaming service with two million paying subscribers, today acquired Schematic Labs, makers of Instagram for songs app SoundTracking, and Exfm, a social music discovery service that had been shut down since May. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
IS INSTAGRAM STEALING TWITTER'S THUNDER?
Instagram has seen the future, and it apparently looks a lot like Twitter. (Editor's note: And wouldn't it be grand if we all woke up one day and there were no more inane tweets?)
â€œTwo years after being acquired by Facebook, Instagram is starting to look more and more like the big brother it almost had,â€ The Verge, referring to Twitter. Among other similarities, â€œwhen you follow someone new, Instagram now shows â€˜Suggestedâ€™ users to follow, just like Twitter.â€ Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
APPLE & BEATS STUFF
Apple says that it will work with the Beats team to "elevate" the experience already created by Beats products. Read more
Why Does Apple Need Beats? It's All About The Music
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
OUCH â€¦ NETWORK TV DECLINES BIG TIME THIS SUMMER
Once again, the idea that the majority of Americans don't watch television during the summer months, is old thinking, and yet more reasons why more and more people seek new content out on cable, satellite, and online.
Just how bad is this summer? Here's a list of the 62 Most and Least-Watched Summer Shows: From 'America's Got Talent' to Something Called 'Backpackers' â€¦ .Full story at TheWrap
BETWEEN THE GROOVES ... SOME MORE RECOMMENDED READING
ITEM: Security firm Malwarebytes has revealed a new e-mail scam that claims to come from Facebook. The spam e-mails are intended to steal login credentials for the Facebook account and e-mail account of the user. The e-mails include links to a malicious page that tells recipients that their Facebook account has been disabled and solicits personal information in order to get it turned back on. Read the whole story
ITEM: All Hollywood really needed to get out of the summer doldrums, it turns out, was to switch up the bing-bang-boom action-adventure formula a bit more to create a boffo box-office knockout. Director James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- "more space adventure than superhero movie," writes the Los Angeles Times' Mark Olsen -- is earning plaudits for its humor and originality and, not coincidentally, it seems to have set an all-time record for an August opening. Read the whole story
ITEM: LinkedIn, the operator of an online professional network, said it will pay nearly $6 million to 359 current and former employees following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency found that LinkedIn was in violation of the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to record, account and pay for all hours worked in a workweek. Affected employees worked at the company's facilities in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York. Read more ( Editor's question: If any reader knows of anyone who has ever gotten a job or benefited from LinkedIn, please let me know)
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Chromatik Expands Free Digital Sheet Music Platform With Thousands Of New Titles
'David Bowie Is' Doc Headed to Theaters, Exhibition to Open in Chicago
How To Get Press For Your Band Like The PR Pros Do
Top Country Acts Earn Staggering Amounts Of Money [ CHART]
Viral Music Videos Have Huge Impact On Sales [CHART]
11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Beatles, Even If You're A Superfan
The Civil Wars Break Up: Hear Farewell Song & Read Their Goodbye Messages
The 33 Most Ridiculous Controversies in Pop Culture History
Create A Band Bio Promoters and Press Will Appreciate
Will More Musicians Go D2F And Build Their Own Social Networks? [CASE STUDY]
Get Rich Or Die LOL-ing: The Truth About Making It On YouTube
What's up with watts; how many watts do your speakers need?
Mobile Streaming Boosts TV Business (For Now)
Inside YouTube's Fame Factory
The Audience-Building Secrets Of Top YouTube Stars
Sony SRS-X3 Bluetooth Speaker
Dear PledgeMusic: It's Time To Stop Misrepresenting Music Crowdfunding
Apple sets Sept. 9 for new iPhone debut, report says
For "Back to the Future" fans
â€˜True Detectiveâ€™ Plot Details Emerge; Vince Vaughn in Talks, Elisabeth Moss Circling
9 Design Ideas That Shaped The Web
10 worst TV technologies
10 best TV technologies
Woman hospitalized with 'Twitter psychosis'
Short News Items ...
Thirty years after the making of their influential concert film 'Stop Making Sense,' Talking Heads' Chris Frantz recalls the suit, the choreography and the (total lack of) direction. "We didn't want any of the bullshit," he tells Rolling Stone. "We didn't want the cliches." Read More
THE WAITING WAS THE HARDEST PART:
After a nearly 37-year wait, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers earn their first #1 album on the Billboard 200. The band's new 'Hypnotic Eye' arrives atop the chart, selling 131,000 copies in the week ending Aug. 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's the best debut sales week for Petty since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, and his best sales frame overall (debut or otherwise) since 1994, when his solo album Wildflowers sold 161,000 in the week after Christmas.
HELP THE WHO:
As the Who prepare for their 50th anniversary tour, they're asking fans to come forward with rare recordings, fan-shot footage and memorabilia. Contributors will receive credit on upcoming releases and VIP show tickets. Read More
Just a few days after announcing his collaboration with Rainforest Connection, Neil Young took to his website to expound on another environmental issue close to his heart. Jumping off from a note about the distribution of free organic cotton T-shirts during his last tour of Europe, Young announced that he is boycotting non-organic cotton and urged his fans to do the same.
BEYONCE GETS VIDEO VANGUARD AWARD:
In addition to being the most nominated artist this year â€“ with eight nods altogether â€“ BeyoncÃ© is also set to receive MTV's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, honoring an artist's body of work.
Michael Jackson's 2,700-acre estate Neverland Ranch will be hitting the market in the near future. Forbes reports that the Los Olivos, CAa property is being sold by the real estate investment firm Colony Capital, which owns equity in Neverland after an agreement with Jackson that took effect in 2008. "We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed and saddened that it has come to this," a rep for Jackson's estate told Forbes. "Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager."
STUB HUB APP:
TechCrunch reports StubHub Music is now live in the App Store and available to all major U.S. cities. Read More
Eric Clapton will release a new tour documentary, 'Planes, Trains and Eric,' on DVD, Blu-Ray and other digital formats on November 4th. The new concert film chronicles the Far and Middle Eastern leg of Clapton's 2014 tour and includes 13 live performances, including renditions of classic songs like "Layla," I Shot the Sheriff," "Crossroads" and "Wonderful Tonight."
'SCUSE ME WHILE I BUILD THIS PARK:
The City of Seattle finally broke ground on the long-planned Jimi Hendrix Park, marking a two-and-a-half acre stretch of land adjacent to the Northwest African-American Museum in Seattle's Central District to honor its hometown guitar hero. The park's organizers, the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, envision the park as being a place where people of different backgrounds will find the motivation to explore music and art, while celebrating Seattle's cultural heritage, experiencing community pride and appreciating the programming of the museum next door. The bulk of the construction will take place in 2015.
A pair of Willie Nelson's braids will be among the more than 2,000 items going up for auction from the personal collection of late Outlaw country icon Waylon Jennings, on October 5th at the Musical Instrument Museum in Jennings' hometown of Phoenix. Other unique treasures in the collection include a robe and boxing gloves from Muhammad Ali, a custom pair of Nudie cowboy boots owned by Hank Williams, a handwritten letter to Jennings from former Beatle John Lennon, and Nelson's trademark braids, which he personally cut off in 1983 to show support for Jennings as he struggled to maintain his sobriety. Also up for bids will be Jennings' handwritten lyrics and personal messages scrawled in notebooks and on assorted pieces of paper. Jennings died in 2002 at age 64 of complications from diabetes.
NEW SCRABBLE WORDS:
Merriam-Webster have added over 5,000 new words to the 'Fifth Edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,' including millennial vocab favorites like "Selfie," "Chillax" and "Hashtag." It's enough to turn an old school Scrabble fan into a zealous, yet conflicted "frenemy" -- a word you can now play for a minimum of 15 points.
UNLOCKING OK NOW WITH NEW LAW:
VentureBeat reports President Barack Obama said he'd sign the phone unlocking bill into law, and he did Friday.
Michael Johns, a singer-songwriter and former â€œAmerican Idolâ€ finalist, has died at the age of 35. The news of the artist's death was confirmed via Twitter by an administrator of Johnsâ€™ official fan site.
Quotes of the week
"Orlando Bloom apparently threw a punch at Justin Bieber last night during an argument at a nightclub. Orlando's hand was pretty sore today, you know, from all the high fives he got." -- Jimmy Fallon, joking about the alleged brawl between the actor and the singer, on The Tonight Show
"He's worth idolizing. He's extraordinary. That was a really interesting period." -- Susan Sarandon, on her affair with rocker David Bowie in the early 1980s, to The Daily Beast
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Man Does What He Convinced Himself He Loves Doing For A Living
MILWAUKEEâ€”Explaining with a deep sense of self-delusion that his job provides a â€œperfect outletâ€ for both his creative and analytic sides, BTX Communications employee Matthew Krueger confirmed to reporters Thursday that he does exactly what he has convinced himself he loves doing for a living. 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 back in 2010. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics.
In the interview we talk about the evolution of the music industry and the impact of the digital revolution. After discussing my background and experience at Capitol Records and elsewhere, I argued for the virtues and potential of the Internet in enhancing the music industry, and pointed out that the Internet allows numerous artists to make money through their music and particularly enhances revenue from live performances. I also describe the challenges facing record companies as a failure of imagination and 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 I have received from readers who have listened, they've enjoyed it.
You can listen to the interview (it runs a tad over an hour) or download it here: http://tinyurl.com/y9f3tld
"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people becomes an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk: culture-death is a clear possibility." -- Neil Postman
Smart Marketing Consulting Services
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