So You Think The Free U2 Album Was A Bad Idea? Wrong.
October 10, 2014
"Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of internet software and services, tells Billboard that U2's 'Songs of Innocence' has racked up a staggering 26 million complete downloads since its Sept. 9 release as a free download exclusively to Apple's 500 million global iTunes customers. In total, Cue adds, over 81 million Apple customers experienced 'Songs from Innocence,' a global figure that includes plays and streams through iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music."
-- From the article 'The Download Heard 'Round the World: iTunes Numbers Show 81 Million 'Experienced' U2 Album' in Billboard
I was somewhat surprised, then amused, by all the comments I read online by people complaining about Apple giving away the new U2 album free.
I've always said when it comes to marketing, some people get it … others don't.
That doesn't mean people who were unhappy with the whole event didn't have the right to be upset about whatever process they had to go through to delete the album, if they didn't want it on their iPhones. But the amount of whining and complaining from people was simply more online fodder for the anti-Apple anti-U2 folks.
The above stats tell a story of overwhelming success and reach in a time when U2, like almost all icon/heritage acts, receives almost no airplay. 26 million downloads. 81 million listener experiences.
Those are BIG numbers. BIG, BIG, BIG numbers.
Back in the September 19th issue of the newsletter I wrote, "There's a real possibility that we might someday look back on this U2 album give-away as being the first of its kind."
Now that the numbers are out, I'm absolutely certain other acts will do similar type deals.
And again, who wouldn't want this type of success?
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
ARTISTS CONFRONT SPOTIFY
Spotify is conducting an artist relations charm offensive in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles. (This is a time to be thankful I live in a flyover state -- they won't be coming to Austin!)
The idea was there would be a meeting at the tony Soho House in New York, a membership-only location that costs more to join than most artists make in a year or two. Of course, Spotify no doubt has a corporate membership for impressing … business people. Right. Business people.
What Spotify wasn't expecting was a bunch of feisty artists who were not on the payroll who came expecting actual answers and not shillery. Artists Confront Spotify At Soho House Meeting
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
BBC PUTS MUSIC SUPERSTARS TOGETHER FOR BRAIN WILSON'S "GOD ONLY KNOWS"
The BBC assembled a "We Are the World"-style cast of globally famous musicians to sing the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" with its 80-piece BBC Concert Orchestra for a spot promoting the network's newly launched BBC Music venture.
The network has dubbed the ensemble, which sings in a classically fantastical array of settings from a jungle-scape on a stage to a hot air balloon, the "Impossible Orchestra." Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Lorde, Chris Martin, Brian Wilson, Florence Welch, Stevie Wonder, Brian May, One Direction, Chrissie Hynde, Baaba Maal, Dave Grohl and Sam Smith are among the dozens of performers who comprise the ensemble. Watch the video
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
FIRST THEY WENT AFTER SIRIUS, NOW IT'S PANDORA
Fresh off their court win against Sirius XM in a landmark decision forcing digital broadcasters to pay royalties on the performance of pre-1972 recordings, Flo & Eddie of The Turtles have slapped Pandora with a $25 million class-action lawsuit for the same offense. After SiriusXM Win, The Turtles Slap Pandora With $25 Million Class-Action Lawsuit
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
APPLE SEZ $10 A MONTH IS TOO MUCH FOR STREAMING
According to a report, Apple wants to revamp its deals with major labels so it can offer its Beats Music streaming service for a lower price. Read more
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
WIN THE BEATLES MONO BOX SET:
Enter for a chance to win The Beatles in Mono Vinyl Box Set at Little Steven's Underground Garage
HERE WE GO AGAIN:
In an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, activist investor Carl Icahn says the stock is worth double its current trading price. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Watch Bill Murray Sing Bob Dylan's 'Shelter From the Storm'
Fleetwood Mac Relives Past Peaks & Lows at Madison Square Garden Concert
Instant Karma: John Lennon's Full Catalog Now on Spotify
6 Bands That Have Gone Exclusive with Walmart: Garth Brooks, KISS and...Bruce Springsteen?
Pink Floyd's 'The Endless River' to Feature Stephen Hawking
Spotify's Most Streamed & Viral Tracks US, UK & Global
The Horrifying Dark Side of Space Travel That Movies Ignore
Bowers and Wilkins P5 Series 2
What was your first experience with good sound?
Most anticipated new computers this fall
Windows 10: Nine things you need to know
Fulfill your home theater dreams
Short News Items ...
MARTIN TO BE HONORED:
Steve Martin has been named recipient of the 2015 American Film Institute's AFI Life Achievement Award, the AFI announced on Friday. The award typically goes to dramatic actors or directors, with Martin becoming only the second recipient who would be considered primarily a comic, following Mel Brooks in 2013. The AFI Life Achievement Award will take place on June 4th, 2015. It will be broadcast on TNT later that month.
MARIAH RIPPED BY FANS:
Mariah Carey kicked off her Elusive Chanteuse World Tour in Tokyo last week. But things didn't exactly go as planned. Concertgoers ripped the music legend when she struggled to get through some of her hit songs, including the Grammy-winning single "Vision of Love" on Saturday. Several people posted videos from the show on Instagram and the comments were scathing. Read more on TheWrap
Foo Fighters will spend a week in New York next week as the musical guests of Late Show With David Letterman, playing covers of songs inspired by their forthcoming record, Sonic Highways, each night. Additionally, Dave Grohl will sit for an interview with the talk-show host on October 13th, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
B.B. UNDER THE WEATHER:
B.B. King was forced to cancel the remainder of his current tour after falling ill following a October 3rd show at Chicago's House of Blues. The 89-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had eight gigs left on his current trek, including stops at his namesake B.B. King Blues Club in New York. "[King] was immediately evaluated by a doctor and diagnosed with dehydration and suffering from exhaustion whereby causing the eight remaining shows of his current tour to be canceled," King's official site posted.
NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH TONY & GAGA:
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are set to take the stage at The Cosmopolitan casino on New Year's Eve for their first show together in the U.S. since they released a joint album late last month.
LENNON CHARITY EVENT:
Debbie Harry will perform at the 34th annual John Lennon charity tribute concert in New York City in December. The announcement Wednesday by the nonprofit Theatre Within came a day before what would have been Lennon's 74th birthday. Other performers include Kate Pierson of the B-52s, Joan Osborne, Marshall Crenshaw and Ben E. King. The event will be held Dec. 5th at Symphony Space.
NEIL YOUNG STUFF:
In Neil Young's new book, 'Special Deluxe,' he asks the Great Spirit "to be worthy of more time." Tops on his to-do list: love and happiness, and protecting the earth for future generations. And what about music? "It's been a really good trip so far." Read More
A radio station in Houston has rebranded itself as a Beyonce-only radio station. The station's website posted a statement announcing its closure: "News92, Houston's first FM all-news radio station aired its last broadcast Wednesday, October 8th, 2014... This difficult decision is a result of sustained poor ratings performance and significant financial losses over the past three years despite the substantial financial and human resources we invested." If the new station only plays Beyonce's solo catalog, it will have five albums to choose from. Not including various bonus tracks, remixes, live versions or tracks from other artists featuring Beyonce, those records contain 63 songs, adding up to roughly 4 hours and 15 minutes of music.
HALL OF FAME NOMS:
Both Green Day and Nine Inch Nails have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Also on the ballot, which is open to the public, are the Smiths, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lou Reed and more. Read More
NO ADELE UNTIL NEXT YEAR:
There is no shot of new Adele music until 2015. The New York Times sifted through her label XL's financial report and found this: "Buried alongside the news that XL — whose other acts include Vampire Weekend and the xx — made $15 million in net profit on almost $61 million in revenue in 2013, was the following sentence: "There will not be a further new release by Adele during 2014 and consequently there will be a fall in XL's turnover and profits."
Paul Revere, leader of the 1960s rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders, died Saturday at his home in Idaho at age 76, according to the band's website. The organist and his group recorded a string of hits including "Kicks," "Hungry" and "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)." The group paid tribute to Revere with a heartfelt open letter on its website composed by "everyone who has ever met" him.
Well-respected blues and rock singer Kathi McDonald, who sang on classic albums by the Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker and many others, died at the age of 64. According to Toronto Blues Diary, McDonald slipped into a coma last week on Tuesday and never woke up again. No cause of death has been revealed. McDonald's long and impressive resume included an early stint as an Ikette with Ike and Tina Turner, with whom she recorded on the 'Come Together' album. She went on to sing on a string of classic albums including Cocker's 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen,' 'Be a Brother' by Big Brother & the Holding Company, and the Stones' 'Exile on Main St.'
Kevin Metheny, the former WGN-A/Chicago PD whose abrupt moves to grow the station's audience grew a well of resentment among some long-time listeners before his 2010 departure just shy of two years on the job, died last Friday. He was 60. Mr. Metheny, immortalized by multimedia star Howard Stern first on the air and in his best-selling book "Private Parts" as "Pig Virus" and then caricatured as part of a composite character called "Pig Vomit" in the movie version of Stern's memoirs, was most recently the OM at KGO-A and KSFO-A/San Francisco, where he started work this summer.
Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Jan Hooks died Thursday, a rep confirmed to TheWrap. She was 57. Hooks died in New York City during the morning. She was suffering from an undisclosed serious illness, according to reports.
Quotes of the week
"This is Francis. I'm in Kaua'i, and I'm directing a film called 'None But The Brave', and I just heard that record you did with Basie last year, 'In Other Words.'" So that was the first arrangement I wrote for him, in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe. Except Frank changed the title to "Fly Me to the Moon." I remember Sonny Burke said, "You can't change the title." And Frank said, "What's the first words you hear?" "Fly me to the moon." "That's the title." [Laughs] Frank didn't take no shit from nobody."
-- Qincy Jones in Rolling Stone, recalling just one of his many memories of working with Frank Sinatra
"You may not have heard that I put a record out recently. It's called 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes'. This may be perhaps you don't engage with 'social media'… in which case you have my utmost respect."
-- Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Thom Yorke Disses Social Media In Very Thom Yorke-y Email
"I think we have successfully commandeered the best of what there is. I suspect this is it. It's a shame, but this is the end."
-- David Gilmour, speaking to BBC 6 Music and saying 'The Endless River', the legendary band's first album since 1994's 'The Division Bell', will also be the group's last
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Documentary Viewer Can't Wait To Find Out Which 4 Lads From Liverpool Changed Music Forever
DETROIT—Yearning with breathless anticipation to learn more about the hugely influential band, documentary viewer Jeremy Rosen told reporters Wednesday that he could not wait to find out which four lads from Liverpool had changed the face of music forever.
"Wow, apparently all of these guys rose from humble beginnings in England to take the '60s by storm," said Rosen. 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.
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