It's 2015: Let's Look At Some Predictions
January 9, 2015
"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."
-- Yogi Berra
Well, Yogi summed it up in the above quote, but that hasn't stopped anybody from looking ahead and making their best predictions for the coming years.
As funny as Yogi's quote is, how about these?
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929
"This fellow Charles Lindbergh will never make it. He's doomed." -- Harry Guggenheim, millionaire aviation enthusiast
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." --Ken Olsen, president, chairman, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
And then there's the famous one from a 1962 Decca Records memo regarding The Beatles audition tape, "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."
Enough of the silliness; now down to some well-founded predictions for 2015.
And since I segued into music with the Decca Records quote, let's start with Forbes magazine contributor, Bobby Owsinski's '10 Out On The Limb Music Business Predictions For 2015'
"Here we are again at the end of another year and it's time to gaze into the crystal ball to see what 2015 might have in store for the music business. I hit on about half of my predictions last year, with most of the others still pending as the story lines developed slower than anticipated. Here are 10 music business predictions for the upcoming year." Read What Bobby Predicts In 2015 For The Music Biz
And as for Hollywood predictions, read what the Hollywood Reporter's Michael Wolff has to say.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
MUSIC INDUSTRY 2014 TRENDS
"Sales of music downloads fell in the U.K. and U.S. in 2014 as consumers switched from buying songs online to streaming services such as Spotify.
The U.S. saw 9% fewer digital albums and 12% fewer digital songs sold over the year, according to Nielsen Music data. In contrast, U.S. audio and video streaming increased more than 50%, with 164 billion songs streamed." Read the article
Digital music sales sank for the second year as streaming became the biggest area for growth. Still, overall music consumption is down. This industry has a revenue problem and a creative problem. Gee, think they may be connected? Streaming and Vinyl Soar On Back Of Digital Music Sale Declines
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
A GREAT INTERVIEW WITH GLYN JOHNS
My many thanks to Portland's Clarence Duffy for sending me this great conversation with the legendary Glyn Johns.
Glyn has worked with such artists as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eagles, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, The Band, Eric Clapton, The Clash, The Beatles (unreleased material), Ryan Adams, The Steve Miller Band, Small Faces, Spooky Tooth, Blue Öyster Cult, Emmylou Harris, Joe Satriani, Ronnie Lane, Rod Stewart with Faces, Joan Armatrading, and many others.
Listen and Watch the interview and hear Glyn talk about working with some of the above mentioned artists, and his thoughts about how technology has changed the recording process.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
UNIVERSAL TO EMPLOY BEHAVIORAL DATA FOR INSIGHT INTO MUSICAL TASTES
Havas Group and Universal Music Group have formed the Global Music Data Alliance to aggregate and analyze the billions of data bytes that the music company and its recording artists generate across digital and offline media.
The partnership, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show, will enable the companies to tap into the human psyche -- and will provide new revenue streams for UMG artists and labels by creating marketing and advertising opportunities for brands. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
MORE NETWORK TV DISRUPTION
The way we watch video continues to evidence less and less traditional TV network viewing.
Broadcasting & Cable reports "More than three-quarters (76%) of U.S. homes have a DVR, subscribe to Netflix or use video-on-demand from a cable or telco provider, up from 70% last year, Leichtman Research Group found in its latest study."
AND MORE...Forecast: Streaming Will Surpass Trad Pay TV
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
THE RETURN OF THE WALKMAN? AND IT'S EXPENSIVE
Sony reintroduced their classic Walkman as a high-resolution audio device, the NW-ZX2 Walkman, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Wondering Sound reports. The new device is slated to hit shelves in the spring and will retail for a whopping $1,119.99.
The device promises high-resolution audio that "retains far more detail" than CD and MP3. According to Sony, the result is "a more authentic, emotionally involving musical experience." The device is scheduled for a spring 2015 release.
"The NW-ZX2 is actually the successor to an earlier Walkman, the NW-ZX1, released in Japan in the fall of 2013. The new Walkman includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB compatibility, and it has a touchscreen running the Android operating system. The device boasts 128GB of memory, with an optional expansion to 256GB (about 1,700 songs). The battery is expected to last up to 60 hours before needing to be recharged. A new portable headphone amp will also be available, designed as a companion to the Walkman. This summer, Sony plans to roll out what it says is "the first car audio head unit that is compatible with high-resolution audio formats."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 8
THE CICRET BRACELET: LIKE A TABLET, BUT ON YOUR SKIN!
My thanks to reader Ken Van Durand who sent me this amazing link, which is (as he said) "Absolutely amazing…this is real Dick Tracy stuff."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 9
FROM CNET … ALL THE NEW COOL TOYS AT CES
The most interesting gadgets, gizmos, doodads and shiny stuff that debuted at this year's show. All the cool new gadgets at CES 2015
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
The Golden Globes are this Sunday. Wondering who might win? Golden Globes Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win?
BING BOWL PREDICTION?
Moving closer to Super Bowl 2015, Microsoft's Bing algorithm for its search engine took on forecasting National Football League games, posting NFL game predictions in search engine results. The listings post game matches and times, along with a list of the teams Bing predicts will win the games. As the industry gets closer to the Super Bowl, marketers will want to know how -- and if they're advertising campaigns will score big. ...Read the whole story
Mashable reports "Hardcore audiophiles still transitioning into the age of digital just got another tool designed to make personal streaming easier with the introduction of Cambridge Audio's new CX Series of audio devices." Read more
Gizmodo reports "The newly announced Google Cast for Audio gives Chromecast-like audio powers to Wi-Fi enabled speakers and soundbars. It basically sounds like Google's version of AirPlay. Does that mean it's going to suffer from AirPlay's unfortunate drawbacks?" Read more
What recent departures and managerial changes mean for Amazon's Lab126, the secretive R&D group behind the company's consumer products. Following Fire Phone Flop, Big Changes at Amazon's Lab126
At CES, Roku announced new partnerships that will cram its platform inside more televisions. Built-in is the new box. Roku-Connected Televisions And The Future Of The Smart TV Wars
APPLE WATCH COMING SOON:
Essentially on schedule, Apple will reportedly be ready to release the Apple Watch by late March. "Unexpected delays in software development and manufacturing could push the Watch back further in the year, but March is the current plan," 9to5 Mac reports. "Apple has been polishing up the Watch OS and putting the device's battery through more extensive testing." Read the whole story
Samsung apparently failed to right its ship this past quarter. On the contrary, the mobile giant now expects its fourth quarter-earnings to reflect a nearly 40% decline in operating profit, year-over-year. "Samsung also estimates that its sales for the quarter likely fell about 12% year over year," CNet reports, citing the company guidance on Wednesday. Chiefly to blame is increasing competition in the highly competitive smartphone market. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
George Harrison to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
Bruce Springsteen Releases Legendary 1978 Cleveland Show
14 Reasons Every Teenager Should Know Who Paul McCartney Is
Watch Heart Cover a Paul McCartney Classic on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'
8 Artists with At Least 8 Number 1 Albums: Ranking the Octopping Albums from Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Jay Z and More
Madonna's 'Devastating' Album Leak: Guy Oseary on the 'Circus Show' of Getting 'Rebel Heart' to Fans
Ringo Starr Reveals New Album, Tour in 2015
Jessie J on Writing 'Party in the U.S.A.': 'It Paid My Rent for 3 Years'
The Collapse Of Nashville's Musical Middle Class
50 Celebrities Who Turn 50 This Year
Organize and listen to your own music on the cloud
Apple's iPhone 6 Plus Phablet Wins the Holidays
The Best Mobile Apps Of 2014
The most anticipated games of 2015
Netflix to recommend TVs
Short News Items ...
Madonna turned off a lot of fans when she wrapped civil rights icons' faces of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela in black nylon to promote her upcoming album, including message for "Haters." Full story at TheWrap
'IDOL' DROPS AGAIN:
The one-hour 'American Idol' pulled a premiere low 3.2 rating with adults 18-49. That's down significantly from the 4.7 rating it brought in last January, though that episode stretched for two hours.
MORE YADDA-YADDA ON 'THE INTERVIEW':
Still haven't seen the movie that a group of hackers tried to stop? Now you have even more ways to watch it. Read more
Slash has filed divorce papers with his wife Perla Ferrar, according to TMZ. The gossip site says the former Guns N' Roses guitarist filed the documents in Los Angeles on Tuesday citing irreconcilable differences, listing the date of separation as June 15th.
HEADED TO THE AUCTION BLOCK:
Leland's is auctioning off a vest once worn by Janis Joplin and Julien's will do the same for two jets formerly owned by Elvis Presley. Elvis's planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II, come with an unfortunate caveat: you can't fly in them. However, the interiors of both planes have been preserved -- they were on display at Graceland until this year.
ALL-STAR "PIANO MAN":
Billy Joel was honored with the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a star-studded celebration that aired Friday night on PBS, and among the tribute's many highlights was host Kevin Spacey accompanying Joel on "Piano Man," with the 'House of Cards' actor showing off his impressive harmonica skills. Spacey also handled the song's opening verses during the all-star finale. Watch the video
LOOK FOR THESE GOOD THINGS IN 2015:
Flying cars, self-lacing shoes: 2015 may not bring everything that 'Back to the Future II' promised it would. But the new year will pack plenty of cultural punch. From 'Mad Max' to "Mad Men,' here are 68 reasons to look forward to 2015. Read More
Jack White, Drake and AC/DC will each headline a night of this year's Coachella in Indio, CA. Other performers just announced for the two-weekend festival include Steely Dan, Interpol, Hozier and St. Vincent. Read the details here. Read More
STING NOT A BROADWAY HIT:
Sting's musical 'The Last Ship' has set January 24th as its farewell voyage. After 105 performances and 29 previews, the Broadway show -- based on the musician's autobiographical album of the same name -- will end its run at New York's Neil Simon Theatre. The Last Ship had opened on Broadway on October 26th, 2014, and while the musical earned glowing reviews during its Chicago tryout last summer, the show struggled to pack houses on the Great White Way.
SATELLITE RADIO HELPING BREAK COUNTRY ARTISTS:
For a good, long while, there was pretty much one path to Country radio airplay - an act had to be signed to a major label, sealed in savvy packaging and delivered to terrestrial stations with a pricey promo push. Now there's another option. Read More
Digiday reports "So she sold a lot of music. Cool. But more important than her sales figures is her unparalleled social media savvy. Between Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, Swift has more than 140 million followers or subscribers. Here are five lessons brands can learn from her social media success." Read more
Led Zeppelin's 1975 double album 'Physical Grafitti' will be the next LP from the group's canon to get a super-deluxe reissue, on its 40th anniversary next month. Remastered by Jimmy Page, the set will include a bonus disc of companion audio.
In 2014, the music world lost Rolling Stones sax player Bobby Keys and Ian McLagan of the Faces. They were just a few of the brilliant musicians, including Pete Seeger, Bobby Womack and Jack Bruce, to whom we bid farewell. Read More
Actor Rod Taylor, who starred in "The Time Machine" and opposite Tippi Hedren in "The Birds," died in Los Angeles on Wednesday of natural causes. He was 84.
Edward Herrmann, who won an Emmy for "The Practice," co-starred on "Gilmore Girls" and played the main villain in "The Lost Boys," died on December 31st at age 71. The "Gilmore Girls" actor had been suffering from brain cancer and died in a New York hospital surrounded by family. Herrmann played Dianne Wiest's boyfriend in "The Lost Boys." He also played Nelson Rockefeller in Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and worked with Martin Scorsese on "The Aviator" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." His other feature credits include "The Great Gatsby," "The Great Waldo Pepper," Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and Warren Beatty's "Reds."
Quotes of the week
"You've got to write songs. That's where the money is, being an artist …That's where I get most of my money. I write songs. I'm a singer. I love endorsements and stuff, but that's all added on."
-- Jessie J, in her Glamour cover story.
"As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again. The band have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this."
-- Bono, on U2's website, revealing that he now has a titanium elbow.
"Even when you meet them -- I won't name names -- but some of these pop stars are just awful. And they have not even had half the success that you've had and yet you're so humble and kind."
-- Sam Smith, putting some music stars on blast in the new issue of V magazine
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.
"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
"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