Vinyl Is A Fad?
February 6, 2015
"A lot of people that buy vinyl today don't realize that they're listening to CD masters on vinyl and that's because the record companies have figured out that people want vinyl. And they're only making CD masters in digital, so all the new products that come out on vinyl are actually CDs on vinyl, which is really nothing but a fashion statement."
-- Neil Young, in an interview with the Frame radio show, Young calls the uptick in vinyl sales the product of a clever switcheroo by labels cashing in on the latest "fashion statement."
WTF? Neil Young is jumping on the "vinyl is a fad" bandwagon?
Oh, that's right … I forgot momentarily he's trying to sell lots of his Pono players. (And if you read the next segment, you can see that there's a lot of people who think Pono ain't all that great)
Regardless of what Neil thinks , and others at major labels like Candace Berry, general manager of Universal Music Distribution, vinyl sales have been on the rise now for several years and "Vinyl is definitely in fashion. Sales of the format were actually one of the biggest bright spots in an otherwise bleak sales year in 2014. Sales of vinyl albums grew by 52% in 2014 to 9.2 million copies, up from 6.1 million in 2013. One can go back and forth on the merits and myths of vinyl until the sun sets, but there's a point to be made that -- fashion statement or no -- getting consumers purchasing music, and enjoying it, is a net positive for everyone."
Why can't label execs see that?
The people who purchase vinyl pay more for their music than those who buy it online or in CD format. I don't think that's a "fashion statement," I think it's simply a statement by consumers that they prefer vinyl over CDs or online purchases.
In 1964, U.S. NEWS Dismissed the Beatles as a 'Fad' and "A leading sociologist at Harvard, David Riesman, professor and noted author on social trends, was interviewed by "U.S. News & World Report" assured readers that they need not worry about the British invasion."
I assume those who think vinyl is a fad are as well-qualified to judge the marketplace and trends as David Riesman was 51 years ago.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
MORE PONO NEGATIVES
From stereogum.com comes an article titled It Sure Seems Like Neil Young's Pono Player Is Bullshit
The article references another article written by David Pogue on Yahoo in which he "writes at length about the various different ways that Pono fails at its goal."
Again, when it comes to audio quality these days, I think it's a matter of personal taste. But, if you are considering a Pono player, check out the articles.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
SO THOSE "LEAKS" WEREN'T A BAD THING AFTER ALL? (DUH!)
In the old days of CDs and record stores, album leaks could be devastating to an artist's career.
But in the days of Spotify and iTunes, leaks can help build buzz. And in fact, they have become a marketing tool for some. (One that's already passe in my opinion)
Recently, both Bjork and Madonna recovered quickly when their new albums arrived prematurely. Read More
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
Pirate Bay is back up after December police raid. The torrent site, used to download television shows, movies, games and other files, was shut down for seven weeks. Read more
LUCAS NOT KEEN ON CURRENT FILM BIZ:
George Lucas offered a bleak assessment of the current state of the film business during a panel discussion with Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, saying that the movies are "more and more circus without any substance behind it." GEORGE LUCAS TRASHES HOLLYWOOD, THE INTERNET...
Amazon opened its first fully staffed physical location Tuesday -- Amazon@Purdue -- where students can order, rent, buy, pick up and drop off books and other items required for college. The company is also rumored to be in talks to buy some of RadioShack's stores to further bridge its digital business offline. Read the whole story
APPLE PAY TV?
Apple is reportedly in talks with TV programmers about developing an "over the top" (OTT) pay-TV service. "The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming -- but not the entire TV lineup that pay-TV providers generally offer -- and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web," Re/Code reports, citing sources. "That means Apple wouldn't be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it." Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Jay Z Enters High-Quality Music Streaming Industry
Rick Rubin Reveals Chaotic Mixing of Kanye/McCartney Collab
Neil Young Joins Jimmy Fallon (As Neil Young) for Duet on 'Old Man'
Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney Release Official 'FourFiveSeconds' Video
Ariana Grande, One Direction, Carrie Underwood, Sam Smith & More Sing 'We Are The Champions' on 'Tonight Show'
Motley Crue on Final Tour: 'There's Nothing Cool About Hobbling Into the Sunset'
What's new on Netflix and Amazon for February
'Good enough' speakers and headphones might be good enough after all
The Problem With Realism in Modern Video Games
Here's how souped-up your smartphone will be in 2016
Startup Eero wants to wipe out weak Wi-Fi
Where the iPad should go next: Look toward Windows 10
Apple's new Photos app brings iOS simplicity to the power of a desktop
Short News Items ...
ROLLING STONE OPENS ARCHIVES:
For the first time, Rolling Stone is opening their vast archive of award-winning music, political and cultural reporting -- dating back five decades, to our 1967 launch -- online for free. Check out their mobile-friendly database and our brand-new CoverWall. Read More
Suge Knight, the former rap mogul is charged with attempted murder of victim who survived deadly hit-and-run. He faces life in prison. Full story at TheWrap
SAM WENT GAGA:
Grammy nominee Sam Smith was 17, he faked a note to his teachers so he could line up for Lady Gaga's Monster Ball in London. "I was front row, fully Gaga'd up," he tells Rollling Stone. "Without Gaga, I wouldn't be here right now." Read More
SUPER MUSIC STARS ON 'SNL 40':
Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Paul Simon and Taylor Swift have all signed on to appear at 'Saturday Night Live's 40th' anniversary special, which airs February 15th at 8p ET on NBC. The network teased the three-hour event on Monday by revealing its eclectic lineup in a pair of video clips.
BOB DOES OL' BLUE EYES:
Bob Dylan transforms everything on 'Shadows in the Night,' his new album of covers associated with Frank Sinatra, into barely-there noir, writes David Fricke. His shockingly clear voice sounds like rebirth itself; he's found a new way into rock history. Read More
Speaking in London to launch the 40th anniversary deluxe reissue of Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti,' guitarist Jimmy Page said he's getting "match fit" to go on the road with new music: "It wouldn't be anything that hopefully you'd imagine I would do." Read More
Watching music online just keeps getting bigger. Vevo has reached a major milestone delivering over 10 billion monthly global views for the first time in January 2015 (actual: 10,335,997,898). The achievement is an 86% increase over January 2014's 5.4 billion views. January 2015 was also the first month when Vevo had more than 2 billion views in the U.S., up from 1.2 billion in January 2014.
S.I.N. Founder Vince Pellegrino -- Founder, Owner and President of the Pellegrino Entertainment Group, Inc. -- died on Wednesday following a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family. Vince was also Publisher of the Street Information Network (S.I.N.), a company he ran for over 30 years. His passion for music led to him becoming a DJ days in the early '70s, where he spun records at local clubs and bars in New Jersey. By the mid-'70s with Disco in full swing, Vince started selling and promoting Dance music at CBS Records, eventually overseeing the very first Disco Department at CBS Records. He was also responsible for opening up the music account at multi-media retail superstore, J&R Music World.
U.S. poet, songwriter and singer Rod McKuen, a multiple Academy Award nominee, has died at the age of 81, U.S. media reported. McKuen died on Thursday in Los Angeles of respiratory arrest after suffering from pneumonia, friend and producer Jim Pierson said, according to the Los Angeles Times. His work included the Academy Award-nominated song "Jean" for the 1969 film "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" and he was nominated for an Oscar again in 1971 for his work on the animated film "A Boy Named Charlie Brown."
Quotes of the week
"I don't really feel like I want to chase youth. I want to get old."
-- Pamela Anderson, whose approach to aging embraces "all the seasons of my life," to Parade. LOL!! Really Pam??? Then why all the cosmetic surgery to make you look young?
"It's not lost on me that the freedom I have is because we live in a country where there is a volunteer military who chooses to sacrifice their lives to defend our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."
-- Bradley Cooper, reflecting on his Oscar-nominated role in American Sniper, in People in the cover story about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his widow Taya
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Man Carefully Settles On Backup Channel For When Airing Of 'Gladiator' Goes To Commercial
CINCINNATI -- Ensuring he would be exposed to minimal amounts of advertisements and downtime in his entertainment, local man Eric Sackett carefully settled on a backup channel to watch whenever AMC's airing of the film Gladiator entered a commercial break, sources confirmed Friday.
Sackett told reporters he stumbled upon the film 15 minutes into its airing and immediately began searching for a secondary program the moment an advertisement appeared on-screen, eventually determining that a block of Deadliest Catch episodes on the Discovery Channel represented his best fallback position for the next three hours. 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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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