Maybe 'Tidal' Wasn't The Right Name?
April 24, 2015
"The for-pay services are deluding themselves by trying to establish a permanent monetization of something that's in flux,"
-- Steve Albini said during an interview with Vulture. "The Internet provides access to materials and things. Creating these little streaming fiefdoms where certain streaming services have certain artists and certain streaming services have other artists is a crippled use of the Internet. If the Internet has demonstrated anything over the years, it's that it has a way of breaking limitations placed on its content."
If you haven't already heard, Jay-Z's venture into the streaming music biz, Tidal, is a huge flop.
Alas, not everything Jay-Z/Midas touches turns to gold.
VentureBeat reports "Tidal CEO Andy Chen has left the company, according to Swedish website Breakit. The blog had been looking into the layoff of 25 employees at Tidal when a spokesman for the service confirmed that Chen would no longer be serving as CEO and that former CEO Peter Tonstad would take the helm in the interim." Read more
Whether or not one believes (as this SONY exec does) that 'STREAMING IS LAST STOP FOR MUSIC INDUSTRY' it's apparent that not all streams are running in the same direction, or with the same intentions on paying artists fairly.
My thanks to Dan Zweben who posted this article on Facebook this week, Portishead made just $2,500 off 34 million streams
My thanks to reader Dan Borine who was first to send me the article Tidal is already a huge flop
Maybe Jay-Z should've called it EBB TIDE?
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
GREAT ARTICLE 'Way Beyond Streaming: Music's Marginal Reinvention'
Streaming services and "freemium" models are still important to understanding the future of the recorded music business. But they're actually not such interesting topics anymore. Too much focus on streaming misses the point: There's actually a lot more to music's future.
These days, the most interesting developments in the music industry are not happening in the offices of the major labels or major music services like Spotify or Pandora.
The music industry's latest reinvention is happening on the margins of the business, amongst parties who aren't so happy with the new equilibrium.
These changes are happening on multiple fronts, above and below the center of the music industry's traditional powers. Read more: Way Beyond Streaming: Music's Marginal Reinvention
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
YOUTUBE TURNS 10 YEARS OLD
YouTube is the Web's de facto home for video.
But 10 years ago, online video was anybody's game. As it celebrates a decade offering us everything from new celebrities to cat videos, YouTube has become a premier destination for content. Here's how it got there. READ MORE
Thanks to the popularity of online media sites like YouTube, mainstream entertainment soon may look more like that kid clowning around in front of a laptop camera. Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
THE DECLINE OF TRADITIONAL TV- CHAPTER 36489
Jerry Seinfield knows it's over.
The comedian behind "Seinfeld" explains at Crackle upfront that "TV networks are worried" audiences will soon figure it out for themselves. Full story at TheWrap.
And now comes news that Netflix is driving the TV ratings drop.
Multichannel News reports "Netflix is responsible for a big chunk of the ratings declines registered by the traditional TV networks, and its share of viewership is likely to grow." Read more
And more: NETFLIX Stock Soars to All-Time High as Subs Reach 62 Million...
And still more ..."In many ways, we're experiencing a new golden age of content," the IAB's Sherrill Mane says. "The whole experience of the living room is going to change. It's creating more opportunities for marketers to be involved with consumers." That future is likely to be streamed content. According to the IAB survey, nearly two-fifths of consumers spend at least half of their time watching content streamed from the Internet. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
THE STREAMING CHAMP
For the last few years the go-to streaming box has been the Roku 3. It had the speed, and most importantly, it had the best Netflix interface.
But now with the latest refresh of the company's line the power balance has shifted and the Roku 2 now has most of the same features including speed and up-to-date Netflix. While the 3 has voice search on the remote, most power users have a universal remote and can voice search on their smartphone anyway, so it doesn't make sense to pay extra for the 3 anymore. All hail the new $70 king of streaming! READ MORE
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
BEST NEWS OF THE YEAR THUS FAR:
Kanye West: 'I Don't Care About Having a Legacy'
LEAST IMPORTANT NEWS OF THE WEEK:
Calvin Harris Makes It Official -- Yes, He's Following Taylor Swift on Instagram
APPLE WATCH APPS:
Multichannel News reports "BET and CNN have joined a growing list of programmers and TV service providers to launch apps for the new Apple Watch." Read more and this ... Every single person on the planet launched an app for Apple Watch this week. Okay, that may be a slight overstatement, but there are seriously, like, a cubic buttload of Watch apps out there. Read the whole story
With the heavy backdrop of federal regulators seemingly ready to give its thumbs down on the deal, Comcast will call off its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable. Recent reports have circulated that the Justice Department would be presenting a case against the deal, joining the Federal Communications Commission against approval of the deal. Read the whole story
QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
When was the last time you heard anybody talk about MTV?
While some bosses may worry their younger employees are wasting time on mobile devices -- and are probably entirely correct about this -- they would be well advised to let sleeping dogs lie and let millennials be millennials. Because younger workers might well quit if they aren't allowed to use mobile devices at work for non-work-related purposes, according to a poll of 3,500 professionals worldwide conducted by Harris Poll for MobileIron Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
Tool on U2 Vinyl Mishap: 'Nice Freakin' Try'
'Love & Mercy' Trailer Highlights John Cusack & Paul Dano in Dual Brian Wilson Performances
Flaming Lips Plot Beatles Tribute for Howard Stern Radio
Bruce Springsteen to Honor Pete Townshend at MusiCares Event
Billy Joel Will Play Nassau Coliseum's Final Concert
Jay Z's Tidal CEO Leaves Company Amid Staff 'Streamlining'
Live Streaming For Musicians: Periscope vs. Meerkat
Louis C.K. on Why He Quit Twitter
One Third of US Consumers Still Buy Music Downloads, Despite Streaming's Gained Momentum
You Will Never Believe Who Taylor Swift Just Called Her 'Friend'
'Chewie, we're home': New 'Force Awakens' trailer lands
Jack White Has Elvis' First Recordings Digitally Transferred
Jack Bruce, Ann Wilson Feature on Beatles Tribute Comp
Letterman's final 'Late Show' guests
Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People List
Sly and the Family Stone Prep 'Live at the Fillmore East'
Steve Albini Says For-Pay Streaming Services Are 'Deluding Themselves,' Says Vinyl's Best for Hi-Def
Music In Ads Now A Two Way Street: Jeep Spotlights Indie Rockers X Ambassadors In Collaborative Campaign
iPhone sales expected to show hefty gain in past quarter -- analyst
A slim 12-inch laptop that doesn't skimp on ports
Wren V5US speaker offers universal wireless compatibility: Airplay, Bluetooth and Spotify Connect
Tech Retrospect: Apple Watch ships and Project Fi lights up the airwaves
Amazing Software Turns Paper Into Computers
Watch: Official Guided Video Tour Of Music On Apple Watch
Vizio unveils 2015 AV range, premium R range TV will finally be released
Short News Items ...
All five of the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago and Santa Clara, CA sold out instantly, but fans can relax: The band has announced plans to make the Chicago shows available on pay-per-view, and all five will be streamed. Read more.
R&R HOF STUFF:
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong looked at the crowd gathered for the 30th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and marveled that it was like his childhood record collection come to life. The night's best moments, featuring Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Bill Withers and more. Read More
Smoking Willie Nelson's weed is a lifelong ambition of stoners everywhere. Now they can: On Monday, Nelson announced his own cannabis company, called Willie's Reserve. "I was buying so much, it's time to start selling it back!" he says. Read more.
Ahead of Ringo Starr's big weekend, when he joined his fellow Beatle as a solo performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, read the complete text of Rolling Stone's cover story. "He's a boy again when he plays," says wife Barbara. Read more.
Ringo Starr's 18th studio release, POSTCARDS FROM PARADISE is out now with 11 original tracks and is the first to include a song written and recorded by Ringo Starr and his current All Starr Band. POSTCARDS FROM PARADISE was produced by Ringo and recorded at his home studio in Los Angeles and, as always, features friends and family including guest artists: Joe Walsh, Benmont Tench, Dave Stewart, Ann Marie Simpson, Richard Marx, Amy Keys, Peter Frampton, Nathan East, and Glen Ballard.
In advance of the May 4th HBO premiere of Brett Morgen's documentary 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,' watch previously unseen footage of the Nirvana leader and bassist Krist Novoselic playing in a living room for an audience of two. READ MORE
My thanks again to Joan, and manager Kenny Laguna for the interview a couple of weeks ago. Four decades after she invented a new kind of rock star, the feminist punk and fashion icon still has some unfinished business. But her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "feels like a dream realized," she tells Rolling Stone. Read More
Paul McCartney has topped the Sunday Times richest musicians in the U.K. and Ireland list after adding an estimated $30 million to his net worth from last year. Adele topped the list of U.K. musicians under 30. Paul McCartney, Adele Top UK Richest Musicians Lists
Call it a longer, stranger trip. David Browne's 'So Many Roads: The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead' keys on significant moments in the band's epic saga. In an exclusive excerpt, read about the band's 15th anniversary shows at Radio City Music Hall. Read More
COBAIN DOES MCCARTNEY:
Director Brett Morgen sorted through hundreds of hours of unheard Kurt Cobain tapes for his upcoming documentary 'Montage of Heck.' One gem he unearthed was the Nirvana singer's chilling cover of the Beatles' "And I Love Her." Hear it here. Read More
GUITAR HERO REDUX:
Ten years after the introduction of Guitar Hero, Activision has announced that it will resurrect the once-ubiquitous game series this fall with Guitar Hero Live. The makers have dubbed the new version "the world's first playable music video network." Read More
Bill Arhos, the founder of the long-running PBS performance seriesAustin City Limits and the inspiration behind the Texas capital's now-annual music festival, passed away April 11th at the age of 80, the Austin City Limits site reports. A longtime executive at Austin's KLRU, Arhos helped create the Austin City Limits concept in 1974. That same year, the show's debut episode, featuring a performance by Willie Nelson, aired on the public television station.
Quotes of the week
"It's about f***ing time, man! That's what my daughter said a few years back [when McCartney was inducted in 1999]. It's great. It's the completion. Now the four of us are in as a band, and as individuals. It would have been a shame if he hadn't been in, right?"
-- Paul McCartney, on Ringo Starr's being finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
The B-Side - 'Blips'
THE ONION (www.theonion.com) STORY OF THE WEEK:
Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse
SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confirmed Monday. "Sure, I've been a bit more focused on my business career and starting a family in the past few years, but ever since No Name Face blew up in 2000, my ultimate goal has remained the same: to play percussion for Lifehouse."
Read the rest and laugh: Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse
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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"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