The Music Industry Problem Of Perceived Value
October 5, 2015
"We are at a crossroads in the music business: with the rise of the Internet, the world we live in has changed, and the past is not coming back. But I see the glass as half-full; the Internet and social networking are new avenues for the next Bob Dylan to be born on."
-- Jon Bon Jovi
Why does the listening public think music is worthless?
Although music streaming has become hugely popular, this popularity has yet to translate into significant revenue, largely because potential subscribers don't feel that having tens of millions of songs at their fingertips is worth ten bucks a month.
Read the Guest Post by Hugh McIntyre on Forbes 'The Music Industry Has A Huge Problem With Perceived Value'
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
ARE THE BEATLES GOING INTO THE STREAM?
There are only a handful of major artists that have kept there music entirely off the streaming music services [full list here.] The Beatles lead that list, but now their are hints that may be about to change.
Over the last few days, The Beatles have been sharing hints of a "big announcement." There's a countdown video and short declarations on their official social media accounts using the hashtag #thebeatles1. Are The Beatles About To Join The Streaming Music Revolution?
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
STREAMING IS FOR EVERYONE, SEZ SCOTT BORCHETTA
Spotify, Rhapsody, Deezer, Rdio, Slacker, Pandora, Tidal, Google Play, Apple Music and more. In 10 years, 50% will be gone.
With so much competition, consolidation is inevitable; but seldom does a label executive put it in such stark terms. Even more surprising is Scott Brochetta's positive belief in streaming music's future. Scott Borchetta - The Exec Who Pulled Taylor Swift Off Spotify - Says Streaming Music Will Be "Much Better For Everyone"
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
SEAN PARKER TALK
It's been more than a decade since Sean Parker, now a billionaire, blew up the music industry by co-founding Napster. Yet the industry is still going through a painful transition.
Parker, 35, launched Napster, a music file sharing service, when he was just 19. He went on to become president at Facebook (FB, Tech30) and then an investor at influential Silicon Valley firm Founders Fund. Most recently, he has focused on being a philanthropist and launched the Parker Foundation with a $600 million investment. Sean Parker: Music isn't 'winner take-all'
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
The New York Times ran a piece called "The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn't," which used employment data to make a case that the predicted decline of arts careers in the digital age hadn't come to pass. Predictably, the responses from the music industry rolled in, including a thoughtful piece from my former editor Rob Levine in Billboard. Both pieces are worth reading, but they also both miss a number of key points.
The Zac Brown Band announced that it will use beacon technology on concert in order to better engage with fans at the show. But rather than using ... READ
Vevo, Pandora and Spotify Top Streaming Music Services for Millennials: Variety reports "Millennials are discovering and enjoying music differently than the generations before them: Younger listeners spend on average 25 hours a week streaming music from a variety of online services, according to Vevo's new Music Fan Report, which the music video platform is going to widely release early next week." Read more.
Billboard reports "Prince unleashed his new album to music retailers on Monday following a week-long exclusivity pact with Jay Z's streaming service, Tidal. The album, HITNRUN Phase One, is now available on iTunes, Amazon and other outlets, including Tidal itself, which for the first time is letting subscribers and non-subscribers alike make album purchases on the site. Also surprising: Tidal's move to sell the Purple One's new album in the long-beleaguered CD format." Read more.
Often criticized for its failure to make money for rights holders, Spotify's average rate per play continues to decline, calling into question, yet again, the viability of the freemium model of music streaming. More Free Users Means Spotify's Per Play Rates Continue to Drop
Unofficial stats derived from things like traffic and app downloads collected by third parties can be notoriously inaccurate. But a new Comscore study shows that the supposedly "leaked" stat of 10 million Apple Music users may be dramatically incorrect. Comscore Data Shows 44 Million In U.S. Have Used Apple Music
Roku rises above the rest in connected TV market: Streamdaily.tv reports "The study found 20% of U.S. households with broadband Internet connections (2.49 million people Americans have access to broadband Internet, according to U.S. census data) owned at least one connected TV device as of year-end 2014. Looking at sales and shipping information, it determined Roku, Google, Amazon and Apple led the market in terms of sales, and Roku outshone its competitors." Read more
Vine Adds Music Discovery, Editing Functionality: Variety reports "Twitter-owned social video sharing service Vine added new features to its iOS and Android apps Friday that make it easier to discover music through the service. iPhone users also got some music-focused editing tools that will help them to more seamlessly synchronize their clips to music. On the discovery front, Vine has added a small music icon to some of the posted videos. Once a user taps on it, the app automatically displays which song was used for the loop." Read more
While streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music offer a seemingly unlimited buffet of music from which listeners can pick and choose, it may be more variety than most listeners need, or than they're willing to pay $9.99 a month for. Should music streaming instead take a hint from companies like Netflix and break into smaller and cheaper niche-based services? Niche Music: The Next Streaming Frontier
The latest in a series of campaigns to prevent music piracy attempts to guilt people away from infringing content by reminding them of the personal struggles undergone by famous musicians such as Amy Winehouse and Elvis Presley. Can Famous Dead Musicians Stop Piracy? Probably Not
Don Henley on 'Sloppy' Songwriting and Cultural Decay: Don Henley's first solo album in 15 years features an impressive array of guests, from Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard to Mick Jagger. In Country music, "there's a lot of bad songwriting," he tells Rolling Stone Country. "The bar is not very high." Read More
Bands Perform for Virtual Reality Viewers in New VRC Recording Studio: Variety reports "More and more musicians are looking to record live performances and music videos for virtual reality (VR) headsets, and Southern California-based Virtual Reality Company (VRC) is building a dedicated VR recording studio at the Mack Sennett Studios in Los Angeles. The studio is being built in cooperation with Steel Wool Entertainment." Read more.
Hit Charade: Meet the bald Norwegians and other unknowns who actually create the songs that top the charts.
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS & NEWS
In a never-before-published 2005 interview, Springsteen goes in-depth on the writing and recording of the 1975 classic that lead him and his band to near-breakdown. Read how he made the album that made him a star. Bruce Springsteen on Making of 'Born to Run'
Bob Dylan's classic, enduring 'Highway 61 Revisited' turns 50, and for its birthday, Rob Sheffield dives deep into the folk singer's baffling but perfect entry into the strange world of electric rock & roll. Read More
The Struggle Of Selling vs. Giving Away Music [Kosha Dillz]
Van Morrison Back Catalog Finally Gets Digital Release
Why Is The New York Times Coverage On Artist Rights So Oddly Inconsistent?
Hear David Gilmour's Tender Beatles CoverRead More
Ringo Starr Asks McCartney, Yoko to Dig Out Beatles Photos
Carlos Santana Talks Reuniting Santana IV, New Band With Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock
Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift Top Vanity Fair's 'Establishment' List; Jared Leto Makes His Debut
Watch Rod Stewart Reunite With Faces at Benefit Gig
Aretha Franklin Seeks to Stop Sales Screenings of 'Amazing Grace' Doc Read
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