DISC & DigitalAudioTechnology
(Music & Digital Audio/Video & Technology News) TM
A Newsletter For The Music Industry And The New Media
"The Long Playing Album" Of This Week's News
Vol 13 - #43- 10/24/14 - Commentary - News - And More
Celebrating a decade plus of bringing you the Industry's Inside Music, Digital Audio & Video, and Technology News And Commentary Of Choice To Keep You Informed Since 2003
All reader e-mails are answered.
COMMENTARY AND ONE MAN'S OPINION
2014 IS ALMOST GONE AND NOT ONE ALBUM HAS GONE PLATINUM
"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." -- Woody Allen
The problem in the music industry is failing far too much without any innovation. (I'm excluding innovation in digital technology because the music industry had nothing to do with)
No innovation in the way music could be sold to consumers to engage them more.
No innovation in the kind of music being signed and marketed. (Just look at the weekly Top-20 Billboard Album chart in the newsletter every week)
Things are not good in the industry. You all know that if you read any of the media reports that come out frequently about declining sales, etc.
So far this year, 'Not One Artist's Album Has Gone Platinum In 2014.'
That's actually the title of an article by Hugh McIntyre on Forbes.com which starts with this grim statistic, "We are now nine and a half months into 2014, and the sales numbers for the music industry are looking particularly grim. While the fourth quarter is typically when the most sales occur, things have never been quite so bad. In 2014, not a single artist’s album has gone platinum. Not one has managed to cross that million sales mark."
Ouch. BIG time OUCH.
And what could possibly be the cause of this bad news?
One could start by looking at the 'Now That's What I Call Music' volumes and see a whole lot of hit songs mixed with some not-so-big hit songs, and hear some of the reasons why most albums aren't selling platinum-plus anymore. (That should again be a clarion call to all labels and their A&R people)
Of course there's always the industry's favorite excuses: a) illegal file-sharing and downloading started the downward spiral; b) it's all because of what Steve Jobs created with the iPod and iTunes.
Charles Darwin said, ""It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
And for far too long, the music industry was not responsive.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
Microsoft to kill its free Xbox Music streaming service ...The free service will be retired on December 1 as Microsoft decides to focus on its subscription plan alone.
Guys like Thom Yorke and David Byrne can rage against the dying of the light as much as they want, but that won’t prevent streaming from eventually becoming the dominant way music is distributed and consumed. Is what we have right now perfect? No. The whole thing is still a money pit for everyone involved except the consumer. Two Views On The Future Of Streaming Music Services and more...
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
TuneCore has announced the launch of YouTube Money, a monetization and collection service for music videos.
Music videos are estimated to drive nearly 40% of all views on YouTube and a survey of TuneCore artists showed they now consider YouTube to be the third most important point of distribution for their music, behind only iTunes and Spotify. TuneCore Launches YouTube Money Music Video Monetization Service
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
Pandora's free AMP service pulls back the curtain on data culled from tens of billions of hours of listening to help musicians market themselves smarter.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
Rightsholders have accused Google of promoting piracy since the dawn of search.
The online giant's efforts to end the practice have been frustratingly incremental. But they took several steps forward with some significant announcements over the last few days that include downgraded search results for pirate sites and upgraded ad units that promote music and other media better. Google Promotes Music With News Ad Units, Demotes Piracy In Search
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
Apple introduced the first iPod 13 years ago today on October 23, 2001.
It was 8½ months after the Mac only version of iTunes had been released. While there were other digital music services and players already on the market, the seamless coupling of iTunes and the iPod marked the official beginning or the digital music revolution. As Steve Jobs said that day:
"Music is part of everybody’s life, everyone! Music’s been around for ever (and) it will always be around. This is not a speculative market. And because its part of everybody’s life, it’s a very large target market all around the world. It knows no boundaries." Apple Launched The Digital Music Revolution 13 Years Ago Today
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
After two successful Los Angeles Music Industry Reunions, organizer Jon Scott took the party to New York City because of numerous requests.
The party, held at the Hill Country Barbecue, was a major success with more than 200 prominent music industry friends gathered together to share the friendships that developed during an incredible period of time music that helped shape musical history as we know it.
The Music Industry committee of Judy Libow, Roxy Myzal, Harvey and Steve Leeds, Jimmy Del Balzo, Jessie Scott,Wayne McManners, Peter Gidion, Greg Lee, Ted Utz, Jon Scott, are all to be commended for another incredible party. Great job guys!
Because of the success and numerous requests, another party is already scheduled in 2015. Make your plans well in advance and attend one of Jon's great reunions either in L.A. or New York City!
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
ITEM: Apple posts $8.5 billion in net profit for fourth quarter of 2014. Strong sales of iPhones powered Apple to a better-than-expected $8.5 billion in fourth-quarter earnings on revenue of $42.1 billion, the company announced Monday. Read more at TheWrap
ITEM: VentureBeat reports Rocker Neil Young officially unveiled a new music download service and a high-tech music player at the Saleforces Dreamforce conference. Read More
ITEM: GamesIndustryBiz reports "Mobile gaming revenue is expected to surpass $21 billion by the end of this year, a 19 per cent increase from 2013, but it's not all sunshine and roses in the mobile gaming industry. While opportunities abound, evidence has shown that success, as significant as it may be, is often short-lived." Read more
ITEM: Gmail is getting a major makeover in Google's newest app, Inbox. The app and Web service is completely separate from Gmail, and it seeks to change how your emails are organized. So far, it appears to absolutely succeed. READ MORE
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS20 Things Learned From Paul McCartney's Twitter Chat Flashback: Foo Fighters Cover Tom Petty's 'Breakdown' Watch Paul McCartney Play Pool in Hilarious Lost Wings TV Ad The Jimi Hendrix you never knew 16 Places Everyone Pictures Incorrectly (Thanks to Movies)
THE 'A-SIDE' - SOME NEWS IN SHORT
PANDORA STUFF: Pandora has added a new marketing product, Sponsored Listening, which exchange for one hour of uninterrupted listening. Sponsored Listening provides Pandora's free users with an hour of uninterrupted listening in exchange for viewing a short video, visiting their website or other ad interaction. Listeners immediately get one full hour of uninterrupted listening in exchange for the engagement. The advertisers’ branding remains visible to listeners throughout the sponsored listening session offering additional opportunity for brand engagement.
WHO BOOTLEG: Considering the Who are one of the finest live bands in rock history, it's scandalous how few of their classic performances have been officially released. But 'Live at Wealdstone,' the bootleg of a 1964 gig, might be the best pre-fame tape by any Sixties icon. Read More
RECORD STORE DAY: Record Store Day will continue its Black Friday tradition this year with a smattering of limited releases from big groups and cult bands. Most notable among them are David Bowie's brand new song "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" – which is backed with another new tune "'Tis a Pity She's a Whore" – and the continuation of Neil Young's Official Release Series, which includes remastered vinyl reissues of his LPs 'On the Beach,' 'Time Fades Away,' 'Tonight's the Night' and 'Zuma.' All of the releases, a list of which is available at RecordStoreDay.com, will be available at select independent record stores, also listed on that site, on November 28th.
MACCA & BONHAM: Paul McCartney has shared a different version of the urgent-sounding, piano-driven 'Wings at the Speed of Sound' tune "Beware My Love" that features Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham behind the kit. The previously unreleased take of the song, which clocks in at a minute less than the studio version, will appear on the bonus disc of the upcoming deluxe edition of the record and finds Bonzo battering out a propulsive rhythm with intricate filigrees when the song moves to the bridge (and the former Beatle shouts, "Intro!"). McCartney shared the tune via Twitter's new audio card during a Q&A on Twitter in a reply to a fan.
BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH ORCHESTRA: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of 'Back to the Future' next year, Universal Pictures will rerelease the 1985 Michael J. Fox time-travel classic with live orchestration. According to Variety, the film will be screened in various venues around the world without the score, so that a live orchestra could perform Alan Silvestri's Academy Award–nominated music. The orchestra will also perform 15 minutes of new music that the composer wrote specifically for the engagements.
SONGWRITERS HALL NOMS: When the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced its nominees for induction last week, four names with roots in country music were among those included. Vince Gill and Toby Keith were nominated as performing songwriters, while tunesmiths Bobby Braddock and Bob McDill were nominated under the nonperforming distinction.
SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE HERE IN THE U.S.A.: ABC's bid to refresh 'The View' brought the show's most-watched premiere in eight years in September (even after some downward adjustment thanks to Nielsen's snafu). But those lofted ratings quickly have fallen to earth. The show's 18th season has seen post-premiere-week viewership drop below last year, back when the need for a Barbara Walters-free makeover became apparent. 'The View's showing in the key demo is pacing downward for the fourth straight season and is 30 percent south of where it was five years ago.
HARRISON HOME SOLD: George Harrison's childhood home in Liverpool has sold for just over $250,000 at an auction held at the legendary Cavern Club in the English city.
BALE TO PLAY JOBS: Aaron Sorkin has confirmed to Bloomberg that the "Dark Knight" actor has been cast in an upcoming biopic about the Apple co-founder. Sorkin, who wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed film "The Social Network," about the founding of Facebook, is at the helm of the picture and said of Bale's casting, "What we needed was the best actor."
Thirteen days after his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Paul Craft, the man behind offbeat, wisecracking country hits like "Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)" and "It's Me Again, Margaret", has died. He was 76 years old. Artists like the Eagles, Alison Krauss, Bobby Bare, Ray Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Skeeter Davis and Chet Atkins all covered his songs during Craft's half-century career.
Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post who held that post during the paper's key role in the Watergate scandal, died Tuesday of natural causes. He was 93 years old. Bradlee had been in hospice care since late September after the continued deterioration of his health and dementia. He has suffered from Alzheimer's disease for several years.
THE TOP 20 ALBUMS FROM THE BILLBOARD CHART
NEW - 1. Florida Georgia Line, Anything Goes
2. Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
NEW - 3. Bob Seger, Ride Out
NEW - 4. You+Me, Rose Ave.
5. Barbra Streisand, Partners
6. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
NEW - 7. The Game, Blood Moon: Year Of The Wolf
NEW - 8. Hoodie Allen, People Keep Talking
NEW - 9. U2, Songs Of Innocence
NEW - 10. Jessie J, Sweet Talker
11. Tony Bennett & Lady GaGa, Cheek To Cheek
12. Hozier, Hozier
NEW - 13. Indina Menzel, Holiday Wishes
14. Maroon 5, V
15. Blake Shelton, Bringing Back The Sunshine
16. Soundtrack, Frozen
NEW - 17. Milky Chance, Sadnecessary
18. Lady Antebellum, 747
19. Kenny Chesney, The Big Revival
20. Ed Sheeran, X
FALLING OUT OF THE TOP 20...
NEW - 5. Weezer, Everything Will Be Alright
NEW - 7. Stevie Nicks, 24K Gold-Sings From The Vault
NEW - 8. Alex & Sierra, It's About Us
NEW - 9. Keyshia Cole, Point Of No Return
NEW - 12. The Paino Guys, Wonders
NEW - 15. Jackson Browne, Standing In The Breach
16. Childish Gambino, Kauai
NEW - 17. Tinashe, Aquarius
NEW - 19. Flying Lotus, You're Dead
NEW - 20. Sixx:A.M., Modern Vintag
TV WASTELAND, IT'S ONLY TV WASTELAND
Here's last week's top 25 rated shows: TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops Week 4 With Adults 18-49 & With Total Viewers
You can check the top 25 cable rated shows here: Cable Top 25: 'The Walking Dead' Tops Cable Viewership for the Week Ending October 19, 2014
LET'S ALL GO TO THE MOVIES
Film title, estimated weekend gross, total box office to date
NEW - 1. Fury, $23,500,000
2. Gone Girl, $17,800,000, $107,069,000
NEW - 3. The Book of Life, $17,000,000
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, $12,039,000, $36,871,000
NEW - 5. The Best of Me, $10,200,000
6. Dracula Untold, $9,889,000
7. The Judge, $7,940,000, $26,843,000
8. Annabelle, $7,925,000, $74,127,000
9. The Equalizer, $5,450,000, $89,170,000
10. The Maze Runner, $4,500,000, $90,837,000
Want to know what the top 500 grossing movies of all time are? You can see the list here
Report: Slamming Boss Against Wall, Shouting ‘Cash! I Need More Cash!’ Still Leading Tactic For Securing Raise
WASHINGTON—Calling it the most effective method for reaching one’s full earning potential, a report issued Thursday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that violently slamming one’s supervisor against a wall and shouting, "Cash! I need more cash!" remained the leading tactic for securing a raise. Read the rest and laugh
"You're selling creativity. Raw creativity from talented people. Now, the problem has always been the studios. Although the beginning of the studios, the entrepreneurs who ran the studios were sort of creative guys. They would just take books and turn them into movies and do things like that. Suddenly all these corporations were coming in. They didn't know anything about the movie business." -- "Star Wars" creator George Lucas thinks the biggest problem in the movie business today is the corporations that are running it. Full story at TheWrap
"Twerking is not feminism. Thats what I'm referring to. It's not -- it's not liberating, it's not empowering. It's a sexual thing that you're doing on a stage; it doesn't empower you. That's my feeling about it." -- Annie Lennox, in response to NPR's Steve Inskeep question, "What has made you comment on a lot of modern music today that is being put out by women as being over-sexualized?"
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 some time ago. Russ is also a professor of economics at George Mason University, blogs at Cafe Hayek, and has written three novels that teach economics.
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.
You can listen to the interview (it runs a tad over an hour) or download it here: http://tinyurl.com/y9f3tld
"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpertual 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
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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
DISC & DAT - Weekly Edition, © 2003 - 2014, online at http://stevemeyer.webs.com/
Published By Steve Meyer
President/CEO - Smart Marketing Consulting Services
Editor, Digital Technology: http://www.allaccess.com/disc-and-dat
Las Vegas, NV
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ABOUT STEVE MEYER
Steve Meyer is a 38 year music industry veteran, having served in executive capacities at both Capitol and MCA Records before starting his own company, Smart Marketing, to consult clients in the entertainment, media, and broadcast industries. Steve was a recipient of many awards during his industry tenure, including Sr. VP/Promotion, and Record Executive Of The Year awards, as well as Billboard Magazine's Award for Excellence in National Promotion.
A respected authority on pop-culture and the entertainment industry, Steve was interviewed by Martin A. Grove, for three separate books on pop music.
In 2003, he started publishing the new media newsletter 'DISC&Digital Audio Technology', to address challenges the music industry was facing in the emerging online digital world. The newsletter is published every Friday, sent to almost 2,000 subscribers direct, and posted on the leading music industry resource http://www.allaccess.com/disc-and-dat as well as his own site http://stevemeyer.webs.com/
Since 1996, Steve has consulted labels, artists, managers, producers, and media companies.
Steve is also a freelance journalist, and has had articles published in various industry publications. He guest lectures at industry events, colleges, and elsewhere when requested.
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