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 - #35- 8/29/14 - 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
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COMMENTARY AND ONE MAN'S OPINION
COMMENTARY AND ONE MAN'S OPINION
THE CIRCUS WAS IN TOWN AGAIN
"MTV still has an awards show for music videos even though they no longer show music videos. "-- Seth Meyers, in his monologue for this week's EMMY broadcast.
Before we begin with the articles and news this week, it is once again time to discuss (albeit briefly) the annual circus, known as the 'MTV Video Music Awards.'
Sunday's 'MTV Video Music Awards' hauled in 8.3 million viewers, but the show was down 1.8 million viewers from last year, which of course is now infamous for Miley Cyrus twerking all over everything. Read that story at TheWrap
This year's the broadcast actually delivered more tweets than viewers: 12.6 million. Maybe people who can only tweet short 140-character text messages don't have the long-term attention span necessary to garner better ratings.
Gee, less viewers than last year even though Madame Beyoncé was the big draw and there were all those divorce rumors out there about her and Jay-Z? Maybe, those rumors weren't enough to spark ratings for the show as they did for the ticket sales for the Beyoncé/Jay-Z tour. And now, Beyoncé's father comes out and admits that's exactly what the rumors were created for with a "Jedi mind trick." That, and to sell more Beyoncé albums. ( Read more about that )
Not Nicki Minaj undergoing a wardrobe malfunction (not at all surprising considering the size of her derrière), Miley Cyrus asking a homeless man to accept her award (who has a police record and an open warrant out for his arrest) or Katy Perry dressed as Britney Spears ( I assume that was supposed to be clever), could rustle up the audience that still watches MTV for some reason.
And of course being a circus, there had to be clowns, and sure enough, the Kardshians were there. You can read this hysterical post here on thesuperficial.com about the Kardashians checking their cell phones during the moment of silence for Ferguson, Missouri asked for during the VMA's. And to even think for a second that doing so was a real sign of sincerity and social consciousness from the network that gave us such broadcast gems as 'JerseyShore,' 'Teen Mom' and 'Teen Mom 2', defines "theater of the absurd."
The ratings were down, and there was no "water cooler" about the show chatter online or off.
"At one time, MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated, Prince has said.
How very true.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
In the July 18th issue of the newsletter I wrote an article titled 'Best Joke Of The Week: MTV Has A Plan To Help Sell Albums" based on the announcement by Shannon Connolly, Viacom's SVP of music strategy, telling Mashable that music videos are not enough to sell music and albums, so MTV was going to create the types of programs needed to help the industry generate more album sales.
"We're focused on launching #1 records. We're starting out with bigger artists and the plan is to continue to refine the program so it works for both superstars and emerging ones."
Well Shannon, can you hear the screams of "HELP!!!!!" coming from inside the halls at almost all record labels?
This week, Billboard has an article titled Album Sales Hit A New Low and it is indeed a sad story about music retail.
From the article, "As streaming gathers momentum, the U.S. music industry keeps breaking sales milestones -- the wrong kind. This week's 3.97-million album sales tally is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. It's also the first time weekly sales have fallen below four million in that time span."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
This from a post by a great singer/songwriter, Ms. Janis Ian, this week on Facebook:
"Kudos to Peter Cooper for his article on Taylor Swift in today's Tennessean. I just don't get it. If you don't like someone's music, don't listen. If you don't like someone's religion, don't join it. If you don't have anything to say but worthless bile, shut the f*#! up. When did it become acceptable to attack everything and everyone you don't agree with? Didn't that used to be the purveyance of politics?
Really. I say again, as I've said from the first - Taylor Swift is remarkably talented, remarkably poised, remarkably generous, and always has been. That she manages to use art to answer anger is just another indication of her prowess. She's a damned fine songwriter who's grown up in a fish bowl and managed not to be spoiled, arrogant, or selfish. I can't think of another artist in her generation who can say the same.
Why aren't these people attacking performers whose work is openly misogynist, racist, homophobic, or just plain illiterate? Is it really that much more fun to spout drivel about Taylor because she's so successful? It's pathetic.
These petty, mean-spirited, stupid remarks are just another form of cyber-bullying. As an artist and as a human being, it disgusts me that people would behave this way.
And anyone who complains about her "deserting" country music? Get your history straight. That's been said about everyone from the Carter Family to Dolly Parton. I'd challenge you to define "country music", anyway. Better stick to Louis Armstrong's quote: "All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song."
Thanks for posting the above, Janis!!!
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
Indie subscription services of all kinds are doing quite well these days.
In music we're seeing everything from Drip.FM's digital subscriptions to Turntable Kitchen's combination of meal fixings and vinyl in a box. Marc Hogan recently took a look at vinyl subscription clubs for Wondering Sound. He shows that, though some have folded, a wide range of such clubs are finding unique niches and variations on the theme of subscription vinyl. Indie Vinyl Subscription Clubs Are A Booming Niche
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
From Business Insider comes this great article by Rob Wile, 'Paul McCartney Gave A Profound Example Of How Celebrities Can No Longer Control Their Own Pasts '
"The reliability of historical accounts of events big and small has never not been an issue for society…But with the rise of what might be called celebrity fascination fulfillment culture, sorting out truth from someone's unsourced but heavily read account seems to have risen to a new level of absurdity.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Paul McCartney explained why he wrote an entire song, "Early Days," for his recent album "New," about this phenomenon."
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
"Streaming music is a music lover’s dream. We now have access to the work of a wide range of artists, either for free (with ads) or for a small monthly fee. Popular artists are even making money on the model, with heavy rotation with services like Pandora, Beats, and Spotify. For smaller artists, however, the results aren’t always great.
For better or worse, a future where most music is available for streaming looks unavoidable. Recognizing this, independent record labels and their artists are finding ways to ride the wave on their own terms." Read more by Peter Getty
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
ITEM: The shift in revenue from sales to streaming continues with SoundExchange paying $161 million in the last quarter to artists and labels. It the largest Q2 payment to date and an 8% increase in payments from 2,500 digital radio services in Q2 2013 to Q2 2014. SoundExchange Q2 Payments Up 8% To $161 Million and more
ITEM: Call it a bluff, but millennials say they are determined to take back their digital privacy -- and in the process, reshape the entire ad-based media ecosystem. Recent revelations that companies manipulate user experiences for research purposes appears to have raised suspicions among millennials. Read the whole story
ITEM: A threat to Nielsen? Growing TV-media measurement company, Rentrak, continues to add millions of TV set-top boxes it can access -- double its levels of three years ago. By the end of 2014, Rentrak will glean data from 26 million set-top boxes in homes, helped to these higher levels through deals made with pay TV providers DirecTV and Cox. Read the whole story
AND LOOKING BACK…
Thanks to Portland DJ Clarence Duffy for this wonderful and nostalgic look back at how truly wonderful it was to shop for music when Tower Records was THE place to go.
What a true joy it was to walk those aisles with vinyl all around you, posters everywhere, and music playing in the store. It was "the best of times" in the music industry.
There's even a promo for Tower Records that John Lennon taped during an in-studio radio appearance on KHJ in 1974. The album he was promoting at the time was 'Walls & Bridges'
Check it out: Fantastic footage documenting the Tower Records shopping experience
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS
THE 'A-SIDE' - SOME NEWS IN SHORT
SEE YOU IN COURT, DEPT: Internationally renowned visual artist Maya Hayuk has sued singer Sara Bareilles, Sony Music and Epic Records for copyright infringement after Bareilles used images and a video of Hayuk's artwork to promoter Bareilles album and tour. The artwork in question was a mural that Hayuk was commissioned to create for the Bowery Mural Wall, an outdoor exhibition space in lower Manhattan. The piece was on display from February until earlier this summer. A remarkably similar piece of art appears in photographs and a music video used to promote Bareilles "Little Black Dress Tour" on various forms of social media.
GET READY: TechCrunch reports You may soon be doing more twisting, turning, and jumping around when you go to the movies, if startup Audience Entertainment succeeds in launching a new type of in-theater interactivity. Read More
ALL TOGETHER NOW: VentureBeat reports As Spotify is the largest pure music service in the world, the company can do some pretty interesting things with the data it collects from listeners as is evident with its latest feature, Serendipity, people playing the sane song in real time. Read More
RAMONES FLICK: Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese is planning to direct a movie about the iconic punk rock band The Ramones, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap. There is no timetable in place since there's no writer on board yet, but Scorsese wouldn't turn his attention to the Ramones project until after he wraps his next movie "Silence," which heads into production next year.
NEW PRINCE: It's been five years since Prince put out a new record in the United States, since he limited the release of his '20 Ten LP', but that will change this fall. On September 30th, the artist will release two new records: 'Plectrumelectrum', his long-teased album with the group 3rdEyeGirl, and his recently announced solo LP, 'Art Official Age.' He will reportedly hold a series of special events and live dates around the world, details for which are forthcoming, to celebrate the albums' release.
BOB IN THE BASEMENT: After countless bootlegs and one overdubbed 1975 LP, one of rock's legendary sessions is finally getting a proper release with the November arrival of Bob Dylan's 'Basement Tapes Complete' box. See the complete track listing here. Read More
JIMI FLICK: John Ridley earned his first Academy Award this year for his '12 Years a Slave' screenplay. Now he's in the director's chair for 'Jimi: All Is By My Side,' the Hendrix biopic starring Outkast's Andre Benjamin. Take a look inside the film with these advance shots. Read More
VAMPIRES STILL DRAW BIG: HBO's vampire drama "True Blood" ended with a ratings bang for its series finale Sunday night hitting a season high and performing on par with last season's finale. The "True Blood" finale at 9 p.m. sucked up 4 million total viewers, a season best and off marginally from last season's finale, which had 4.1 million total viewers.
BEATLES HISTORY: Two weeks after the Beatles released 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' they started work on another omnipresent event: an appearance on the first live global satellite broadcast. The band agreed to perform a new song: '"All You Need Is Love." Read More
Richard Attenborough, whose powerful movies including "Gandhi" brought awareness of subjects like war, pacifism and apartheid to millions, has died. He was 90. Read more at TheWrap
THE TOP 20 ALBUMS FROM THE BILLBOARD CHART
NEW - 1. Wiz Khalifa, Blanc Hollywood
2. Soundtrack, Guardians Of The Galaxy
NEW - 3. Chase Rice, Ignite The Night
4.. Various Artists, Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 51
NEW - 5. Nashville Outlaws, A Tribute To Motley Crue
6. Soundtrack, Frozen
8. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
NEW - 9. Ace Frehley, Space Invader
10. Ed Sheeran, X
11. Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
NEW 12. Smokey Robinson, Smokey & Friends
13. Eric Clapton, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale
14. Iggy Azalea, The New Classic
15. Godsmack, 1000HP
16. Tom Petty, Hypnotic Eye
17. One Republic, Native
18. Brantley Gilbert, Just As I Am
19. Miranda Lambert, Platinum
20. Various Artists, Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 50
FALLING OUT OF THE TOP 20
NEW - 4. Gaslight Anthem, Get Hurt
NEW - 5. Troye Sivan, TRXYE
NEW -13. Tank, Stronger
14. Linkin Park, The Hunting Party
15. Lorde, Pure Heroine
NEW - 18. Porter Robinson, Worlds
19. Kidz Bop Kids, Kidz Bop Kids 26
NEW - 20. Soja, Amid The Noise And Haste
TV WASTELAND, IT'S ONLY TV WASTELAND
Here's last week's top 25 rated shows: TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Big Brother' Tops Week 48 With Adults 18-49; 'America's Got Talent' Wins With Total Viewers
You can check the top 25 cable rated shows here: Cable Top 25: 'Video Music Awards' Tops Cable Viewership for the Week Ending August 24, 2014
LET'S ALL GO TO THE MOVIES
Film title, estimated weekend gross, total box office to date
1 Guardians Of The Galaxy, $17,631,000, $251,884,000
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, $16,800,000, $145,610,000
NEW - 3. If I Stay, $16,335,000
4. Let's Be Cops, $11,000,000, $45,246,000
NEW - 5. When The Game Stands Tall, $9,000,000
6. The Giver, $6,730,000, $24,101,000
7. The Expendables 3, $6,600,000, $24,101,000
NEW - 8. Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, $6,447,000
9. The Hundred Foot Journey, $6,447,000, $32,750,000
10. Into The Storm, $3,800,000, $38,301,000
Want to know what the top 500 grossing movies of all time are? You can see the list here
George Clooney Enjoys Another Rousing Evening At Home With Mummified Members Of Rat Pack
BEVERLY HILLS, CA—Turning up the volume on his record player while wearing his best sharkskin suit, George Clooney reportedly spent another evening at home Thursday with the mummified members of the Rat Pack.
"Hey, Frankie, how about you tell that story about the hostess from the Sands and I pour us some more gasoline—three fingers on the rocks, right?" said Clooney, who, after distributing the drinks and clearing everyone’s plates, reportedly grabbed the chemically preserved corpses of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., dabbed the beads of embalming fluid running down their cheeks, and propped them up on the bar stools in his billiard room.
Read the rest and laugh: George Clooney Enjoys Another Rousing Evening At Home
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.
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Published By Steve Meyer
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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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