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 14 - #11- 3/27/15- Commentary - News - And More
Celebrating twelve years 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
WHEN IT WAS FUN
"And the most amazing thing is I get paid for doing this." -- Steve Martin
Several years ago, old friend and ex-Executive VP of Promotion (and more) at Columbia Records, Bob Sherwood, sent me an e-mail telling me that upon a visit back to the "Black Rock" (the CBS building where Columbia Records was headquartered) on 52nd Strret in New York City, he happen to ride the elevator with an attorney. (At least that's how I remember it)
I'm paraphrasing here, and recalling Bob's e-mail as best I can. The attorney looked at Bob and asked if he used work in the music division. Bob answered "Yes."
The attorney the said, "I heard this used to be a real fun business at one time…is that true?"
Bob laughed and said, "Indeed it was."
Back in 2007 I wrote this in a commentary titled 'Once Upon A Time In The Record Business', "I'm glad I had the opportunity to work in the business when radio and record people weren't afraid to grab a bite to eat together, to go to a movie together, to play new music for each other until the wee hours of the morning at the studio or at our hotel rooms when we were on the road, to talk about our lives outside the business, to just hang out and get to know each other. It made all our jobs that much more enjoyable and it made us all better professionals because we knew and understood each other’s jobs. We had symbiotic relationships that allowed us to create success stories for each other. And always, it was about the MUSIC.
Like I said, the record and radio people back then broke a ton of new music. Many of the artists broken in the 70's and 80's are still making records today. Many of them receive airplay everyday on classic formatted stations all over the country. Many still tour to very respectable audiences. Many still sell 'Greatest Hits' packages and catalog.
I don't think many of the new artists on the radio today will be able to do the same in ten or twenty years. I think we're going to see a whole lot more of "one hit wonders" as radio tries to satisfy an audience that consumes new music like junk food (witness the success of the 'Now That's What I Call Music' Volumes as evidence), and uses the "flavor-of-the-month" for their cellphone's ringtone."
Yes, it was "the best of times" and almost all of us in the business in the "glory days" couldn't believe we were actually getting paid to do what we did, in whatever capacity. It was all about the MUSIC.
At SXSW, Colin Hanks debuted his documentary 'All Things Must Pass' about Tower Records in the industry's golden era.All Things Must Pass, Colin Hanks’ nerdy, nostalgic documentary about Tower Records, which premiered last week at SXSW after seven years in the making. As ex-Tower clerk Dave Grohl points out later, this is not necessarily true of most record store employees, who have a snobbish reputation. But Tower was different.
For all his glorification of Tower’s knowledgeable staff and comprehensive selection, Hanks also recognizes the need to tell a story that, in many ways, echoes the rise and fall of the record biz itself. This is why All Things Must Pass is worth seeing even if you’re a music fan who possesses little nostalgia for Tower Records."
A truly GREAT music chain, and radio and records all working together because of the MUSIC.
Wow, was it fun.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
FOLLOW-UP TO JOAN JETT INTERVIEW LAST WEEK
In my rush to get Joan's interview in the newsletter and get it out to readers as fast as possible last week, I failed to mention that Joan Jett is received a trophy naming her a 'Golden God.'
It's the first time in the show's six-year history that a woman was honored with this award, which previously went to the likes of Kiss's Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper. "No one deserves this award more than Joan Jett," Cooper said in a statement. "She's never compromised who she is – she's a rocker through and through. I wish some of the younger bands had the balls that Joan Jett does!"
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
From Rolling Stone, "MTV, once the network of choice for young people, is in a rut. Ratings slipped five percent last year, advertising revenues were down three percent, and viewership for last summer's Video Music Awards dropped 18 percent.
The channel's parent company, Viacom, just laid off several top executives — including producer and 28-year veteran Dave Sirulnick, who was one of MTV's last ties to its golden age. "Some of the programming we acquired years ago just doesn't work anymore," Viacom's chief executive, Philippe Dauman, told investors, announcing a plan to save $250 million. Read the article
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
A pair of lawsuits challenge agency's new Internet traffic rules, calling them a violation of federal law.
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
TV EVERYWHERE: TV Everywhere efforts are forecast to make stronger gains in terms of usage this year-- although growing too slowly for some TV executives. "Active viewership" of TV Everywhere services will hit 18% of all pay TV customers to be using it this year. Adobe says Apple's iPad is the most popular screen to watch TV Everywhere. Read the whole story
UP PERISCOPE: Digiday reports "Sorry, Meerkat. Periscope hit the iTunes store on Thursday morning and puts up some weighted competition in the world of video live-streaming: Twitter purchased the app for $100 million before it hit the public, and its release immediately generated major buzz." Read more
THE APPLE WATCH & BRANDS: Digiday reports "The Apple Watch was formally announced just last month, but developers have been creating apps for the platform since November 2014, when Apple released WatchKit the toolkit that allows developers to begin coding and testing apps for the smartwatch." Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS6 Movies Based on a True Story That Left Out Important Stuff
Tablets on tap for spring 2015
THE 'A-SIDE' - SOME NEWS IN SHORT
SWEET BABY JAMES NEWS: The last time James Taylor released an album of new material, the Iraq War had yet to begin. "I got out of the habit of writing songs," says the singer, whose upcoming album 'Before This World' sounds like his enduring work from the Seventies. Read More
ROGER TALKS: Before the Who kicked off their 50th anniversary tour this week, Rolling Stone spoke with singer Roger Daltrey, who said he wants the band to go out while they're on top: "The quality of the music is really what this is all about." Read More
AND THE WHO: The Who Hits 50! tour dates at London's O2 Arena were part of what's being billed as the band's last go-round. But there was no air of sadness or finality: instead, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey bantered and bickered through almost all the hits. Read More
RINGO: For the first time since 1981, Ringo Starr has the cover of Rolling Stone all to himself. Set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo act, he goes deep with Rolling Stone about his alcoholic past: "It gets really lonely, you know." Read More
SPOTIFY RANKS RS 500:Spotify has taken the liberty of updating Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Tallying up play counts, the streaming service ranked Beyonce and Jay Z's "Crazy in Love" in the top spot, displacing Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Read More
Industry legend and friend Sal Licata passed away on Friday after a brief illness. Kevin Carroll, who worked with Licata at Relativity, shared the sad news with us.
"Sal worked with Bob Krasnow and Tommy LiPuma during the early days of Blue Thumb Records," Carroll wrote. "He was a founding member of Clive Davis’ original Arista team as EVP/GM, with Richard Palmese and Don Ienner as his promotion executives. Later, Sal was the President of EMI, fostering the successes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Richard Marx,Queensryche and others. After the EMI merger in 1991, Sal moved on, becoming President of RED Distribution and Relativity Records. There he created the most successful indie distribution model in music history and oversaw the career launches of such acts as Train, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Common, 311 and Government Mule.
"I learned a great deal from Sal," Carroll continued. "His leadership was extraordinary and he mentored many people, and I know the notification of his passing will be appreciated by all those he came in contact with."
THE TOP 20 ALBUMS FROM THE BILLBOARD 200 CHART
FOR WEEK ENDING 3/28/15
The Revamped Billboard 200 chart now includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales.
NEW - 1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
2. Soundtrack, Empire
NEW - 3. Modest Mouse, Strangers To Ourselves
4. Soundtrack, 50 Shades Of Grey
5. Taylor Swift, 1989
6. Drake, If You're Reading This It's Too Late
7. Ed Sheeran, X
NEW - 8. Marina & The Diamonds, Froot
9. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
10. Maroon 5, V
11. Meghan Trainor
NEW - 12. Soundtrack, Furious 7
NEW - 13. Sleeping With Sirens, Madness
NEW - 14. Mark Knopfler, Tracker
15. Luke Bryan, Spring Break…Checkin' Out
16. Big Sean, Dark Sky Paradise
NEW - 17. Awolnation, Run
NEW - 18. Passion, Even So Come
19. Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint
20. Sam Hunt, Montevallo
------------------------------TV WASTELAND, IT'S ONLY TV WASTELAND
Here's last week's top 25 rated shows: TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Empire' Tops Adults 18-49 & Total Viewers for the Week Ending March 22, 2015
You can check the top 25 cable rated shows here: Cable Top 25: 'The Walking Dead' Tops Cable Viewership for the Week Ending March 22, 2015
LET'S ALL GO TO THE MOVIES
HERE'S YOUR LINK TO ALL THE TOP BOX OFFICE FLICKS
Want to know what are the biggest box office hits out there right now? Here’s the list
Want to know what the top 500 grossing movies of all time are? You can see the list here
FROM THE ONION
Study Finds Swans Only Other Animals Who Mate For Few Years, Get Scared, End Things, Then Regret It
ATHENS, GA—Revealing how closely the waterfowl’s social behavior resembles that of humans, a study released Thursday by the University of Georgia has found that swans are the only other members of the animal kingdom that mate for a few years, get scared, decide to end things, and are later filled with immense regret.
Read the rest and laugh: Study Finds Swans Only Other Animals Who Mate For Few Years, Get Scared, End Things, Then Regret It
The Music Industry Past, Present & Future, And The InternetI 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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