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 - #49- 12/19/14 - 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
This Is The Last Issue For 2014!
Look For The Next Issue Of The Newsletter In Your Inbox On January 8, 2015
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
COMMENTARY AND ONE MAN'S OPINION
THE STATE OF DIGITAL MEDIA
"But the curious thing about Netflix, if you look at it, you think, "Wait, that’s television." The only thing that’s different from television is the means of distribution." -- Michael Wolff, the award-winning USA Today and Hollywood Reporter columnist
Digiday reports "An outspoken observer in an industry not lacking for observers, Wolff stands out for his atonal proclamations and ability to make enemies. In an interview with Digiday last year, the award-winning USA Today and Hollywood Reporter columnist said the state of digital media was pretty damn bleak and correctly predicted a ramping up in competition for reaching brands." Read more
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 2
The vinyl stories just keep getting bigger and bigger and there's good reason for it.
From Billboard, "The notion that vinyl records would reignite passion for music seemed far-fetched back to 2006. So, what happened to make it the fastest-growing physical format? Record Store Day." The True Story of How Vinyl Spun Its Way Back From Near-Extinction
And when the Wall Street Journal has an article titled 'The Biggest Music Comeback of 2014: Vinyl Records'…well, you know those 33 and 1/3 RPM plastic discs must be making more noise than what's coming off of all the turntables they're on.
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 3
Audio manufacturer Bose is hiring staff and moving "quickly" to build and launch its own "next generation streaming music platform".
While Bose could integrate their music service within their own audio products, the company still faces very steep competition. And this new move is likely to displease Apple, who recently pulled and then reinstated Bose products from its Apple stores. Bose Is Building Their Own Streaming Music Service
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 4
My thanks to reader Jon DeLong for sending me this story to share with readers.
"IRVINE, Calif. — Ausiaon, a manufacturer of the finest car audio products sold worldwide, has announced the introduction of the Audison bit Play HD, the first high-resolution music player specifically for automotive applications.
The bit Play HD is a hideaway component that can be used as part of a complete aftermarket package or added to most factory car audio systems as an enhancement. Intended to be professionally installed by any one of Audison’s network of authorized retailers, control of the bit Play HD can be managed from any Apple or Android phone or tablet." Read the rest
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 5
"We are starting to see sales level off," John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence at The NPD Group, tells Marketing Daily. "While we are seeing that inflection point, the retail market is still strong." Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 6
TechCrunch reports "More proof that good television doesn't have to be developed by traditional industry players: Amazon has now received its first Golden Globe nominations for the Amazon Prime Instant Video original show Transparent, which follows the story of a family dealing with the late-in-life revelation that the familys patriarch (Jeffrey Tambor) is transgender." Read more
And still more on people choosing to "cut the cord"...Cord Cutting Rises, Consumers Prefer A La Carte TV Model
And this: Moving Netflix into more traditional TV platforms, Dish says it is now the first major U.S. pay-TV provider to integrate the Netflix app into its set-top box. Netflix is now available on Dish's second-generation Hopper. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - TRACK 7
After less than four hours of deliberation, the jury in the class action antitrust case returns a verdict finding Apple not guilty of anticompetitive conduct almost a decade ago in the iPod antitrust case. READ MORE
BETWEEN THE GROOVES
ITEM: Mashable reports "Without any fanfare, YouTube has introduced a built-in GIF creation tool for selected videos and channels." Read more
ITEM: Last week Iowa confirmed its tech-savvy chops with the news that it will begin offering its citizens an app that allows them to carry a legally valid digital driver's license on their mobile device, starting sometime in 2015. Iowa will thus become the first state in the union to offer mobile drivers' licenses. Read the whole story
ITEM: I fly Alaska Airlines and have always enjoyed their service. Now, they are ready to introduce technology that will offer passengers more entertainment in flight. Mashable reports "Forget the seatback video screen, the future of inflight entertainment is your own smartphone and tablet." Read more
ITEM: Mobile phones without a Web connection are going the way of rotary dials and Members Only jackets. Worldwide, nine out of 10 phones with be "smart" by 2018, according to new estimates from Gartner. Read the whole story
THE 'A-SIDE' - THE BONUS TRACKS7 Ways to Get Free Stuff from Companies (Just by Lying!)
THE 'A-SIDE' - SOME NEWS IN SHORT
RINGO GETS IN: Ringo Starr, set to receive the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Award for Musical Excellence, tells Rolling Stone he was unaware his fellow former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison were in the Hall as solo performers: "Finally, the four of us are in." Read More
WHO POSTPONES: The Who were forced to postpone the final two 2014 dates of their Who Hits 50 tour after singer Roger Daltrey was diagnosed with a throat infection. The Tommy rockers were scheduled to perform at London's O2 Arena on December 17th and 18th, but doctors ordered Daltrey to rest his voice, NME reports
VAN HEADS TO RCA: Van Morrison will release his upcoming album on RCA Records. The deal announced this morning (Wednesday) covers the still-untitled disc, which the legendary Irish rocker expects to go on sale early in 2015. Other details weren’t available. In a statement, RCA President Tom Corson and CEO Peter Edge call Morrison "one of the most prolific and talented songwriters and performers in music today, and we are honored to have him join us at the label and work with him on his forthcoming new album. Van adds, "I am looking forward to working with Tom, Peter and the RCA team as we plan release of the new project for next year."
50 CENT UNDERWEAR: Well, if you stop selling records there's always other options. Fiddy has scored a $78 million deal with FRIGO Revolution Wear to promote a brand of up-market men's underwear.
SMITH HITS PLATINUM: Sam Smith’s debut album 'In the Lonely Hour' has surpassed 1 million in U.S. sales, according to Nielsen Music.
MAYBE WE'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE SHOWS: "The Voice" crowned a champion on Tuesday, but the reality show was down double-digits in the key demo from last year’s fall .finale, and slightly below the spring edition’s per the same metric. That means Tuesday’s show is currently sitting at an all-time low for a "Voice" finale. Full story at TheWrap
FILMS SELECTED: The National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has selected a new crop of movies that it deems culturally, historically or aesthetically significant enough for preservation. Among the 25 films selected are two cult-favorite slacker adventure epics: the Coen brothers' 'The Big Lebowski' and John Hughes' 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.' Other noteworthy movies include Steven Spielberg's war film 'Saving Private Ryan,' Roman Polanski's horror 'Rosemary's Baby,' Mel Stuart's beloved fantasy 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' and Arthur Penn's Western drama 'Little Big Man.' The new additions bring the number of motion pictures the Film Registry recognizes, which span the years 1913 to 2004, up to 650.
3-D THRILLER: Michael Jackson's 14-minute music video for "Thriller" will be getting revived in 3-D next year, now that the clip's director, John Landis, has settled a legal dispute with the singer's estate. Although he is still working out specifics, the filmmaker hopes to release the video – which was the most expensive clip of its time and was rated the greatest video of all time by Rolling Stone readers – on Blu-ray and even in theaters, according to the New York Daily News
WONDER TRIBUTE: Stevie Wonder will be the focus of a televised tribute concert that will air one week after the Grammy Awards next year. 'Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life' – An All-Star Grammy Salute will feature what the Recording Academy has billed as "some of the biggest names in music today" performing songs that the soul legend popularized over the past half a century.
SOUNDCLOUD CHANGES: TechCrunch reports "SoundClouds home page stream isn't always the most conducive to browsing and discovery, so the company is launching a new alternate home base for its users with Collection, a way to follow artists, build playlists and like content for a personalized view and playback experience." Read more
PIRATE BAY BACK ONLINE: Mashable reports "A week after Swedish police shut down BitTorrent indexing site the Pirate Bay, torrent search site IsoHunt resurrected it in its entirety. In a blog post, IsoHunt explains that, while it encourages Pirate Bay users to switch to IsoHunt (two sites are very similar in functionality), it has preserved the entire Pirate Bay site and put it up at the web address oldpiratebay.org." Read more
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: Green Day, Lou Reed, Joan Jett and Stevie Ray Vaughan will lead the next class into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band round out the honorees. The ceremony is set to take place April 18th in Cleveland. Read More
'THE INTERVIEW' GOES BUH-BYE: On the heels of Sony's decision to halt the December 25th release of Seth Rogen's 'The Interview' due to terror concerns, it appears the studio might be shelving the film for good. The decision drew reactions from Stephen King, Michel Moore and many others. Read More
THE BEST OF THIS YEAR'S REISSUES: More than ever, reissues are like airplane flights, writes David Fricke: an a la carte experience. Historical releases from Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young came in multiple iterations, with something for every taste and paycheck. Read More
Millie Kirkham -- a backup singer for Elvis Presley who featured on numerous vintage rock and country songs from the '50s to the '80s -- has passed away at age 91. Kirkham died on Sunday in Nashville after complications from a stroke she suffered last week. Kirkham lent her high voice to recordings from Roy Orbison, George Jones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, but her most recognizable contribution might be her backup vocals on one of Elvis' Christmas classics. Her voice provides the "woo-we-woo" sound on Presley's "Blue Christmas" from 1957. She also sang on his hits "Don't" and "(You're the) Devil in Disguise.
--------------------------THE TOP 20 ALBUMS FROM THE BILLBOARD 200 CHART
The Revamped Billboard 200 chart now includes on-demand streaming and digital track sales.
NEW - 1. J.Cole, Forest Hills Drive
2. Taylor Swift, 1989
3. Pentatonix, That's Christmas To Me
NEW - 4. Carrie Underwood, Greatest Hits: Decade #1
5. AC/DC, Rock Or Bust
NEW - 6. K. Michelle, Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart
7. One Direction, Four
8. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
9. Ed Sheeran, X
10. Garth Brooks, Man Against Machine
11. Michael Buble, Christmas
12. Idina Menzel, Holiday Wishes
13. Soundtrack, Guardians Of The Galaxy
14. Hozier, Hozier
15. Soundtrack, Frozen
16. Barbra Streisand, Partners
17. Ariana Grande, My Everything
18. Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
19. Soundtrack, Frozen: The Songs
20. Tony Bennett & Lady GaGa, Cheek To Cheek
------------------------------TV WASTELAND, IT'S ONLY TV WASTELAND
You can check the top 25 cable rated shows here: Cable Top 25: 'Monday Night Football' Tops Cable Viewership for the Week Ending December 14, 2014
LET'S ALL GO TO THE MOVIES
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
James Bond Fans Concerned After Learning New Film’s Shooting Locations All In New Hampshire
NEW YORK—Reacting with a mixture of surprise and disappointment, fans of the James Bond series voiced concern Thursday after learning that all of the latest installment’s shooting locations would be in New Hampshire.
"A Bond film is known for its exotic locales, so I get a little nervous when I read about Sam Mendes securing the rights to shoot in downtown Concord and scouting covered bridges for the opening action sequence," said fan Peter Harris. Read the rest and laugh
Quotes For The Holidays
"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live." -- George Carlin
"The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school." -- Alice Cooper
"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin." -- Jay Leno
"Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log." -- Ellen DeGeneres
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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