LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - It might be necessary to coin a new term to describe Kara DioGuardi: Rather than a multihyphenate, she's a mega-hyphenate.The songwriter-producer-publisher-A&R executive-American
The Top Entertainment & Hip-hop Blog Community! JOIN and become a member to access exclusive content!
I'm interested in building profit making, music related websites.
While I was researching and writing down ideas, I checked the stats of Thisis50.com. I'm not going to lie when the website first came out and I checked it out I thought that it simply was a fail.
I used multiple calculator websites knowing that all of them are not accurate but just to get a rough draft of the potential of that website, and I found out that all of the calculator websites state pretty high numbers like; high ad revenue and high unique visitors. Actually this website outperforms all of the other sites I've checked (again knowing that these calculators are not accurate).
My personal opinion: Just everything seems to be a disaster on that site, that's the word that describes it best for me. The forums are not good at all, the site is hard to navigate, the design is cheaply made, everything is cluttered, and the information that you can get on that site is not of any value.
I can understand when 50 uses his name and influence to get visitors to that page, but the big question is; what makes the visitors stay? Furthermore what makes them come back? Can you find something that would make you come back?
Jelli, which launched last year, is a user-controlled online streaming service - sort of a Digg for streaming music, or a group-controlled Pandora. Listeners vote songs up or down to create and alter the playlist. Today they're announcing an important business development deal - an actual radio station, Live 105 in San Francisco, will be using Jelli to set their playlists every weekday. Starting this Monday, every weekday from 8 pm to midnight, Jelli takes over. Users don't just vote songs up and down. They also get a limited number of Rockets and Bombs to move music more definitively up and down the list. And the chat area gets lively. Bad news for those radio DJs.
An interesting start to '10. First, in the cell phone industry...google made a move to show cell phone carriers in America that they will not be able to lock phones anymore and that the CONSUMERS will get their choice.
Now the music industry is going to learn the same lesson.
The 10's are the decade where companies learn that the consumer gets what they want or they perish.
The Internet was supposed to be the ultimate leveler, great music would be able to find its audience, the 'big label' gatekeepers would no longer control access to the masses.
It hasn't exactly played out that way. According to my friend, Tommy Silverman/Tommy Boy Records and the co-founder of the New Music Seminar recently told me that he did the math and only 228 artists broke 10,000 units for the first time last year out of 105,000 albums. That’s 2.17% but only 15 of those did it without the help of a real label. That's not very encouraging to the other ninety-eight percent.
While tens of thousand of artists are self-releasing their music, their ability to get noticed in a meaningful way is stifled by the sheer volume of music that is arriving daily at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, MySpace Music, Yahoo, Rhapsody, Pandora, iHeart and others. Ten years ago, there were roughly twenty-five thousand album releases a year. In 2009, it is estimated that there will be over one hundred thousand albums put into digital distribution. That's roughly a million new tracks a year, four million minutes of music, or almost three thousand days-worth of song. But, maybe, if I listen really, really fast, I could....nope!
The competition for my attention is overwhelming. I've got a spare hour this afternoon, I can listen to fifteen new songs, how do I find the fifteen new artists that will rock my world??
...looks like it will still take big guns in the future to get above the din... to quote the Incredibles "when everyone is special, no one is"...
Of course, digital albums - and a myriad of other formats - have charged onto the scene since 2000, though not enough to stem the bleeding on physical.
And, perhaps fittingly, the industry lost one of its biggest superstars as the decade closed. The death of Michael Jackson was a tough loss for many fans, but from a purely financial perspective, the incident offered a big album sales boost. In 2009, Jackson shifted 8.2 million albums in the United States alone, according to details shared by Nielsen Soundscan. Without that boost, the year-over-year decline would have been 62.7 million units, a 14.6 percent drop, and the one-time gain raises more questions about 2010 and beyond.
Independent artists who want their CD's stocked in their local Best Buy stores are being told to pay a $250 non-refundable upfront fee and to use a preferred vendor, the RegionalCD.net division of J Distribution Best Buy's official web site instructs indie and regional artists: "If you are ready to take your band to the next level, find out more by visiting RegionalCD.net." On that site, founded by a "former regional buyer for Best Buy," artists are told to send a J Distribution a CD for review. If selected, the first shipment must be accomponied by a $250 non-refundable "start-up...
It's kind of callous, I know, but the more other parallel industries like this (book, textbook, movie, games, software) hurt, the more likely something is to be done about it. In that respect, it's actually good for all of us.
21,000 FREE Music Contacts & Resources Directoy, NOW UP AND RUNNING!
musicscroll.com 21st December 2009 03:47 AM
Hey Guys & Gals,
Here's an online FREE directory I've just recently set up. I had been using it for a band that I was producing and managing, but am now no longer working with; hence its availability to you now. There are over 21,000 entries and 47 categories. If there are additional categories you'd like to see added, please tell me. I'm also working on adding a message forum, to compliment GearSlutz, not compete with it, as the forum topics will be different than most of GearSlutz. Also, don't be shy about clicking on a few banner ads, as I'm not making squat on the directory as of now and would like to offset my hosting and development costs. Thanks, and your feedback and input is welcomed!...AL
P.S. I did get a Music Licensing agreement with Bunim-Murray for the Real World, Road Rules, Road Rules Extreme Challenge, and the Kardashians, from a contact that is in the Music & TV section of the directory. Good luck and let me know of any successes you have with the directory!
Year End Wrap Up of Music Upload/Download Sites It's something that many of us as songwriters go through: looking for an online host for both our works in progress as well as a showcase for our finished work. resources page that probably needs updating.] Like many, this writer has a presence on multiple sites like SoundClick, ReverbNation, iLike, Last.fm, and others. (I even created my own social net type music site for my band using the Ning.com community software.) But nothing I've
This thread was just started at Harmony Central's Songwriting Forum on the topic of music distro sites open to indie and micro-indie musicians and labels:
(Updated) It's A Smart Addition For TuneCore, But Is It Worth It For Artists? TuneCore artists can now share in the ad revenue generated when their songs are streamed on MySpace Music, thanks to a new deal between the companies. This marks the first time that TuneCore has offered its flat fee distribution customers access to an ad supported streaming service, and comes on the heels of indie licensing organization Merln's hard fought battle with MySpace on behalf of the indie community TuneCore did not respond to an inquiry asking how revenue would calculated for its artists by MySpace or...
Indie artists can now share in the revenue sharing from myspace streams.
As technology has evolved and become more affordable, bands no longer need to book hours of expensive studio time in a facility with million-dollar consoles. They can approximate a decent sound in the basement. So where does that leave recording engineers and all of that expensive equipment?
I heard this story on the radio today and thought I'd pass it along:
Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Investors including former Bear Stearns Cos. Chief Executive Officer Alan Schwartz agreed to buy the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and six other publications from Nielsen Co. after Lachlan Murdoch reportedly dropped out.
The sale to Pluribus Capital Management LLC and Guggenheim Partners LLC includes Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek, New York- based Nielsen said today in statement. Terms weren’t disclosed. Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews will close, Nielsen said.
Murdoch’s company, Illyria Pty Ltd. dropped out at the last minute, the Financial Times said on its Web site. Schwartz, 59, is executive chairman of Guggenheim, which is based in New York and Chicago and has $100 billion of assets under management. He was named CEO of Bear Stearns in January 2008, two months before its emergency sale to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Nielsen was seeking $70 million for the titles, Advertising Age reported last month. The closely held company also provides market research including the weekly audience ratings used to set advertising rates. Jeffrey Kelley, a spokesman for Guggenheim, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. James Finkelstein, a principal at Pluribus, will become chairman of e5 Global Media, the company formed to undertake the purchase, according to the statement. The other assets involved are The Clio Awards, Back Stage and Film Journal International, Nielsen said.
The closing of Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews at year end will affect fewer than 20 people, Gary Holmes, a Nielsen spokesman, said today in an e-mailed message.
“We are going to focus on our core business and those parts of our portfolio that have the greatest potential for growth,” Holmes said.
Editor & Publisher, a newspaper industry trade publication, was founded in 1901, according to its Web site. Kirkus Reviews, a journal of book reviews, started in 1933.
“Losing ‘Editor & Publisher’ is going to leave a pretty big hole,” said Ken Doctor, an analyst with Outsell Inc., a research and advisory company in Burlingame, California. “It’s been the place for industry announcements and the day-to-day news of the publishing business for as long as anyone can remember.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Bensinger in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org Last Updated: December 10, 2009 14:09 EST
(UPDATED) There is a long and illustrious list of artists who have complained about major label accounting practices; and almost every audit or lawsuit that I've ever been aware of results in at least some additional payment from the label. But the problem rrally hits home when you see it in black and white, as we can thanks to VP of Music Programming for Rhapsody America Tim Quirk. "...labels are evil and avaricious AND dumb and lazy" Back in the early 1990's, Quirk was a member of "Too Much Joy" and signed to WMG subsidiary Giant. What irks Quirk is...
Mininova, the largest torrent site on the Internet, has removed all torrents except those that were uploaded through its content distribution service. Mininova's founders took the drastic decision after they lost a civil dispute against Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN, and were ordered to remove all infringing torrents from the site.
Funny how they made millions from offering a platform to illegally distribute copyrighted material.....
Michael Gallardo's official profile including the latest music, albums, songs, music videos and more updates.
i'm 26 years old, multi instrumentalist wannabe-producer and i feel like i have a unique feel for music. i feel like if i dont figure out a way to do something with this i will be kicking myself in the proverbial arse down the road.
i've done the band thing a million times and it hasnt worked out for me. because i write whole songs you see. i cant find talented people willing to play pre-written parts. they all want to contribute their own material or whatever which is usually sub-par or doesn't vibe with my own stuff. i'm not trying to sound egotistical but this is just how crap has played out for me thus far.
i really, really like the idea of doing soundtrack work. i have a deep love for cinema. i really don't know how to break into this though. i've tried posting ads on craigslist and the local classifieds looking for student filmmakers that need music for their films but havent found anybody that has anything close to being ready.
i live in kirkland, washington, right by seattle, a place which is fairly conducive to the arts, i just dont know what to do. i know i need more material first of all. since beefing up my home studio i've made one demo, so you can hear the sort of stylistic qualities i gravitate towards:
thats a demo track i did a few months ago. i sort of composed it stream of concious style. i have a bunch of stuff i've written in the mean time. i'm moving to a new place which will be better for recording and plan on hitting it hard then.
i just dont know what to do. i know i need to keep getting way better, cause i'm not very good at actual mixing yet but feel i have a solid ear, and some talent. looking for people with experience that can give me real honest advice. once i get more material should i look into getting a manager of some sort? or trying to maybe sign on as a songwriter/producer for an entertainment company or something? i really have no clue.
(UPDATED) Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” was one of the most popular tracks for 5 months on Spotify; being played more than 1 million times. But according to reports this weekend, the Swedish Performing Rights Society only paid her $167. If true, it confirms other complaints from other artists like those of Swedish musican Magnus Uggla who pulled his music off Spotify declaring, "I'd prefer to be raped by Pirate Bay than played on Spotify". Many in the music industry have been quick to declare that streaming, which appears to be a substitute for illegal downloading for some, will be their...
I know figge mentioned this in another Spotify thread but I just wanted to highlight again here...
Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” was one of the most popular tracks for 5 months on Spotify; being played more than 1 million times. But according to reports this weekend, the Swedish Performing Rights Society only paid her $167. If true, it confirms other complaints from other artists like those of Swedish musican Magnus Uggla who pulled his music off Spotify declaring, "I'd prefer to be raped by Pirate Bay than played on Spotify".
Many in the music industry have been quick to declare that streaming, which appears to be a substitute for illegal downloading for some, will be their savior. But serious questions remain how long rights holders and artists should wait for a reasonable pay day.
"Francis Gurry of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) said music copyright protection was "under the most severe stress" and the problem will likely spread to films as web connections speed up.
The music industry has been hit by rampant Internet piracy and has so far struggled to persuade consumers to pay for downloaded music.
Some 40 billion music files were illegally shared on the web in 2008,a piracy rate of 95 percent, WIPO cites industry estimates as showing."
Confirmation bias is a tendency to search for, interpret or remember information in a way that confirms preconceptions or working hypotheses.
Don Dodge (former VP of product development at Napster) estimates, based on internal Napster research, that Napster could have generated $3 billion per year for the industry, with minimal overhead. ... In the case of Napster, the copyright monopoly seems to have delayed the innovation we now call iTunes by a good part of a decade, and diddled musicians out of billions of dollars in the process, but copyright ideologues will not hear of it.
Google will soon launch a music service, we've heard from multiple sources, and the company has spent the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels. One source has referred to the new service as Google Audio. We're still gathering details, but our understanding is the service will be very different to the Google China music download service that they launched in 2008. That service, which is only available in China, allows users to search for music and download it for free. This new service will be available for at least U.S. users, our sources confirm, although it isn't clear if it's a download or streaming service, or both. Google already has a decent (if little used) music search engine that can be accessed by simply typing
This could get interesting.. (if true)
'Google will soon launch a music service, we’ve heard from multiple sources, and the company has spent the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels. One source has referred to the new service as Google Audio.
We’re still gathering details, but our understanding is the service will be very different to the Google China music download service that they launched in 2008. That service, which is only available in China, allows users to search for music and download it for free.
This new service will be available for at least U.S. users, our sources confirm, although it isn’t clear if it’s a download or streaming service, or both. Google already has a decent (if little used) music search engine that can be accessed by simply typing “music:” before a query (example). But songs are not available for streaming or download from those searches.
This report lists the market share of the top operating systems in use, like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
I have been a contributor on GS for some time, and I am also a technology provider. Some here may know of our LAMbCase and Retail Zip products from the past.
As of recent years, many others in this space have given up on working towards developing future technologies accepting defeat to iTunes as the end-all solution.
I have mentioned elsewhere in this subject about developing a new media format. I am going to say that it is complete and just for the need to do it, we are adding documentation to the site now.
I promised a friend at the RIAA that I would finnish this technology to prove what Rick Rubin and others has said what needed to happen is indeed true, so taking this as a "challenge" I decided to finnish it (really it is closure to my 12 years of working with entertainment technologies.)
Here is the reason why I am writing this:
I am at a crossroads of actually making this technology available to music content providers. I am personally satisfied that we were able to create something that proves Bittorrent can work for legal music, subscriptions can work for legal music, free offerings can be profitable.
Now I ask myself, do I feel like fighting with the music community who places all their faith in the 5% market share Mac platform because the format only works with Windows PCs. See the latest market share here: Operating system market share As Steve Jobs called Blu-ray "a bag of hurt", I feel the same about the Mac loyalist and what we have just can't be delivered on the Mac, and I do not feel like going through the headache for it. I say to this: if a billion installed hardware devices is not good enough then nothing never will be.
Do I really feel like dealing with the major labels when they are so stubborn and difficult to deal with? All they would try to do is steal the technology (they are already infringing on my IP with that CMX thing).
I am seriously at a crossroads here and I am not writing this to get any sign ups, because what I am showing you is not open for sign ups (because of me feeling this way).
I could go on about everything this design offers in terms of monetization, but to be honest with you, most people reading this won't get it so I will save my breath (or typing words).
I will say this, I believe there may be some other technologies out there that can help move the music industry where it needs to go. But it is the music community I believe that needs to change the way they think before anything will happen for the better.
I thank you for taking time to read this. Some will want to flame, but I would ask to not flame but find something delivering better and I can respect that. I am currently working on the enterprise version of this technology and that crowd seems to be the easier dealing level for me at this time.
I am mixing some audio for a choreographed stage dance. I was wondering if anyone had experience or knew of the sounds used for MJ's 1995 VMA performance. Specifically, what is the sound used right after the opening song of Don't Stop Till You Get Enough? He then pauses for a while, with the audience cheering, but I want the sound that comes right after the "wooooooo", which is kind of like a boom but with a twang.
Music royalty groups ASCAP and BMI are pressing online music stores like Apple's iTunes to pay performance fees not only for actual song downloads but also videos and even the 30-second samples used to preview the music in advance. While these store
I don't know if this is true, but it sounds reaaally crazy .. . They are shooting the wrong guys..
Music royalty groups ASCAP and BMI are pressing online music stores like Apple's iTunes to pay performance fees not only for actual song downloads but also videos and even the 30-second samples used to preview the music in advance. While these stores already pay the distribution fees for the songs themselves, ASCAP, BMI and labels claim that just downloading and playing the content also counts as a live performance and should bring an extra fee.
The reasons vary depending on the format. For music, it's claimed that downloads or streams, including samples, count as a public performances as with the radio or in a venue, where performance royalties are already paid. Movie and TV royalties would be different as soundtrack artist are normally paid for when the videos are aired, which is commonplace for theaters and TV networks but doesn't occur for online formats.
However, critics such as the Digital Music Association, an online media industry defender that counts Apple, RealNetworks and others as members, counter that a legal precedent has already been set that considers downloads private and thus exempt from performance fees. They also accuse ASCAP and related firms of trying to collect double royalties, of violating copyright law in trying to collect from samples, and simply of trying to exploit successful online stores like iTunes.
Free Music Distribution + Revenue From Downloads & Streams (Feedback Please)
Jason@GetItOut 16th September 2009 02:59 PM
I would like to discuss a new music store and distribution service that I have been involved with (without sounding like an advert lol). I'm generally interested in your opinions and always take feedback on board.
Our team launched a new service, HotRhythms.com, two days ago. It is a beta version of the website targeting first at independent music artists & labels. The official public launch is to be announced later in the year. We also plan to payout revenue from streams to the artists & labels once the website has a substantial following.
The service is free and offers quite a few options. I won't go into detail about the features but if you do visit the website and have any opinions I'd be happy to hear them.
Below are a few things that I would be interested to hear your thoughts on:
Hot Rhythms gives a lot of control to the users e.g. price tags & fast meta data changes. Are features such as these welcomed or do you believe they are unnecessary?
The audience and exposure on Hot Rhythms is obviously un-comparable to large music stores such as iTunes & Amazon but the average independent music release on stores like iTunes can only be found when searched for. In most cases, independent music makers have to tell their fanbase where to get their music from, usually via their website or myspace page. We believe that if your telling people where to get your music from anyway, Hot Rhythms has no disadvantage other than brand awareness. With so much more on offer to the artists & labels such as more revenue (all of it actually) and faster release times, would the music artists and labels consider using the Hot Rhythms service in addition to the other stores?
The development of the service started because we wanted a solution that gets music online quickly, securely, gives full control over the meta data and pays out instantly as the music is bought. I don't believe there is another service that can do all these things without taking a fee. Especially the instant payment feature. This allows music makers to withdraw their money straight away. Do you think this improves the cash flow of an individual that makes his or her living form the sales of their music?
Apple's Rock and Roll event is in full swing, and they've just announced that you'll be able to share albums you're interested in over Facebook and Twitter. This isn't exactly a unique feature — we've seen music sites like Lala and plenty of others tap into Facebook Connect and Twitter for some time. But this is Apple, which has been notoriously slow moving when it comes to integrating parters into their own applications. And, of course, iTunes is now the biggest music retailer in the world, with over 100 million accounts and 8.5 billion songs downloaded, which means that even if a small fraction of iTunes users take advantage of the new sharing functionality, that will still represent a lot of sharing.
Hi - I am wondering about what exactly is the writer's share.
Say you start tow write for amusic library. You are offered a 50/50 split of the sync (usage license), Ok, that I get. But what is the writer's share? I have seen people ssay on this and other forums never ever give this up, but why?
Say you write a track for a library. A client of the library decides to you use your track in a tv show one time. They pay the library $4,000. Assuming there is no overhead and fees that need to be first recouped by the library - the library keeps $2,000 and sends you $2,000 - that is the 50/50 split, right? Ok, so again, what is the "writer's share"? I guess this confused me a bit:
"With the exception of print music, income from musical compositions is generally split on a 50/50 basis between the music publisher and writer. The publisher's half of this income is called the "publisher's share," and the writer's half is the 'writer's share.' "
That would mean to me that the $2,000 the composer got in the above example IS the writer's share, is that wrong? Then what if the library offers 50/50 on the sync/usage license, but 75/25 of the writer's share - if the 2nd 50 is already the writers share?
If someone could kindly take a moment to explain this, I would appreciate it.
Also: when you write for a library, do you need to become a member of ASCAP, and/or BMI?
Recently in an industry magazine (I'll leave it to you to figure out which one), Mercenary Audio posted this ad:
"Don't buy gear from PEOPLE IN CUBICLES, buy gear from ENGINEERS IN STUDIOS."
When I first saw this ad, with a picture of a guy relaxing in his cubicle juxtaposed to a picture of Mercenary's studio, my reaction was probably similar to most people's. I laughed a bit and thought that it made sense. Why talk to some kid in a call center about high end gear when I can talk to a "real" engineer in a "real" studio? Then I started to think about it a little bit. I've dealt with online/phone based retailers for a long time. Living in the middle of nowhere and trying to build a career out of music there, pretty much necessitates getting my gear from a non-local source. So I've dealt with them all at this point, from Musicians Friend to Full Compass to Vintage King. I've even spoken to Mercenary a few times, although I've never done business with them. I have nothing against them, but the opportunity just never presented itself to buy anything there. One thing I learned from dealing with all of these companies is that each one had their place in the world. Places like Musicians Friend or Guitar Center Online (which are the same company now) are decent order takers. I go to them expecting no better service than I would expect from any minimum wage worker, and they deliver that level of service every time. My order almost always gets to me correctly and relatively on time. If I have questions on gear, they are not the ones that I'm calling. Places like Vintage King, Sweetwater, GC Pro, and even Full Compass can provide some decent insight into the gear, and even offer recommendations and opinions. These places also carry some higher end brands (API, Tubetech, Chandler, etc) that the other guys don't. BUT...they are still call centers, right?
Thanks to the wave of telemarketers that have cropped up, and the fact that Tech Support is now a Middle-Eastern term for call center, the words call and center (when placed together properly) have become blasphemy. We imagine a bunch of college students trying to pay for next semester's books and who don't give a rat's ass about what they are selling. I've learned from the aforementioned "higher end" call centers that this is not always the case. I've encountered guys who really know their stuff and are very enthused about it too (which I like)! This begs the question, in my cynical brain, "If they're so enthused about it, why don't they go work in a studio and get out of their cubicle?" Well as I've learned from many many years as a starving musician/engineer, that's easier said than done. Sometimes the gas bill determines your fate more than your dreams do. I've eaten my fair share of Ramen in order to fund that next gear purchase. Hell, my wife has probably eaten MORE than her fair share of Ramen in order to fund MY next gear purchase. Eventually you say, "Enough is enough." My kids don't like Ramen so much, so it's time to get a "real" job right? I imagine similar motivations are what have driven most of these engineers, musicians, and producers into the land of cubicles and out of their studios.
So we should all pity them and buy gear from them so that they can get out of the cube and back into the studio, right? No, of course not. I've never been a fan of pity or of people not making their own way. I'm just saying that we shouldn't avoid them simply because they are in the cube. I think it's time to take a look at this a bit more objectively. Let's imagine two scenarios. In the first we have our guy in the cubicle, and we're going to assume he's working at VK, Sweetwater, or GC Pro and has a somewhat decent knowledge of gear (as most of them do). His sole function from 9-5 (or something similar) is to work on getting you gear, getting you the best deal on gear, making sure your gear got to you, and making sure that you like your gear. His gas bill is depending on it, and that's all that he's doing all day long. If you need to get in touch with him, he's there. Any issues come up, he's there. If you need someone to teach you how to mix, or how to use your gear, then find a mentor, or pay someone. If you plan on learning how to mix over the phone, with someone across the country, then you're delusional.
In our second scenario we have the "engineers in studios" that apparently line the hallways of Mercenary Audio (I'll try to keep the sarcasm to a minimum). Their day begins, they grab some coffee and head into the studio. They bring up the mix that they were working on yesterday and start listening. They edit, they adjust, they tweak, and they get into the zone. That glorious place where you could mix for days and everything you touch turns to gold. Their phone vibrates and tells them that they have a new voicemail from YOU (presumably to buy gear). They'll call you back eventually, but first they've got this record to mix because a manager, or band, or some client is breathing down their neck to have it done by some deadline. Their paycheck, or at least the larger portion of it, is dependent on them finishing this mix and it sounding great, so they keep going on that. Eventually during that day they will probably get back to you but it will more than likely be several hours, or possibly even days (if you read the customer feedback on Mercenary's own website it points to this possibility). By that time your need for gear has either passed, or already been filled by someone else, and you were hung out to dry.
Further down that rabbit hole, let's say they actually do finish a mix that turns into a hit. They've got a hit record to their credit and now more and more clients are beating down their door. Suddenly the person that you're dependent on to supply you gear so you can do YOUR mixes, has fallen off the map because they've got more records to mix than they know what to do with. Now you're stuck dealing with someone else at that company who DOESN'T have a hit record and therefore has an "inferior" opinion, so you're just as well off trusting one of the people in the cube who also doesn't have a hit record. I won't even get started on the fact that their "engineers" in their "studios" are competing in the same studio market as you are presumably, and all that that implies.
My point after all of that ranting is that I wouldn't buy a car from a professional race car driver. I'd buy it from the person who gets me the best deal and provides the best service. I wouldn't buy an oven from a professional chef, I'd pay them to cook for me. I wouldn't buy a...well, you get the idea. If you want someone to mix your record, it sounds like the guys at Mercenary would be perfect, but if you want someone to take time with you on purchasing gear, and following up afterward, you may want to go with someone who IS trapped in a cube all day and has nothing else to do for that time. Sure they're opinions won't always be spot on (whose are?), and they may not know how every piece of gear out there sounds, but that's why you have ears. That's why you have friends. That's why we have this glorious cesspool called the internet. Guys like me can spout their opinions on everything all day long! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to making some music with the gear that I bought from cube dwellers. Sounds fantastic!!!
Who should control wireless applications customers, carriers or handset makers? That is the core question being considered by the Federal Communications Commission, which has asked Apple and AT&T, the iPhone's exclusive U.S. distributor, to explain...
no doubt mobile is the future of digital media as "post pc devices" take hold. this battle may be over Google Voice - but this will also create new opportunities and challenges for the recording industry.
Who should control wireless applications — customers, carriers or handset makers?
That is the core question being considered by the Federal Communications Commission, which has asked Apple and AT&T, the iPhone's exclusive U.S. distributor, to explain why Google's free voice application, called "Google Voice," is banned from the device. The app allows consumers to use one Google-issued number for office, home and cell. It also blocks telemarketers, transcribes voice mail and offers unlimited free texting.
Google, which is trying to become a major player in wireless, also was asked to explain its business practices. Comments are due Aug. 21.
While Google Voice might have been the trigger, the FCC's mission is actually much loftier: making sure the mobile Web is an open, consumer-friendly environment like the Internet.
What regulators don't want is for the mobile Web to follow in the footsteps of cable TV or traditional (voice) wireless, where operators tightly control the consumer experience.
The Apple-AT&T-Google dustup is the first shot in what is destined to become a global war among carriers, device makers and software developers, predicts Jagdish Rebello, principal analyst with iSuppli, a market research firm. With mobile applications red hot, Apple, Google and others "are trying to muscle in on the wireless carriers" for their share of the action.
The clash, he says, will result in "a dramatic shift for the global cellphone industry."
Popular music recommendation service iLike launched a music download service this afternoon, offering users MP3 downloads for $0.89 to $1.29 per song. Previously the service only offered users the ability to sample 30 second clips of songs, or restricted full streaming via a partnership with Rhapsody (now phased out). iLike says the first song purchased today was Get Away, Jordan by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. Music is available from all four major labels and
A GREAT site for artists just got better. Dig around and see what they can offer you as far as putting their application on your facebook page, putting their tour calendar widget on your myspace, cheap iphone app for your music, etc.
RIAA and Musicfirst - what are they thinking AGAIN?
Apple is reported to be working with major music labels on a plan to boost digital album sales. The concept, though, seems eerily similar to past industry efforts.
I guess this is a continuation of "is it better to give it away.." thread, I wanted to start fresh though rather than continue down that path.
Anyway, my metalband is planning our first album recording this fall, but I am not sure how to market it afterwards. We have a self-produced demo that I pressed 200 copies of on CD, but have only sold a few to friends and sent some off for free (promo). It is also available on iTunes, where it has sold a few but not a lot.
This time around we will also produce it ourselves, but I plan to spend some fairly considerable $$$ on getting one of the best mixing engineers to mix it and would rather not spend a lot on physical copies that will probably end up collecting dust like the rest have until now.
The question is, being unknown, should i steer away from physical copies completely and just go for iTunes downloads, or give the whole thing away for free as downloads?
Mixing and mastering will probably set us back around 6-7 grand so it would of course be nice to have some possibility of recouping at least some of that input. The paradox being of course that we are still pretty unknown.
So I guess the question is if we make this an investment in our name to get the best possible sounding recording, which hopefully yields great reviews/buzz&hype, and maybe rather try to get paid on the next album instead?
At which point, you have to ask yourself, why is it a consumer issue that producers aren't working to monetize their program in an age of digital distribution. The answer is, it shouldn't be the consumer's issue. But because the distribution model is broken and they don't know how to fix it, they're putting this on the consumer, masquerading content access as "theft" and "stealing". Sadly, you're appearing to drink the Kool-Aid that the RIAA and other content lobbyists are spewing forth. It's all weak-minded hogwash from a bunch of old school industry buffoons who have been caught with their pants down as their closed distribution model has opened up with new technology.
The people with brains who understand the failure of the distribution model are getting my money because they're creating new distribution models and value for their art. The people who are blaming consumers for their incompetence while they put the screws to the artists are not getting my money and are getting an earful from me. And the artists that I support are making more money than they've ever made from me because I'm working outside of a distribution model that would otherwise have me buying used CDs which, again, gets the artist nothing even thought it's technically not stealing (but by your logic surely more moral than downloading, which nets the artist the exact same amount of money. Which consequently must make buying used less moral than buying a new CD, since the artist theoretically gets money from each CD sold, even though I would consider it amoral to buy a CD because of the environmental waste it creates).
Again, this is not a black and white issue. If you take your moral argument to its logical conclusion, you simply cannot buy music right now because every method is stealing from someone in the distribution chain. Buy digitally and the artist may get nothing. Buy at a concert and the artist is circumventing the retail and warehousing distribution chain. Buy a CD from a retail store and the artist is getting less while you're contributing even more to the destruction of the planet (granted, that doesn't affect the artist directly, but it's one heck of a reason to not buy CDs and more important and destructive and amoral to me than a conveniently limited view of what stealing is).
The music industry has been undergoing massive disruption for more than a decade, and measuring chaos is never a simple task. In 2009, a top-charting single or album still means something, but what about everything else going on? BigChampagne has been attempting to address that riddle, and starting Wednesday, the company is giving its clients a far broader canvass of chart activity - online or off.
That means a greatly expanded menu of platforms, spanning YouTube, iTunes, Last.fm, terrestrial radio (Mediabase), file-swapping networks, online radio, subscription services, and other outlets. The "BC Dash" is now out of beta, and clients can tap the real-time, breathing database to check song activity up to the hour. "We're rebooting the charts," BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland told Digital Music News. "The new BC Dash is a platform for managing information in the real-time age and turning data into actionable insight."
The data has steadily been incorporated into daily Digital Music News coverage, part of a broader partnership between the two companies. Others can now dive into the same dataset. BigChampagne data subscribers include major media companies, retailers, advertising agencies, analysts, broadcasters, managers, artists, and others.
But wait, there's more.
BigChampagne has also created a news and data portal for the industry, including some interesting Twitter concepts. A freshly-launched BigChampagne Media Measurement features aggregated news feeds covering industry developments, as well as a curated 'TwitterStream'. "The world's aglow with Twitter, but very few know how to use it well," Garland relayed. "How do you separate the 'waiting at Starbucks' tweets from the essential-to-your-business tweets? We curate and edit out the noise, leaving the real, pertinent conversation."
Yesterday morning I was talking to my 13 year old son Josh. He's currently obsessed with the TV show Friday Night Lights. He's going back and watching all the old seasons. I asked him how he is doing that, expecting...
Yesterday morning I was talking to my 13 year old son Josh. He's currently obsessed with the TV show Friday Night Lights. He's going back and watching all the old seasons. I asked him how he is doing that, expecting to hear "bit torrent". But instead he said "Netflix Watch Instantly". I was so happy to hear that and asked him why. He said, "bit torrent takes too long."
And then this morning, I came across this story in The Guardian which talks about a collapse in illegal sharing and a commensurate increase in legal streaming. The story says 26% of 14 to 18 year olds shared music illegally last month compared to 42% in December of 2007. The story also says 65% of teens stream music regularly.
I've been talking about this trend for a long time. In my post about The Free Music Business a couple summers ago, I said this about file-based music versus streamed music: Streaming music is better because it's abundant. I don't own all the music in the world on my server. But almost every song ever recorded is on the Internet somewhere.
I am not a fan of file-based media business models. They lead to piracy and they put transactional friction into a system that doesn't require it. Streaming is much better. Unfortunately, we don't have a good mobile broadband system to make streaming possible everywhere. And until that happens, we will have files and we will have piracy.
But the good news is that as the media business wakes up and puts all the media we want out there in streams available on the Internet (paid or free - this is not about free), we see people streaming more and stealing less.
We used to wonder if we could "untrain" a generation to steal. The answer is yes. Just make it easier to get the content they want and they'll stop stealing. It makes my day to read that
Post-Tenenbaum, A Pair of Settled Cases Surface...
A pair of file-swapping cases triggered by the RIAA have suddenly been settled, with prejudice. Industry attorney Ray Beckerman tipped the settlements of both Atlantic v. Raleigh and Sony v. Simms on Monday evening, though the terms of the resolutions were not disclosed. The case against Jenna Raleigh first started 2006, while the action against Lindsey Simms started late last year. Both involved pro se, or self-represented, litigants, and both are being quietly tucked away.
The obvious question is whether the recent, $675,000 award in Sony v. Tenenbaum encouraged the settlements, though the resolutions appear to predate that heavy fine. The Simms settlement was signed by the court on July 20th, and the Raleigh resolution appears to be dated July 15th. The Tenenbaum fine is just days old, though the RIAA plundered hapless defendant Jammie Thomas-Rasset to the tune of $1.6 million in June.
Popkomm 2009 Cancelled
rack gear 4th August 2009 07:20 AM
Popkomm 2009 Cancelled
One of Europe's largest music conferences Popkomm will not be held this year. "The digital crisis is fully on the music industry by. Many companies maybe due to the theft on the Internet no longer afford to participate in the Popkomm," organizer Dieter Gorny told the German media.
Attendance the the annual convention which is held in Germany each September was projected to be down 40-50% from the 14,000 who attended in 2008. Organizers hope to reintroduce the gathering in 2010 with more government support.
Pandora: Royalties killing the Internet Radio model?
orangeoctane 1st August 2009 06:21 PM
I just got this e-mail from Pandora. Looks like the advertising model isn't a sustainable one. -----------------------------------------------
We're very sorry about limiting your listening last month - I'm writing to let you know that, starting today you can listen to the free version of Pandora again. We hope you'll come back! Sorry if this limit is driving you nuts - it's the last thing we want to do, but it's the economic reality of streaming. We pay royalties for every song we play, which we feel good about, but it means that for our most consistent listeners, like you, advertising revenues don't cover the costs. If you want to listen more than 40 hours a month, we've come up with two options:
For unlimited, ad-free listening, along with a bunch of other cool features, you can upgrade to Pandora One.
If you run out of hours in any given month, you can pay $.99 to listen for the rest of the month (you'll still have advertising). This is a one-time fee: we won't charge your credit card again.
We really hope one of these options works for you. To check on how many hours you have remaining, just click the 'account' link above the Pandora tuner. There's also more information on our blog. Thanks again for listening and, I hope, welcome back!
I've been putting down a few thoughts last night. Please let me know your thoughts!
THREE GROUND RULES FOR POP SONGWRITERS
(BY MARC MOZART)
1. Working after briefs from record labels is for loosers.
Label will get a ton of similar things that all sound similar. Label gets really bored and hates you for boring them.
What they really want is a unique hit-single with a sound that defines their artists next record. They don't know how it sounds. If they knew they were producers.
Unfortunately you don't have the solution. You bore them with dated music.
2. The best producers and writers in the world are your competitors. And they kill you.
They kill you because they write hits and you don't. Their sounds are always a step ahead, the hooks and song titles easy to remember, the mixes punchy as hell.
People like Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Danja, etc. just write hits. 5 secs into the song you know its a hit. Tells a story every kid and housewife can relate to. Riffs and melodies are simple but artful, the sound and the message couldn't be more direct and the beat is driving like hell.
Write a damn hit. Play it to 10 people. If 9 love the song after 5 secs, you're on the right path. If not, go back to start. But hurry, you need to recoupe your publishing advance!
3. You don't need 100 good songs. You need one hit-song that makes a million.
By all means, try a lot of things, record ideas, hooks, sounds. However, understand that only one of your 300 crappy hooks is worth working out a full song, lyrics and production. When you really know you have a hit-single idea, take your time and produce that thing for at least a week. 10 days are even better. Or two weeks. Or more. One international hit-single a year pays the rent and more.
Michael Jackson took 3-5 years for an album and boy, was it worth it! Each of his kids' kids will still make 10 million each a year from his songs 50 years from now.
Get the best singer, edit the hell out of the vocals. Anything under two days of vocal editing doesn't sound like a record. When you're done, get the singer in again. It's always worth doing a second vocal session for a more refined vocal arrangement, "composed adlibs", harmonies, etc...
Next few days try different arrangement ideas, search for the best sounds, try 50 different kicks and 3000 different bass sounds until you found sounds that have punch and personality. Do plenty of rough mixes, play them to people. See how they react. Refine and rework, don't stop until it's finished and sounds absolutely amazing. When it sounds amazing, give it to somebody who makes great mixes. A great mix improves it even more. When you finalize the mix, hear it on many different systems. Make sure it sounds great on all systems.
Give the world one hit-song that they will play and remember forever. Everything else is wasted time.
A. Know which area you're NOT good at and partner with people who are.
Few people if any excel in all areas. A hit song requires a lot of specialized knowledge:
- production / sound design
- vocal arranging
- vocals (singing)
- vocal editing
Form partnerships where a team of 2 - 4 people bring top quality in all these areas to the table. Share your income with them on a song-by-song basis. If any of the above mentioned qualities are not in a song-demo, the competition will eat you alive.
B. When collaborating, give all you can give.
When you write with others, be the very best you can be. Be a nice, loving and positive person even if you're usually an asshole. Listen to what your collaborators have to say. Offer them tea, coffee and cookies.
C. Get your music to the all right people. Get a partner to support you with that.
Placing even a perfect song is a numbers game. I've spoken to Dido's manager recently who had been shopping her record to hundreds of people for more than two years until he finally found somebody willing to support. "It's a numbers game" he said to me.
Hundred people don't offer you a deal. Fine. If number 101 is Clive Davis and he loves your song the world is good! If you stopped at number 99 it's your fault. If you believe you have an undeniable hit-record, make sure the right people get to hear it.
Partner with someone who supports you in pitching your songs. Find a publisher and/or management who can get your song to the right people. Make sure they really send your songs out, follow up for feedback and keep fighting until it's placed. If not, do it yourself. And please stop whining!