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fastlane 15th August 2010 11:53 AM
ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups | Threat Level |

The association representing 380,000 composers, songwriters, lyricists and others associated with the music industry has begun a fund-raising campaign to s
ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups | Threat Level |


ASCAP Declares War on Free Culture

and Creative commons responce

Response to ASCAP’s deceptive claims - Creative Commons

What do you guys think?
petermichael 15th August 2010 03:49 AM

I was on another forum, and came across a bloke saying there was this new site, Tunited, that was 100% free and 100% profit from downloads went to the artists.

So, knowing that this was impossible, without some new advertising scheme Google would even be interested in, I ventured over.

Tunited Home

Started by Midge Ure.

Who in the basic explanation on his site says 100% profit from each download goes to the artist.

THEN on this page

About Us

he shows the math, with dandy pie charts, that show...

From a .79 Download....

They take out 3 different fees
.12 for "transaction fee" - goes to them
.03 for "hosting bandwidth and streaming" - goes to them
.05 for "MECHANICAL ROYALTIES" - goes to them



Whitecat 14th August 2010 05:25 PM
Yahoo! News UK & Ireland - Latest World News & UK News Headlines

The latest world news and UK news headlines from Yahoo! News UK. Find videos, pictures and in-depth coverage of politics, business, technology, entertainment news and more.
Key Pink Floyd albums drop from digital market - Yahoo! News UK
rack gear 11th August 2010 08:53 AM
Quote: files for Chapter 11 | Media Maverick - CNET News

Formerly known as Project Playlist, the digital-music service says it will continue to operate and expects to come out of the bankruptcy protection period in better shape. Read this blog post by Greg Sandoval on Media Maverick. files for Chapter 11 | Media Maverick - CNET News
paulmun 10th August 2010 12:36 PM
'Universal Publishing Music Group, parent company of Rondor Music, has issued a statement confirming reports the company has taken action over a line in Katy Perry's California Gurls.'

Music Week - Universal takes action over California Gurls

Totally Ridiculous or Totally Justified?
Whitecat 9th August 2010 01:09 PM
Behind the music: The music industry roars back, or does it? | Helienne Lindvall | Music |

Helienne Lindvall: Figures out this week seemed to suggest the industry is in rude health, yet artists claim to be struggling. Who's telling the truth?
Always fascinating reading, especially when there's no real conclusion...

Behind the music: The music industry roars back, or does it? | Helienne Lindvall | Music |
Neenja 8th August 2010 04:53 PM
We keep hearing about artists like Shania and Alanis being the number of sales we should want and we keep dismissing sales of artists like Lady Gaga and BEP being too few. So what is the right amount? How many records did bands like Pink Floyd, Boston, Queen, Eagles and such sell? We all will have our own opinions of what these numbers mean, but here they are.

Here are the RIAA numbers (US) to ponder. You can check them at RIAA - Gold & Platinum - August 08, 2010

Shania Twain: Come On Over 20x 11/15/2004
Alanis Morisette: JLP 16x 07/29/1998

OK, now the shocker.

Pink Floyd DSotM 15x 06/04/1998
Pink Floyd The Wall 23x 01/29/1999
Boston Boston 17x 11/20/2003
Fleetwood Mac Rumours 19x 03/24/2003
AC/DC BnB 22x 12/13/2007 (single 2x 2007)
Metallica Metallica 15x 11/13/2009
U2 The Joshua Tree 10x 09/11/1995

Here's a really interesting one.
MJ: Thriller

Released 11/30/1982
1x 01/31/1983
20x 10/30/1984
26x 10/30/2000
28x 03/06/2009 (before death)
29x 08/21/2009 (after death)
The Press Desk 7th August 2010 10:19 AM

Rdio lets you listen to millions of songs ad-free wherever you are – on the web and on your phone, even offline.
It’s been two months to the day since Rdiolaunched in the States – check out Erick’s review if you’re interested in learning more about the social music service.

But until today, you needed to be invited by another user to gain access to the service.

Not that it was all that difficult – users were able to invite dozens at a time and we gave away thousands of invite codes for TechCrunch readers – but still, the doors are now open.

Update: apologies, doors will actually open 8 AM EDT Tuesday morning.
That is, if you live in the United States or Canada or at least know how to pretend you are.

Users in those countries can henceforth sign up for Rdio and give it a whirl free of charge and ad-less for a period of 3 days, although users get the option to extend the free trial with another 10 days after, according to the startup, which was founded and financially backed by Skype, Kazaa and Joost founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis.

Rdio, pronounced “ar-dee-oh”, costs $9.99 per month for unlimited Web and mobile access (including the ability to listen to music and playlists offline), and $4.99 for Web-only access.

Rdio says it recently expanded its music collection through deals with independent labels and aggregators, hitting the 7 million songs milestone. Apart from the major music labels, Rdio now boasts agreements with the likes of IODA, IRIS, Finetunes, INgrooves and The Orchard.

In addition, Rdio has attracted a number of music publications and other influencers (Spin Magazine, Pitchfork and Los Angeles’ KCRW Radio, to name but a few) to set up profiles and connect users with their favorite tunes (which can now be played without interruption, thank God).
The company has also been consistently updating its iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps, as the mobile aspect of the offering is really key to their long-term strategy.

The public launch of Rdio in the US and Canada is bad news for European music startup Spotify, which hasn’t managed to make it Stateside yet, despite all its oft-expressed hopes and dreams. Spotify says negotations with the labels are moving in the right direction, however, and that they’re confident they’ll be able to launch in the U.S. before year’s end.

Of course, Spotify is far from the only competition Rdio has or will have, with startups like Pandora and MOG doing very well. And let’s not forget three technology giants are plotting their own music-in-the-cloud push, too: digital music sales juggernaut Apple, Web giant Google and HP, still very much the largest information technology company in the world.
Curious to see what the future will hold for Rdio.

You please tell me what you think of it today, though.
The Press Desk 7th August 2010 10:03 AM
Apple's plan for Lala cloudier than ever | Apple - CNET News

When the iPhone maker bought, most assumed a music cloud service was on the way. But sources tell CNET that it may take a back seat to video. Read this blog post by Greg Sandoval on Apple.
Apple's plan for Lala cloudier than ever | Apple - CNET News
terryhart 7th August 2010 05:20 AM
The Cynical Musician has an interesting article about "Graphomania" that's worth a read:

One of the big questions facing us today is whether the practical erosion of copyright is a threat to future creativity and if so, how big a threat. Those in the copyright industries and a fair number of creators are saying: yes, it is a problem – just as we’d expect them to. However, there are also many people from the other side of the barricade who are saying this is nonsense. In their view, creators will always create, because of a deep-seated drive that forces them to do so. Graphomania, in fact.


The creator who’ll work for free has, in all likelihood, already learnt that nobody cares about what he has to offer enough to actually reach into their pockets. He doesn’t expect payment and may go as far as saying that he doesn’t care about payment, because true art is its own reward.
The article struck me as reminiscent of this speech delivered in 1841 by Thomas Macaulay:

The advantages arising from a system of copyright are obvious. It is desirable that we should have a supply of good books; we cannot have such a supply unless men of letters are liberally remunerated; and the least objectionable way of remunerating them is by means of copyright. You cannot depend for literary instruction and amusement on the leisure of men occupied in the pursuits of active life. Such men may occasionally produce compositions of great merit. But you must not look to such men for works which require deep meditation and long research. Works of that kind you can expect only from persons who make literature the business of their lives. Of these persons few will be found among the rich and the noble. The rich and the noble are not impelled to intellectual exertion by necessity. They may be impelled to intellectual exertion by the desire of distinguishing themselves, or by the desire of benefiting the community. But it is generally within these walls that they seek to signalise themselves and to serve their fellow-creatures. Both their ambition and their public spirit, in a country like this, naturally take a political turn. It is then on men whose profession is literature, and whose private means are not ample, that you must rely for a supply of valuable books. Such men must be remunerated for their literary labour. And there are only two ways in which they can be remunerated. One of those ways is patronage; the other is copyright.
I think the article is interesting because it gets to a question that is at the heart of many debates about the future of the music industry - is copyright necessary? For those who say yes, there are still plenty of things to argue about: how much protection, how long, and how to enforce. But some reject the idea that copyright itself is not justified. It provides no incentive to produce creative works, or whatever incentive it provides is far outweighed by its costs.
rack gear 7th August 2010 12:05 AM

Breaking: Universal Music Yanking Videos from MTV... - Digital Music News

the times, they are a changing...

lets do the math

more people wtach videos on yotube/vevo

youtube/vevo share revenue with labels

mtv does not share revenue

PlugHead 6th August 2010 01:17 PM
Wyclef on his presidential ambitions

Hip hop star Wyclef Jean has officially registered to stand for president of his native Haiti ahead of the presidential election due to be held on 28 November.
I read it in the papers a few minutes ago - he's submitted the papers:

BBC News - World News America - Wyclef Jean on his presidential ambitions

Let's see if he comes through with more than just 'hope' to a nation in need...
rack gear 5th August 2010 11:26 PM

If Only the Pie Was Growing: Digital Now 27% of WMG Revenues... - Digital Music News

Meanwhile, the same old story on digital is getting worse.

Digital formats only gained 2.3 percent during the quarter, and now account for 27 percent of the broader sales pie.

Instead of replacing physical sales and forging a new business, digital seems to be flattening out prematurely.

adpz 5th August 2010 05:46 PM
Calling all Fanboys who believe that Google represents the "good" fight against the industry/corporate complex - here's a little real-world info that may change your mind:

First, read the text of the letter below from Chairman Eric Schmidt in 2006:

A Note to Google Users on Net Neutrality: The Internet as we know it is facing a serious threat. There's a debate heating up in Washington, DC on something called "net neutrality" – and it's a debate that's so important Google is asking you to get involved. We're asking you to take action to protect Internet freedom.
In the next few days, the House of Representatives is going to vote on a bill that would fundamentally alter the Internet. That bill, and one that may come up for a key vote in the Senate in the next few weeks, would give the big phone and cable companies the power to pick and choose what you will be able to see and do on the Internet.
Today the Internet is an information highway where anybody – no matter how large or small, how traditional or unconventional – has equal access. But the phone and cable monopolies, who control almost all Internet access, want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block the on-ramps for those who can't pay.
Creativity, innovation and a free and open marketplace are all at stake in this fight. Please call your representative (202-224-3121) and let your voice be heard.
Thanks for your time, your concern and your support.
Eric Schmidt

Net Neutrality

Then read the news from today regarding a pending pact between Google and Verizon:

Google (GOOG) and Verizon (VZ) are in talks to allow the big Internet service provider to speed up the delivery of online content to Web users if the content's creators pay for this, according to a report by The New York Times. Citing sources close to the discussion, the Times says the agreement could be reached as soon as next week.

With such deals, deep-pocketed content sites could pay to ensure that their content received priority over other sites as it made its way to consumers. Such agreements may eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users. The pioneering pact between Google and Verizon, if finalized, could overturn the tenet of
Net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another -- it's something consumer advocates are fighting fiercely to protect.

The Times also says any deal "could also upend the efforts of the
Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service, which was severely restricted by a federal appeals court decision in April." The publication also reports that a Verizon spokesman said that the company was still engaged in the larger talks to reach a consensus at the FCC and declined to comment on other negotiations.

rack gear 4th August 2010 05:00 PM
Apple & iTunes Inch Closer To Music In The Cloud - hypebot

Are Label Attitudes Changing Or Is Apple Just Poking The Beast? Apple and iTunes inched closer to offer music in the cloud recently with the release of an updated app for the iPhone, iPad Touch and iPad. Buried in the release notes of the Apple's upgraded iDisk app is new option that lets devices stream music in a manner that appears to ignore record label demands that streaming music services requires a license. Click on the "More" button and the new option "Play audio from your iDisk while using another app" appears. As serial entrepreneur and MP3Tune's CEO Michael Roberston...
Apple & iTunes Inch Closer To Music In The Cloud - hypebot

Cloud-based iTunes could be about the video, not the music
Muser 3rd August 2010 07:31 PM
2012: The Year The Internet Ends - YouTube

Get More Videos: Subscribe! ---------------------- ---------------------- ---------------------- THIS IS THE LINK YO...
Take a look at this.

YouTube - 2012: The Year The Internet Ends

Maybe some further research is needed here.
Subversounds 30th July 2010 05:22 PM

A major problem of the music industry that is not deeply discussed on many threads around here is how the music industry lost billions following the single mp3 sales system.

Lets make the following considerations to proceed:

1. Most commercial cds usually have 2 to 4 songs that the general public is really interested. The term "filler songs" and "One hit Wonder" were not randomly created. The demand for a commercial album is mainly sustained by few songs it has. To an easier understanding lets consider that each album has 3 songs that people are "really looking for". This is the actual market demand.

2. In US, the average cost of a CD was U$12-14 per unit in 2000, according to RIAA (*). To get even numbers, lets consider a reasonable price of U$12 per album.

3. With $12 per album, people were actually paying U$4 dollars for each songs they really wanted.

4. When the change to "digital" came, albuns were "dismembered" into single track downloading system. Although a positive aspect to the consumer, people started to get only the tracks they 'needed', the real market demand was attended. We can easily accept that $1.00 is an average cost per downloaded track for our base calculations.

5. This way, instead of spending U$12 dollars to have the demand attended, people started to spend only U$4 to get the same thing.

A huge drop.

But this analysis is very simplistic, so let's go into numbers:

6. US cd sales record is from 2000 when 785 million units were sold (*). Assuming the consumer behavior cited above, people really wanted just 3 songs on average per given album. So it was an actual demand for 2.35 billion tracks.

7. I could not find numbers for paid downloads in 2000 but official counts from 2003 attested U$19.2 million digital revenues (*). Based ondigital sales growth we can drop out reasonable 20%, getting a good estimate of near 15 million dollars by 2000 from that source. At $1 per track as average, we have 15 million tracks, the attended demand that year. If we translate this demand to "regular commercial CDs" we have that 15 million tracks form 5 million albums.

8. US cd-singles sales that year (2000) were near 33 million (*). As they are singles, these count as 33 million tracks, or the equivalent of 11 million "regular commercial CDs".

9. Summing them up we have 785 + 5 + 11 = 801 million physical units legally sold in the "Golden Year 2000". 801 million "commercial CD" sales consists in 2.40 billion "demanded tracks", a total attended demand.


10. In 2009, US digital market sold around 1.2 billion single tracks (*). Doing the reverse, if they were inside a "commercial CD" in 2000, these would turn into 400 million cds sold to attend the 1.2 billion tracks in demand.

11. In 2009, US digital full albums sold 66 million units (*). A demand for 198 million tracks.

12. In this same year (2009), US regular "commercial cds" sales were 379 million units (*).

13. Summing the three 2009 figures to get the "Total Attended Demand" of that year, we would have 400 + 66 + 379 = 845 million "commercial cds". Or a "single track demand" of 2.55 billion tracks.

801 million albums was the actual "well-attended demand" of the Golden Year 2000.

845 million in the of 2009 is a growth of near 5% on the attended demand. In 2009, the number of people "paying for what they wanted" is 5% bigger than in 2000.
We could say that there is a similar amount of people paying for music today that it had during the 2000, the best year for the music industry. The attended demand remained constant in 10 years.

If the attended demand is almost the same, why is the Music Industry loosing lots of money then?!

Let's translate the above into numbers.

2000 sales:

CDs: 785 million units785 million is a demand of 2.35 billion tracks.
785 million CDs at U$12 = U$9.42 billion dollars.
Singles: 34 million units
34 million is a demand of 34 million tracks.
34 million singles sold at U$4 = 136 million dollars.
Digital Downloads: 15 million units
15 million is a demand of 15 million tracks.
15 million sold at U$1.00 = U$ 15 million dollars
TOTAL (in billions): U$9.42 + U$0.136 + U$0.015 = U$9.571 billion dollars

So, in 2000 to attend an actual demand of near 2.4 billion tracks the US Music Industry earned U$9.571 billion dollars selling CDs. The average of U$4.06 per track.

2009 sales:

CDs: 379 million units
379 million is a demand of 1.13 billion tracks.
379 million sold at U$12= U$4.54 billion dollars
CD Singles: 0
Physical Singles are statistically extinct.

Singles Downloads: 1.2 billion units
1.2 billion is the actual demand for it. If they were inside regular albums, these would be in 400 million CD units.
1.2 billion sold at U$1.00 = U$1.2 billion dollars.
400 million albums at U$12 = 4.8 billion dollars
Here alone the Music Industry lost 3.6 billion dollars.
Album Downloads: 66 million units.
66 million albums is a demand of 198 million tracks.

TOTAL: 4.54 + 1.2 + 0.198 = 5.93 billion dollars.

So, in 2009 to attend an actual demand of 2.53 billion tracks the US Music Industry earned U$5.93 billion dollars. An average of U$2.3 dollars per track.


So, with a fairly similar demand the Music Industry obtained U$9.571 billion in 2000 and ten years later is obtaining U$5.93 billion. This alone is a reduction of 38,1% of the revenues just by changing the format of sales.
The Press Desk 28th July 2010 11:57 AM
Google Gaining Momentum with 'iTunes Killer'

Google's new online music service gains momentum as talks with the music industry continue.
Google Gaining Momentum with 'iTunes Killer'
Id Ridden 26th July 2010 12:14 AM
Runninish Music - Mixing, Production, Remixing, Web & Graphic Design, Songwriting & Rentals

Music Services which include mixing, production, design, web design, rental...
There is a lot of debate about there being too much music, or that there can never be enough. Some say it is a good thing, some a bad thing. Some enjoy looking for new music, some don't. Some say the ease of access and ability to create music inexpensively has been a good thing for it.

We just released a new mixtape/album and went with CDBaby to do it solely for iTunes and the like, because we did that with our first one it keeps it easier. We went with CDBaby at the time based mainly around Derek Sivers, his philosophy and writings, who was still involved at the time.

So our album went live on Wednesday the 21st, later in the day.

For ****s and giggles I thought I would do some random searching today, Sunday the 25th, on CDBaby to see what the experience might be like for someone trying to find new music. So for rounding let's say that is 4 days.

Remember CDBaby is only one of the very few who have this kind of service available.

In searching the new arrivals, which appears to place your release within that timeline based upon when it goes live on their site, ours came up on page 67. There are 9 per page. That totals 603, for a whopping total of 150.75 a day and 6.3 per hour. Now imagine every other site and adjust accordingly.

Now add to that any completely independent release that doesn't go with this kind of service coupled with indie labels and the majors who have traditional distribution channels and/or direct access to iTunes etc. and top it off with those that are just giving their music away for free void of any of these.

How can anyone find any music? That is a lot of wading and listening, no one has that kind of time.

It is clear to me that with these sorts of numbers the supply far outweighs the demand.

No way can anything shine through, no way that anything free sparks interest, no way that it can retain much value.

What is also clear is that there are definitely people benefiting from this, but I am not sure it is the artist or the fan.

Just doing some random calculations with 150 releases a day let us say that half are album half are singles. Singles=$9.99 start up fee Albums=$35 start up fee.


Total=$4123.50 a day revenue for CDBaby solely on start up fees.

Over a normal year that would be=$1,505,077.50


That is only for up-front fees. Think of the cut on every sale that they also take. Now think of every single company that offers a service like this. The democratization of music has certainly been good for some people, but it isn't those that it should benefit the most. As per the norm it seems the artist gets the short end of the stick, and at the same time we have flooded the market and made the experience of the fans messy and complicated and really hard to find anything.

There's just too much damn music out there with too many people benefiting from it other then the artist or fan or those concerned in the development of new artists and bands, and I have no clue what to think about any of it.
Not intended for promo or anything but if you want to read it from the source with some images and pictures you can go here.

Justin Mantic
rack gear 25th July 2010 07:02 PM
PomplamooseMusic - YouTube


Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn collaborate on music. This is what it sounds like. Fan Mail & Press Inquiries Pomplamoose: PO Box 1323, Rohnert Park, CA 94927 (please do not use for band-business related inquiries or other business communication -- see below for all business inquiries). Booking Frank Riley High Road Touring Business / Licensing / Permission Requests / Legal Kia Kamran, Esq. Kia@TuneLaw.Com
YouTube - PomplamooseMusic's Channel

The hottest unsigned band in the USA built their following on YouTube with inventive videos, cover songs, and selling original music on itunes.

They're making enough money on their own, that they don't need a label - which is exactly why the labels (the major ones) are all over them.

Bands are attractive to labels when they have an audience, is that audience now youtube? Will Pomplamoose be the "Nirvana" of the digital generation spawning countless would be knock offs?

Of course they're not the first band to be signed from YouTube, but I think they may be the first of their kind... or was that Ok Go?

And if a band is known for videos as a primary vehicle, will it translate to music sales - Ok Go despite many years on Capitol had very limited sales for a band on a major label.
rack gear 23rd July 2010 06:42 PM

Five Huge Takeaways from New Music Seminar... - Digital Music News

ReverbNation CEO Mike Doernberg called pure DIY "crap," though at the earliest stages it can help an artist get some initial traction. "The DIY problem is that people think it's DIY for life - it's not... you cannot do it yourself," said Steven Van Zandt.

"All the best records ever made were made by an army of people."

rack gear 22nd July 2010 07:15 AM

stealing this from memphis and monomer...


looks interesting.

a cloud is born?

Deuce 225 21st July 2010 11:51 AM
The Harry Fox Agency

The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) is the premier mechanical licensing agent and provider of rights administration services in the U.S and the largest U.S. aggregator of publishing and recording data. We have a dynamic and expanding database of over 3.84M songs and administer nearly 16 million licenses for CDs, ringtones, permanent digital downloads, interactive streams, limited downloads, lyrics, tablature, jukeboxes and more.
OK, here's the situation. A band I am working with just finished recording a new record. The record has 3 covers and 6 original songs. Via, we have been able to make the copyright arrangements for one of the songs and using U.S. Copyright Office find information to copyright the 2nd song.

Here's the problem, the last cover song was written by a pretty obscure band (I'd rather not disclose who at this time) that was together from 1996 - 1998. Through a "copyright control" agreement they mutually allowed another significantly more popular band to record and release a version of the song (I purchased the CD to see if we could find out any copyright info about the song, all it said was song "XYZ written by Original band ABC, Copyright Control").

The original band does NOT seem to have any publishing arrangements or copyright information on file, nor does it seem that they ever released an album or CD. I can find no evidence of any record label affiliation nor can I locate the address of any of the members. My understanding is that we need to send an "Notice of Intent to Obtain a Compulsary License" form to the copyright holder or to their agent.

So that's the dilemma -- how do I do the right thing when I can't locate any info that would allow me to get the Notice of Intent to the right party and make the .9 cent payment per song for at least 1000 songs.

I would appreciate any advice from experienced people who may know how to properly address this problem. Rather than focus on creative ways of finding the band members i.e. using this forum, yellow page search, I would like to know if there is a way to file the notice and put the royalties in escrow until I may be able to find a band member.

Tim Cochran
Whitecat 21st July 2010 10:12 AM
What is a £1m record deal?

A record contract is the goal for all new acts. But what is a £1m deal?
A little vague in parts, but interesting nonetheless, esp for the layperson.

BBC News - What is a £1m record deal?
rack gear 20th July 2010 08:36 PM
The Ultimate Chart
Subversounds 19th July 2010 04:48 PM

After good readings of these two threads (here and here) i thought that a good study on the viability of mp3 as commodity, from an economic/market point of view, is a fundamental part of our business and discussions.

So, i started to compile some interesting conclusions on the nature of mp3 as a commodity, as follows:

1. Mp3 is a exact copy of the original, not a counterfeit of it; It is a reduplication of the original prototype (that we usually call final master);

2. This reduplication is uncontrollable, not only because 'piracy' is innevitable, but because sharing music is a widespread social behavior, real or virtual. Even without p2p, people do share their libraries and music and as internet took social relations to a much bigger scale, normal social sharing of music jumped to a bigger scale too (threads cited above have further discussion on this);

3. Since mp3 is a infinite reduplication of the original, it is a commodity that has no limits, its a commodity that is never scarce. As if the factory never ceased to produce it. Mainly because when the factory actually stops manufacture it, consumers will start to manufacture them in minor or major scale. So, from a market point of view, mp3s do have infinite supply, it's a commodity that is constantly overflowing the market.

4. This way, sooner or later, after it's realease, even if originally sold, mp3 will have a curve of price degration, up to a moment when it becomes worthless, when it's price drop to zero

5. If, inevitably, the price of mp3 will drop to U$0. Where is the viability of it as product?

The second important discussion on the viability of mp3 as a commodity, from an social point of view, is its relation with 'necessity'. Because:

6. Mp3 is a commodity not subject to fetishism, to reification. It's a product that people usually can't 'brag about' with the next guy, it's not subject to social competition, at least, not anymore (it might have been 10 years ago).

Reification is to separate something from the original context in which it occurs, and placing it in another context, in which it lacks some or all of its original connections yet seems to have powers or attributes which in truth it does not have. (Luckacs, 1923).

This is more explicit when people associate sports cars with virility; the 'relevance' of shoes to some women; the number of books in his library for a noble scholar of the 1700s; the strange 'necessity' to change cellphones to a better model every three years. There are many examples.

Mp3 supply became so widespread (infinite) and it's access so easy and infinity, that there is no point - from a social perspective - to brag about it.

This fact puts mp3s straight against one of the most important characteristics of any capitalistic product: it doesn't create the necessity of update or replacement by a 'newer model'; it's a product that never gets obsolete, even after it's price drop to U$0. The use-value of it remains constant, despite of its price drop.

Therefore i ask again: what is the viability of mp3 as a product?
Teddy Ray 17th July 2010 02:45 AM

The RIAA's "business plan" is even worse than I'd guessed it was, reports

Ray Beckerman at his blog. (Read it here: <Recording Industry vs. The People>.)

The RIAA paid Holmes Roberts & Owen $9.3 million in 2008, Jenner & Block

more than $7 million and Cravath Swain & Moore $1.25 million, to pursue its

"copyright infringement" claims, in order to recover a mere $391,000. (P.S.

here were many other law firms feeding at the trough too; these were just

the ones listed among the top five independent contractors.)

As bad as it was, I guess it was better than the numbers for 2007, in which

more than $21 million was spent on legal fees, and $3.5 million on

"investigative operations"... presumably MediaSentry. And the amount

recovered was $515,929.

And 2006 was similar: they spent more than $19 million in legal fees and

more than $3.6 million in "investigative operations" expenses to recover


So all in all, for a three-year period, they spent around $64 million in

legal and investigative expenses to recover around $1,361,000.

Subversounds 16th July 2010 02:19 PM

First of all i would like to thank this great community for the very prolific debate we've being doing in the last weeks. Many users with very different thoughts and perceptions are posting, including myself, EFF, chrisso, psalad, neenja and many many others, there are so many threads that is hard to keep track of my posts. Although there is not a consensus, the fact that we are openly talking about the future and present of our business in a very civilized manner is a great example of the strength of Gearslutz (thanks Jules).

Leandro Dias (Subversounds)
Now to the topic:

The perception i'm having is that music business is now changing its mode of production, not that it is falling apart. As many economists and industry theorist state, every time a field of industry goes through a structural change a fundamental crisis emerge. When Taylor and Ford came with their respective ideas of business organization, it changed a lot the industries, first their respective fields, later all other fields followed their steps. These had it's heyday/apogee from the 50s to late 70s, the Age of Mass Production, and still some fields of industry follows them.

Just to make sure what we are talking, the links above have simplifications of the two methods, but to make things short:

Taylorism is the scientific management of production, in essence its characteristics are the high division of labor; careful study of the role of each job within production chain. Its often related to Fordism.

Fordism is the line assembly approach to production, high standartization of the product and elimination of skilled labor. It complements taylorism because it requires a high division of labor and careful study of each job position (hence it needs a less skilled worker).

So, from the 70s to the 90s, this classic way of organizing industry saw a decline and a new form, much more efficient started to take place. I'm talking about 'toyotism' or the Lean Manufacturing process. The "on demand" way to produce.

To make things short again, Toyotism is based on the TPS (Toyota Production System) which is, oversimplifying, a "on demand" process. Only after a sale/order is made, the car start to be manufactured. And within a few days/weeks, the product is ready to be delivered.

What does it change in practice? It creates a much more economically efficient way to produce things, eliminates the need for stocks (of finished products), eliminates a big part of the risk and it has little to no waste of materials/ final products, mainly because the sale took place before the actual product. This is why many eastern motor companies grew amazingly from 90s to now, a much cheaper and efficient way.

And what does it all has to do with the Music Industry? Well, we can relate the actual way music is produced as a mass production style, highly fordist way approach. Mainly music industry is used to release tons of copies on the market and 'hope' it will sell to pay the costs/get profit. That is why the music industry is usually facing overproduction, excess of supply and when oversupply meets underconsumption, we have crisis.

And if you ask me, where is the music industry going?

I would be categorical: we are heading to toyotism in music industry. We are heading to get the product after we make the sale. Just to reinforce in other words, only after someone clicks BUY, that the machine says PRESS/PRINT. Technology, modern logistics, easy of information and highly automatized production can easily allow this change in a short time period.

In publishing (books) we have two or three of "on-demand" publishers around here (Brasil) and one is starting doing CDs. In US, from the top of my head, i only see CDBaby using the "on-demand" pressing/distributing system but i'm pretty sure that must be others. In Europe i dont know of none. But it is no mistery that these type of on-demand publishers have better deals to musicians and independent labels, they transparently present their "costs of production" and we know how much we will charge to get a reasonable share of the sales.

But what does it change for the factory floor of the Music Industry?

Well it changes everything. As we are talking in many threads, until just recently (particulary in my case, Brasil) Labels always entered with the risk part of the job. They fund albums hoping to sell and get the costs/profit back, a classic fordistic type of business subject to the uncertainties of the market it cant control. During its history the Music Industry, even maintaining its fordistic type of production, tried to eliminate the risks (as any other industries) and started over monopolizing the fields, to assure sales. Hence the studio aquisition/foundation period of 50-60s, the merge with distribution companies 70-80s, the merge with broadcast companies 80-90s, and more recently, advertising companies 90-00s, creating the overpowered big four controlling 80% of all the music market.

The risk part of the business is the main, maybe the only, justification for the high % of shares of copyrights of the final product. And here is where everything changes for the 'fabric floor' (musicians, producers, masterers and so), if the risk part is eliminated, the actual album is produced after its sale, how can their copyright shares be justifiable? This is no rethorical question.

PS: Sorry for the long text, but i think this is a must read.
Neenja 14th July 2010 09:49 PM
Are you a lawyer? It damn sure isn't helping the RIAA's customers (me).

The amount that the RIAA paid out to its lawyers in 2008? $16,000,000. The amount that the RIAA recovered as a result of their efforts? $391,000. "So all in all, for a 3 year period," Ray Beckermann reports "they spent around $64,000,000 in legal and investigative expenses to recover around $1,361,000."
In 2008 The RIAA Paid Out $16M, Recovered $391,000 - hypebot
rack gear 14th July 2010 09:26 PM
Bandcamp To Switch From Free To Paid Service - hypebot

(UPDATED) After several years of offering free services, music marketing and sales platform Bandcamp announced today that it will be switching to a paid platform in early August. Bandcamp will charge artists 15% of each transaction, dropping to 10% as soon as an artist, management or label's all-time sales exceed $5,000. The revenue share rate for existing accounts will be based on all sales to date. In the past six months, Bandcamp says that they've sold more $1 million in music and merch directly to fans. Last week Zoe Keating hit #7 on the Billboard Classical chart from the strength...
Bandcamp To Switch From Free To Paid Service - hypebot
Subversounds 14th July 2010 09:18 AM
Key phrases in the Handbook

Occupational Outlook Handbook
According to the Ocupational Outlook Handbook of 2000, made by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics we have the following:

Musicians, singers, and related workers held about 273,000 jobs in 1998. About three-quarters of these workers had part-time schedules. In addition, slightly over 2 in 5 were self-employed. Many jobs were found in cities in which entertainment and recording activities are concentrated, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.

Musicians, singers, and related workers are employed in a variety of settings. About 2 out of every 3 who earn a wage or salary are employed by religious organizations. Classical musicians may perform with professional orchestras or in small chamber music groups like quartets or trios. Musicians may work in opera, musical comedy, and ballet productions. They also perform in clubs and restaurants, and for weddings and other events. Well-known musicians and groups give their own concerts, appear "live" on radio and television, make recordings and music videos, or go on concert tours. The Armed Forces also offer careers in their bands and smaller musical groups.

Median annual earnings of musicians, singers, and related workers were
$30,020 in 1998. Earnings often depend on a performer’s professional reputation, place of employment, and on the number of hours worked. The most successful musicians can earn far more than the median earnings indicated above.

Perspectives from 1998 to the next ten years:

Overall employment of musicians is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2008. Most new wage and salary jobs for musicians will arise in religious organizations, where the majority of these workers are employed. Average growth is also expected for self-employed musicians as people continue to attend concerts, shows, recitals, and other performances in coming years. Although demand for musicians will generate a number of job opportunities, most openings will arise from the need to replace those who leave the field each year because they are unable to make a living solely as musicians.

Musicians, Singers, and Related Workers

The same BLS, 12 years after:

Musicians, singers, and related workers held about 240,000 jobs in 2008, of which 186,400 were held by musicians and singers; 53,600 were music directors and composers. Around 43 percent worked part time; 50 percent were self-employed. Many found jobs in cities in which entertainment and recording activities are concentrated, such as New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Nashville.
Musicians, singers, and related workers are employed in a variety of settings. Of those who earn a wage or salary, 33 percent were employed by religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations and 12 percent by performing arts companies, such as professional orchestras, small chamber music groups, opera companies, musical theater companies, and ballet troupes. Musicians and singers also perform in nightclubs and restaurants and for weddings and other events. Well-known musicians and groups may perform in concerts, appear on radio and television broadcasts, and make recordings and music videos. The U.S. Armed Forces also offer careers in their bands and smaller musical groups.

Perspectives from 2008 to the next ten years:

Employment change. Employment of musicians, singers, and related workers is expected to grow 8 percent during the 2008–18 decade, as fast as the average for all occupations. Most new wage-and-salary jobs for musicians will arise in religious organizations. Slower then average employment growth is expected for self-employed musicians, who generally perform in nightclubs, concert tours, and other venues. The Internet and other new forms of media may provide independent musicians and singers alternative methods for distributing music.
Many points to debate, i have to sleep now (5am here).

rack gear 14th July 2010 06:57 AM
UPDATE: First Half 2010 Sales Recap: Lady Antebellum, UMG Lead The Way |

Lady Antebellum's Need You Now was the top selling album in the U.S. in the first half of the year, as a familiar downward sales trend proved to be not as dramatic as in...
UPDATE: First Half 2010 Sales Recap: Lady Antebellum, UMG Lead The Way

Track sales were down 0.2% to 597.4 million from the 598.9 million recorded last year in the corresponding period. Industry observers ascribe the slowdown in track sales to the price increase to $1.29 from 99 cents for hit titles.

CD album sales were down 17.9% to 110.3 million units from 134.6 million units, and digital album sales were up 12.7% to 42.2 million units from the 37.1 million units tallied in the first half of 2009.
it's encouraging that consumers are also migrating to digital ALBUMS in addition to digital songs, and that digital songs have leveled off as a format... for now...

with any reasonable effort by the DoJ and others for improved legislation and enforcement of copyright against online piracy, there could be a significant upside in the next two years...

fingers crossed
Subversounds 13th July 2010 11:40 PM
Musicians and Singers : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Musicians and singers play instruments or sing for live audiences and in recording studios. They perform in a variety of styles, such as classical, jazz, opera, rap, or rock.
Musicians, Singers, and Related Workers

Median hourly wages of wage-and-salary musicians and singers were $21.24 in May 2008.
U$22/hour (rounded up for make it easier to calculate)

It is rare for musicians and singers to have guaranteed employment that exceeds 3 to 6 months.
Lets assume 6 months of 20 days work, 8 hours a day.
8 hours x 20 days x U$22 = U$3.520

So, during six months, in average, a american musician earns U$3.520 per month. So U$21.120 for half-year.

The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.64
Rounded to U$8

Lets assume, following the considerations of the US government, that the rest of the year the musicians in unemployed, that instead, the musician receive the lowest possible, but receives in the same regular manner.

Lets assume 6 months of 20 days work, 8 hours a day.
8 hours x 20 days x U$8 = U$1.280

During the other six months, in average, he will earn U$1.280 per month. So, U$7.680 for the other half year.

We have an average income of U$28.800 / year for the majority of the musicians in US. Rounding it to U$29.000

Now about the related workers described there:

Median annual wages of salaried music directors and composers were $41,270 in May 2008.
I'll round to U$41.000

Considering that US, acording to the text, have 240.000 professionals musicians, out of those, aprox. 186.000 are musicians/singers and 54.000 are directors/composers (probably producers are here too).We have that 77,5% of those are musicians earning U$29.000 and 22,5% earning U$41.000 a year.

That leads to a new percentual average of: U$31.700 / year

Multiplying U$31.700 x 240.000 (professional #) we have

U$ 7.608.000 (rounded to U$7.6 billion dollars)
chrisso 13th July 2010 03:26 AM

I mean the new business model championed by generation X,Y,Z, not the businesses being run by musicians.
Facebook fights New Yorker's claim of 84 percent stake - Yahoo!7

This is the lie about the internet - that it's about freedom and sharing. When in fact the brains and power behind most net resources are ruthless businessmen looking to make every last penny they can.

In a civil lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of New York's Allegany County last month, Paul Ceglia said he signed a contract with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 to develop and design a website.

The terms of the contract entitled Ceglia to a $1,000 fee and a 50 percent stake in the product, which eventually was launched as, according to the lawsuit.

Cuomo's suit alleged that Allegany Pellets took $200,000 from customers and failed to deliver any products or refunds.

rack gear 13th July 2010 02:10 AM
Coming Very Soon: A New Leaner EMI - hypebot

According to details leaked over the last few days, EMI is less than two weeks away from announcing a drastic reorganization plan designed that would lead to another round of layoffs. Plans are still being finalized, but one portion of it would see EMI move distribution, sales and some marketing functions to one of the other three major label groups. Some are also suggesting that there will be an outright sale of the recorded music division .But sources tell Hypebot that is unlikely suggesting that EMI's investors are not ready to accept the fire sale prices that are being offered....
Coming Very Soon: A New Leaner EMI - hypebot

According to details leaked over the last few days, EMI is less than two weeks away from announcing a drastic reorganization plan designed that would lead to another round of layoffs.

[edit] - this thread took an interesting turn into looking at how digital distribution works vs physical and how industry sales figures are reported, so I changed the title.
rack gear 12th July 2010 08:16 PM

YouTube: Bigger, Stronger, Faster, More Original... - Digital Music News

YouTube also announced that it will be sponsoring a few promising producers. As part of the YouTube Partner Grants program, a healthy $5 million will be offered to finance the most innovative production teams. Lucky teams will be plucked from YouTube and asked to submit grants, and those that offer the prospect of generating highly-trafficked, advertiser-friendly content will receive funding injections.
YouTube Blog: Investing in the Future of Video: YouTube Announces Partner Grant Program

are you ready to put down that guitar and pick up a camcorder yet?

you will be monetized by corporate advertising revenue, resistance is futile...
gsilbers 10th July 2010 11:59 PM
The Root Investigates Who Really Gets Paid in the Music Industry

Still think a music career is an easy path to a blinged-out life? Don't believe the hype. A whole lot of folks have to get paid before the musician does. The Root traces the money trail. Plus, try our customized calculator to find out how much you would make as a musician.
interesting article in msn

The Root Investigates Who Really Gets Paid in the Music Industry
rack gear 8th July 2010 07:25 PM
How Artists Deal with Music Being Leaked Online - TIME

Rapper Big Boi's latest album hits stores nearly two years after its first tracks began appearing on the Internet. A look at why songs are leaked online and what artists and record companies are doing to stop or capitalize on it
Album Leaks: A Record Label's Nightmare, or Opportunity - TIME
rack gear 6th July 2010 10:35 PM
Apple To Release 15 Albums As Downloads - hypebot

But Beatles Fans Still Have To Wait EMI Music has remastered 15 albums at Abbey Road Studios from The Beatles' Apple Records catalog and will release them as CD's and digital downloads on October 26, 2010. This will mark the first time that Apple has released tracks as digital downloads, but no Beatles albums are included. Instead early albums by James Taylor, Badfinger, Billy Preston, Mary Hopkin, Doris Troy, and Jackie Lomax - who were all personally brought to the label by The Beatles t- will get the digital treament. The Apple Records albums reissued in the campaign are: JAMES...
Apple To Release 15 Albums As Downloads - hypebot
Tringboy 5th July 2010 08:46 PM
Yahoo! UK &amp; Ireland omg! - Celebrity Gossip | News | Photos | Videos

Get the latest celebrity news and gossip on Yahoo! omg! UK. Discover the hottest celebrity gossip, news and stories including celebrity pictures, videos and more.
Pop superstar Prince is adamant he will never sell his songs on the internet, insisting web-based outlets will soon disappear because they are no longer "hip".
The Purple Rain hitmaker has long battled to keep his music offline - in 2007 he sued video sharing website as well as claiming they "are clearly able (to) filter porn and paedophile material but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorised music and film content which is core to their business success."
Prince has also moved to ban fansites using images and anything linked to his likeness, while a home video of a child dancing to one of his songs on YouTube was pulled down in 2007 after the star's Universal Music Publishing claimed the recording infringed copyright.
The artist is still refusing to allow websites to sell his music and he's adamant fans will soon move on from the internet.
He says, "The internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it.
"The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

saw this on Yahoo music news, in ways i agree with him, but how can it be over, where does he thinki people will get his music instead?

From Prince: 'The internet is over' - LAUNCH, Music on Yahoo! is now Yahoo! Music UK & Ireland
4damind 2nd July 2010 09:15 AM
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Seems that another artist lost his fans... The only concert in Germany (Berlin, Waldbühne) and he sold only 12000 tickets (capacity of the venue is 22000).

Bisher nur 12 000 Karten für Prince-Konzert verkauft
Gary Ladd 1st July 2010 06:05 PM
U.S. authorities seize websites over pirated movies | Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. authorities seized nine websites on Wednesday, accusing them of movie piracy by offering free access to movies such as Toy Story 3.Kevin Suh, vice president of content protection
I have it on good authority that the U.S. Dept. of Justice is getting VERY serious about cracking down on filesharing and COPYRIGHT infringement, as in shutting down ANY & ALL websites involved and PROSECUTING anyone connected!

This is of course is way ahead of international treaties being worked-out, but I think the U.S. GOV has finally turned its attention to protecting intellectual properties, and since music piracy is almost always connected at the hip to movie piracy, this is a WIN-WIN for musicians

U.S. authorities seize websites over pirated movies | Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. authorities seized nine websites on Wednesday, accusing them of movie piracy by offering free access to movies such as "Toy Story 3".

Kevin Suh, vice president of content protection for the Motion Picture Association of America, a Hollywood trade group, called the action, "Operation In Our Sites", the "largest takedown of illegal movie and television websites in a single action by the federal government."

It involved U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies, and came a week after the White House unveiled an enforcement plan for tackling theft of intellectual property.

Rufuss Sewell 1st July 2010 03:59 AM
One-Eyed Doll Official Website | Austin Texas Rock and Roll Band | PressKit

Kimberly Freeman of Austin Texas Rock Band One-Eyed Doll is one of Revolver Magazine's Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock and among Guitar Player Magazine's Top Twenty Female Guitarists.
I've been on Gearslutz for a long time, mainly talking gear. But I need some music biz advice now.

My band One-Eyed Doll is looking to invest in a publicist. We have a good brand and a working monetary stream. We earn a consistent amount of money every day from our web store and from various download sites. When we get publicity there is a bump in the money generated in our bank account.

So everything seems to be in place for us to start investing in a publicist. We do really well with the video game and anime crowd. You can check out the band's press kit here:

One-Eyed Doll Press Kit

And you can download all of our albums for free (name your own price) here:

One-Eyed Doll

Do any of you know first hand of a really great publicist that is willing to grow with a band and would be right for our style?

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