Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Serpent's Fruit

I posted a link to a news article in the TMD ITN page but thought that it deserved a closer look. It’s not about music per se, but it is about digital distribution, which is definitely something that musicians have to deal with nowadays.

However, this time it is books that are in the news, specifically e-books and how they are priced.

A class action antitrust lawsuit has been filed in a US District Court by the Hagens Berman litigation group alleging that five major publishers conspired to raise the price of e-books and force Amazon to drop its $9.99 e-book pricing.1

According to the lawsuit they didn’t act alone. They conspired with Apple, Inc.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Land of the Free?

I was working on another post when two music news items caught my eye. Both about the same thing. Labels who are removing themselves from the streaming service Spotify because the streaming payments are so small it makes it not worthwhile having their catalog available.

One of the reasons that streaming services, and new music gurus, give to justify low payments, are that the labels and artists, due to piracy, now have to complete with free. And we are talking payments below 1/3 of a penny or lower with streaming services.

It is interesting to note that the labels in question couldn’t be farther apart in musical style.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Share, But Not All Sharing is Alike

I have put off writing this post for a long time. While this is a difficult and touchy subject, it is also one which I am very passionate about. I believe that most people want to do the right thing when it comes to sharing music, and would not willingly do things that might cause harm to an artist whose music they enjoy. I know this to be true about my fans and the fans of my peers.

I have the best fans any artist could ask for. Some of them travel hundreds of miles just to see me perform. They help me set up for gigs, sell CDs at shows, carry my gear, pack up my gear, and share my music with their friends and family by buying copies of my CDs as gifts for them.

In today’s world, however, it is easy to spread the word about one’s favorite artist, yet hurt them at the same time. Not everyone realizes the consequences regarding some types of sharing, and if no one tells them which types help and which hurt, how would they know? That is what this post is about. That spreading the word and sharing is great, but how a listener shares is as important too.

Music has always been a social glue. Wherever and whenever people gather to celebrate or commemorate an event, there is music. You hear music at events like parties, weddings, funerals, graduations, as well as in social locations like restaurants, night clubs, bars, concert halls, and jams on the beach.

Music gives people a sense of “Identity”, and people want to turn their friends and family on to their music, both to share their love of it, as well as to say something about themselves and their tastes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Dinosaur is Dead, Long Live the Dinosaur

It seems like every time I read an article about music and the music industry the topics seem to have the same underlying current. Whether it is about streaming, the cloud, owning verses access or the financial viability of subscription models, the media is constantly buzzing about the death of buying music. Even downloading is now considered passé as we are told daily that nobody wants to buy music any longer. It is now all about access and the cloud is king. Of all music industry articles, 90% are about some kind of digital services, 1 and most of these seem to be about the latest services that the big boys like Apple, Amazon, and Google are pushing. These companies hope to make a lot of money from these new services and the media seems content to regurgitate their press releases. The truth, it turns out, is that most people aren’t buying it...

The dirty little secret that none of the these stories rarely discuss is that is the dinosaur of buying music is not dead, it is still alive and we, the music buyers are the dinosaurs. Recent studies have shown that despite the deluge of promotions and media blitz regarding music streaming, access and cloud services, people are still buying music.