Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Gerry
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby Gerry » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:52 am

Mark P wrote:Hi guys,

I am lucky enough to make my living out of playing music full time. I tour with pop artists, I record and gig. I also am lucky enough to make some money from PPL (mechanical royalties from having recorded drums on a popular song - not sure what the organisation for collecting these monies in the USA is called). I am not saying this makes my opinion more relevant or important than someone who doesn't make their living from music, I'm just saying I am well positioned to have a valid insight into the decline of money in the industry in the last 5 years...

I just wanted to instigate discussion (as if that was needed!) and specifically ask what people thought of programmes like Spotify? People here are lauding it as reasonable, that it's legal and therefore morally acceptable to listen to music on it. I too, use Spotify and love the fact there seems to be an infinite amount of music on there, all at the (very free) click of a button. I wonder if anyone knows what artists actually see in the way of royalties Spotify??

Let me tell you, last year over a five-month period, 1,000,000 plays of Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face' – one of the most popular songs on the site – earned her just $167. If the same song was played the same amount of times on various leading Radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, she would have seen $1,895,154. Although you're completely legally listening to the song, the artist doesn't see nearly the same return.

What are your thoughts on that, directly posed to people praising that medium?

MP


Mark, good post. I seriously doubt that the artists make much (if anything?!) by way of royalties. Not if we7.com is anything to go by (and I listen to it daily). There simply can't be enough money raised through advertising to pay out - for a solid week, the only sponsor I heard on we7 were the organisers of a local ska festival. Perhaps things will change? Doubt it.

Will this be the death of music? It's not feasible to make money from records any more, that's for sure. On a daily basis I throw out a ton of flyers and business cards from local businesses. They get pushed through my door at an alarming rate. Although it costs a business money to do this, there's obviously a return otherwise they wouldn't do it. Think of free music as a flyer/business card and I think you have an idea of how artists will make money/do make money at the moment.

I routinely get emails from a lot of London's largest venues that put on gigs (Barbican in particular). I've noticed that in recent years, the cost of tickets has rocketed. Going to a gig is now an event. A privilege almost, and it seems that there are enough out there willing to pay for it. Good. If it compensates the artist for lack of recording revenue, then great. As I said in previous posts, things seem to have come full circle and live music is the way forward. Surely that's a better thing than canned music?

Incidentally, I don't necessarily agree with the current state of affairs, it's just the way things are. My young nephews don't give a flying f*ck about music. It's just there and they take it for granted. If they're not buying, you can crack down on illegal downloading all you like...in the future you're just going to be penalising OAPs, it seems (the current generation just don't seem to care).
Gerry
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby Gerry » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:50 am

Mark P wrote:Let me tell you, last year over a five-month period, 1,000,000 plays of Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face' – one of the most popular songs on the site – earned her just $167. If the same song was played the same amount of times on various leading Radio stations such as BBC Radio 1, she would have seen $1,895,154. Although you're completely legally listening to the song, the artist doesn't see nearly the same return.


I've been thinking a little more about this. I see where you're coming from, but I don't think it's a simple case of "and therefore she's missed out on this much cash".

In the 70s and 80s, everyone in the UK listened to Radio 1. Many work places would pipe it in over speakers, or have a radio on in the background. It was something I grew up with. So, when a song was No1, millions of people heard it - and it literally was millions in those days - but the artist only got paid for a single play. Can't remember what the going rate is now. Anyway, even if a song was number one and was on 'all the time', it wasn't in reality because the Beeb could/can only afford to pay out so much in royalties. So although a very nice earner (especially in the long run), the majority of income still came from sales. And of course, that's the bit that has changed now. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that just because a million + heard Lady Gaga's song, doesn't meant to say that all of them would have bought it under 'normal' circumstances, had it not been available to listen to for free on the internet. That was never the case: only a percentage of listeners in the 'golden' days of radio ever followed through on the deal, so to speak.

In the case of Lady Gaga, I dare say the $167 dollars paid her butcher's bill to get her dress made. Now that was a good investment considering all the publicity she received (worldwide headlines).
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby DSOP » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:46 am

Gerry wrote:Do you realise how much music is available for free legally? You should, because that’s the way things are going. Illegal downloading isn’t going to be an issue in the future because there’s won’t be any need to do it.


Yes, and you're right. If someone wants to offer their music for free, and use that as a mere promotional tool for better attendance at live performances, I have no problem with it (although I do think there has to be a better approach). My gripe (or venom) is directed at people who feel ALL music should have a monetary value of ZERO, whether offered for free or not.

I don't have the answer (obviously), but I still believe that there is a solution out there that will work for everyone. I also don't want or expect things to "go back to the way they were". One solution may be to have songs that cost 9 cents each instead of 99. And maybe a new file format that is trackable. Or maybe just a bit of all of the above. The easier and cheaper you make it for someone to access and enjoy your music, the more successful you'll be. There will always be those who are willing to spend the extra effort to "get something free" or "beat the system", but I think most people just want convenience, and if it's priced negligibly, they won't even flinch.

I'm amazed at the price of concert tickets these days (thanks to a large part by the stranglehold of Ticketmaster and Live Nation). I don't know how a young kid is going to be able to attend more than one or two big shows a year, while I used to attend a dozen or more per year (and that was about 20 years ago).

And I may be a dick, but at least I'm consistent.
Gerry
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby Gerry » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:22 am

DSOP wrote: One solution may be to have songs that cost 9 cents each instead of 99. And maybe a new file format that is trackable. Or maybe just a bit of all of the above.


I was thinking a little about this earlier. With technology being where it is at the moment, it is impossible to police the billions of transactions that take place on the internet daily. In some ways that has been liberating, but it's changed the music industry (for better of worse) forever. Likewise with the porn industry and possibly with publishing in the future (are kindles all the rage your side of the pond at the moment?) Who knows how things will pan out in the future, though. As technology improves then it will be harder to remain anonymous/be unaccountable. Perhaps Orwell's screen on the wall, that he prophesied in 1984, is staring at us all right now. It's on your desk instead.
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Kurtis
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby Kurtis » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:47 am

DSOP
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby DSOP » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:00 am

Kurtis wrote:http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/former-music-label-boss-beat-piracy-by-selling-albums-for-1.ars


I think this may be the answer. Digital files would cost next to nothing, but their fidelity isn't as good (and most people don't care about fidelity). For those of us who wish to own the high-fi version, we pay more for the full-fidelity file, or the physical CD, which could also include added value like printed material, photos, lyrics, video, etc.

I don't see Apple lowering their prices anytime soon though.
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Juan Expósito
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby Juan Expósito » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:05 am

TEST PASSED... The NEW FORUM works !!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Interesting points from all of you.
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deseipel
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby deseipel » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:35 pm

Gerry wrote:Yussuf, excellent links. Thanks.

DSOP, I don’t even know where to start with some of your pronouncements.

You keep going on about stealing and how that will be addressed, but I question whether you’ve been keeping up with things (despite your obvious impeccable credentials in the industry). Do you realise how much music is available for free legally? You should, because that’s the way things are going. Illegal downloading isn’t going to be an issue in the future because there’s won’t be any need to do it.

Do an artist search on we7.com then click on ‘albums’. Surprising what’s on there. These took me all of 10 seconds to find:


http://www.we7.com/#/album/Chick-Corea- ... ktric-Band

http://www.we7.com/#/user/view-playlist ... Id=1175292

Totally free, totally legal. Why would I want to clutter my hard drive with mp3s when I can access it for free? With the trend for internet access on mobile units, will we even need mp3 players in the future? I doubt it. Just get connected and it’s all there, day in, day out.




with adverts at the beginning of the songs? sorry, "not on my watch". (quote from their site at bottom). This and spotify aren't available in the US , Grooveshark is though. The Grooveshark site isn't something I listen to a lot, but I have to wonder if they're legit. I'm sure they're not. I've watched the site for quite a while and it's almost another facebook story: created by a bunch of college kids. I'm amazed it lasted as long as it has. today's youth has so much instant gratification. The results of that kind of mentality can't be good.

Makes me want to never record anything I write. Makes me think that the fact that I write stuff is worthless: once it's out there, it's no longer mine. It's taken over by the Internet.


"...It's the digital media delivery model of the future
"MediaGraft" technology allows short ads/messages to be played before each streamed or downloaded song. This means users can listen to the music how they want - and artists get paid.
"MediaGraft" is nothing like other emerging ad-supported models that can "slug" downloads to unreasonable times and force-feeds video ads.
Nor is it anything like those horrendous subscription systems that use draconian DRM systems to delete your music library unless you continue to re-subscribe or visit them regularly.
The technology is designed to be artist friendly, brand friendly and fan friendly from the beginning. ..."
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby DSOP » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:59 pm

Gerry wrote:Medeski Martin and Wood recently ran a subscription for an online workshop and concert, for example.


Gerry
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Re: Interesting stuff RE music biz from Scott H

Postby Gerry » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:32 pm

deseipel wrote:with adverts at the beginning of the songs? sorry, "not on my watch".


I can only speak about the sites that I use, but the adverts as things stand really aren't that intrusive. When playing an album, for example, you get a short commercial at the start, then perhaps one every 8 tracks or so. I can live with that. Will it remain like that? I can't see how it can. If they are legit (and to my knowledge we7 is), then they must be running at a loss in anticipation of more advertising revenue in the future. In which case it's almost certain that ads will be crammed in all over the place...yuk. Then again, quite a lot of the advertising is of the 'click here' type. If they focus on that, then I can live with it (just so long as it doesn't interrupt the music).

deseipel wrote:Makes me want to never record anything I write. Makes me think that the fact that I write stuff is worthless: once it's out there, it's no longer mine. It's taken over by the Internet.


I have to say, I sort of feel the same way, despite everything I've said.

Edit: DSOP, thanks for the link. Cool!

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