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How Spotify’s algorithms are ruining music
May 2, 2019 | Financial Times | Michael Hann.

(1) FINAL DAYS OF EMI, By Eamonn Forde, Omnibus, RRP£20, 320 pages
(2) SPOTIFY TEARDOWN, By Maria Eriksson, Rasmus Fleischer, Anna Johansson, Pelle Snickars and Patrick Vonderau, The MIT Press, RRP£14.99, 288 pages
(3) WAYS OF HEARING, By Damon Krukowski, The MIT Press, RRP£14.99, 136 pages

In April, the IFPI — the global body of the recording industry — released its latest annual Global Music Report. For the fourth consecutive year, revenues were up, to a total of $19.1bn, from a low of $14.3bn in 2014. Nearly half those revenues came from music streaming, driven by a 33 per cent rise in paid subscriptions to services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal...... It is worth remembering that 20 years ago, the IFPI reported global music revenues of $38.6bn. Today’s “booming” recording industry is less than half the size it was at the turn of the century.....The nadir for the recording industry coincided with the first shoots of its regrowth. ....In August 2007, the British record company EMI — the fourth of the majors, alongside Universal, Sony and Warner — was bought by private equity firm Terra Firma (Guy Hands, the fund’s founder and chairman) for $4.7bn; a year later, a Swedish company called Spotify took its music streaming service public. The former was, perhaps, the last gasp of the old way of doing things — less than four years after buying EMI, Terra Firma was unable to meet its debts, and ceded control of the company to its main lender, Citigroup. Before 2011 was out, the process of breaking up EMI had begun...EMI’s demise was foreshadowed before Hands arrived, with a blaze of hubris in the early 2000s. Forde, a longtime observer and chronicler of the music business recounts the “disastrous and expensive” signings of that era......Handspreached the need to use data when signing artists, not just the “golden ears” of talent scouts; data are now a key part of the talent-spotting process.

* to qualify as having been listened to on Spotify, a song has to have been played for 30 seconds.
* hit songs have become increasingly predictable, offering up all their pleasures in the opening half-minute. Their makers dare not risk scaring off listeners.
* for all the money that the streaming services have generated for the music industry, very little of it flows back to any musicians except the select few who dominate the streaming statistics,

.......On Spotify, music consumption has been reorganised around “behaviours, feelings and moods” channelled through curated playlists and motivational messages......The data Spotify collects enable the industry to work out who its market is, where it lives, what else they like, how often they listen to music — almost anything, really. It’s the greatest assemblage of information about music listeners in history, and it has profoundly altered the industry: it has made Spotify music’s kingmaker......when an artist travels abroad to promote a new album, the meeting with the local Spotify office is more important than the TV appearances or the newspaper interviews. ...Spotify enables artists to plan their band’s set lists so they can play the most popular song in any given city.............So what? What does it matter if one model of music distribution has been replaced by another.....It matters because Spotify has profoundly changed the listener’s relationship with music....Older musicians often wax about how, when you had to buy your own music as a kid, you listened to it until you liked it, because you wouldn’t be able to afford a new album for another month. Now you simply skip to the next one, and probably don’t give it your full attention. Without ownership, there’s no incentive to study...........Faced with the impossibly wide choice of Spotify, it becomes easier to return to old favourites — easier than when flicking through your vinyl or CDs, because the act of looking through your own music makes things you had not thought of in years leap out at you. Spotify actually makes people into more conservative listeners, a process aided by its algorithms, which steer you towards music similar to your most frequent listening.....The theme of Krukowski’s book is that the changes in the way the music industry works have been about controlling and eliminating excess noise. That’s in a literal sense and in a metaphorical one, too. Streaming has stripped music of context, pared it back to being just about the song and the moment....but noise is the context of life. Without noise, the signal becomes meaningless......The world of the old EMI was one of both signal and noise; where myths and legends could be created: The Beatles! Queen! The Beach Boys! Pink Floyd! It was never all about the signal. The world of Spotify is one of signal only, and if you don’t appreciate that signal within the first 30 seconds of the song...all may be lost
abundance  algorithms  Apple_Music  books  book_reviews  business_models  curation  cultural_transmission  data  decontextualization  EMI  gatekeepers  Guy_Hands  hits  indoctrination  iTunes  legacy_artists  music  music_catalogues  music_labels  music_industry  music_publishing  noise  piracy  platforms  playlists  royalties  ruination  securitization  signals  songs  Spotify  streaming  subscriptions  talent  talent_scouting  talent_spotting  Terra_Firma  Tidal  transformational 
may 2019 by jerryking
Music’s ‘Moneyball’ moment: why data is the new talent scout | Financial Times
JULY 5, 2018 | FT | Michael Hann.

The music industry loves to self-mythologise. It especially loves to mythologise about taking young scrappers from the streets and turning them into stars. It celebrates the men and women — but usually the men — with “golden ears” almost as much as the people making the music....A&R, or “artists and repertoire”, are the people who look for new talent, convince that talent to sign to the record label and then nurture it: advising on songs, on producers, on how to go about the job of being a pop star. It’s the R&D arm of the music industry......What the music business doesn’t like to shout about is how inefficient its R&D process is. The annual global spend on A&R is $2.8bn....and all that buys is the probability of failure: “Some labels estimate the ratio of commercial success to failure as 1 in 4; others consider the chances to be much lower — less than 1 in 10,” observes its 2017 report. Or as Mixmag magazine’s columnist The Secret DJ put it: “Major labels call themselves a business but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant.”......The rise of digital music brought with it a huge amount of data which, industry executives realized, could be turned to their advantage. ....“All our business units must now leverage data and analytics in innovative ways to dig deeper than ever for new talent. The modern day talent-spotter must have both an artistic ear and analytical eyes.”

Earlier this year, in the same week as Warner announced its acquisition of Sodatone, a company that has developed a tool for talent-spotting via data, another data company, Instrumental, secured $4.2m of funding. The industry appeared to have reached a tipping point — what the website Music Ally called “A&R’s data moment”. Which is why, wherever the music industry’s great and good gather, the word “moneyball” has become increasingly prevalent.
........YouTube, Spotify, Instagram were born and changed the way talent begins its journey. All the barriers came down. Suddenly you’ve got tens of thousands of pieces of music content being uploaded.......Home computing’s democratization of recording removed the barriers to making high-quality music. No longer did you need access to a studio and an experienced producer, plus the money to pay for them. But the music industry had no way to keep abreast of these new creators. “....The way A&R people have discovered talent has barely changed since the music industry began, and it’s fundamentally the same for indie labels, who put artistry above sales, as it is for major labels who have to answer to shareholders. It’s always been about information.....“We find them by listening to new music constantly, by people giving us tips, by going out and seeing things that sound interesting,”.....“The most useful people to talk to are concert promoters and booking agents. They are least inclined to bullshit; they’ll tell you how many people an act is drawing,”...like labels, publishers also have an A&R function, signing up songwriters, many of whom will also be in bands)....“Journalists and radio producers are [also] very useful people to give you information. If you know you’ve got particular DJs or particular writers who are going to pick up something, that’s really good.”
.......Instrumental’s selling point is a dashboard called Talent AI, which scrapes data from Spotify playlists with more than 10,000 followers.....“We took a view that to build momentum on Spotify, you need to be on playlists,”....“If no one knows who you are, no one’s going to suddenly start streaming a track you’ve just put up. It happens when you start getting included on playlists.”......To make it workable, the Talent AI dashboard enables users to apply a series of filters to either tracks or artists: to sort by nationality, by genre, by number of playlists they appear on, by the number of playlist subscribers, by their industry standing — are they signed to a major? To an independent label? Are they unsigned?
.......What A&R people are looking for, though, is not totals, it’s evidence of momentum. No one wants to sign the artist who has reached maximum popularity. They want the artist on the way up....“It’s the direction. Is it going in the right direction?”....when it comes to assessing what an artist can offer, the data isn’t even always about the numbers. “The one I look at the most is Instagram, because that’s the easiest way for an artist to express themselves in a way other than the music — how they look, what they’re into,” she says. “That gives a real snapshot into [them] and whether they really have formulated a world for themselves or not.”......not everyone is delighted with the drive to data. “[the advent of] Spotify...became the driving force for signings...“A&Rs were using their eyes rather than their ears — watching numbers change rather than listening to music, and then jumping on acts....they saw something happening and got it out quickly without having to invest in the traditional A&R process.”... online heat tends to be generated by transient teenage audiences who are likely to move on rather than stick around for a decade: online presence is a big thing in electronic dance music, or some branches of urban music, in which an artist might only be good for a single song. In short, data does not measure quality; it does not tell you whether an artist has 20 good songs that can be turned into their first two albums; it does not tell you whether they can command a crowd in live performance..........The music industry, of course, has always had an issue with short-termism/short-sightedness: [tension] between the people who sign the cheques and those who go to bat for the artists is built into the way it works..........The problem is that without career artists, the music industry just becomes even more of a lottery. It is being made harder, not just by short-termism, but by the fact that music has become less culturally central. “It’s so much harder to connect with an audience or grow an audience, because there’s so much noise,”
.......Today the A&R...agree that the new data has its uses, but insist it still takes second place to the evidence of their own eyes and ears.......As for Withey, he is not about to tell the old-school scouts their days are done....Instrumental can tell A&R people which artists are hot, but not which are good. Also, there will be amazing acts who simply don’t get the traction on the internet to register on the Talent AI dashboard.....All of which will come as a relief to the people running those A&R departments. .....when asked if data will become the single most important factor in scouting talent: “I hope not. Otherwise we may as well have robots.” For now, at least, the golden ears are safe.
A&R  algorithms  analytics  data  dashboards  tips  discoveries  filters  hits  Instagram  inefficiencies  momentum  music  music_industry  music_labels  music_publishing  Moneyball  myths  playlists  self-mythologize  songwriters  Spotify  SXSW  success_rates  talent  talent_spotting  tipping_points  tracking  YouTube  talent_scouting  high-quality  the_single_most_important 
july 2018 by jerryking
The music industry dances to the beat of TV revenue - The Globe and Mail
September 4, 2017 | Globe and Mail | by JOSH O’KANE.

Toronto's Barenaked Ladies first blew up in the 1990s, when CDs were king. But music sales have since collapsed and streaming services such as Spotify have replaced some, but not nearly all, of that revenue. Bands such as Mr. Robertson's have made up for lost sales in large part by touring. As the fall TV season begins – including The Big Bang Theory's season premiere later this month – getting music on a TV show, film or commercial is becoming an increasingly enticing revenue stream for musicians and the businesses that back them.

As streaming-video platforms keep adding new, original shows and films on top of traditional broadcast channels, the opportunities to license music increase as well. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the recorded music industry's global lobby group, reports that in 2016 Canada brought in $7.8-million (U.S.) in "synchronization" revenue for artists and labels from using music in TV, film, ads and video games.

While that represents less than 1 per cent of total revenue, it's a 32-per-cent increase over the previous year, signalling growing attention for recordings' revenue stream. Meanwhile, SOCAN – which collects royalties for songwriters and music publishers in Canada – says more than a third of all of its royalty revenue comes from TV sources.
films  licensing  music  musicians  music_industry  music_publishing  royalties  streaming  songwriters  television 
september 2017 by jerryking
Twilight of the Rock Gods -
March 25, 2017 | WSJ | By Neil Shah.

As rock ‘n’ roll loses its founding megastars—and sales juggernauts—the music industry faces pressure to revamp.....As rock's founding fathers and mothers get older, the music industry faces a problem: can younger artists replace their sales?

Of the 25 artists with the highest record sales in the U.S. since 1991, when reliable data first became available, just one—Britney Spears—is under 40, Nielsen data show. Nineteen of the 25 are over 50 years old.....In terms of concert-tour revenue, artists over 50 represent half of the $4.5 billion generated by last year’s top 100-grossing tours, excluding non-music acts and comedians, according to a WSJ analysis of data from Pollstar, the trade magazine. Of the top 10, five were over 50, including Bruce Springsteen (67), Guns N’ Roses (average age 53), Paul McCartney (74), Garth Brooks (55) and the Rolling Stones (73), Pollstar data show.......the number of celebrity deaths last year wasn’t exceptional, according to a study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, though the number of “mega famous” celebrity deaths was. Because of their penchant for hard living, rocker deaths are likely to stay consistently high. .....Rock has an outsize influence on music sales. It was responsible for 41% of total U.S. album sales last year, far higher than hip-hop and R&B (15%), country (13%) or pop (10%), according to Nielsen......Much of rock’s commercial success was possible because of the way the industry was structured. By the 1980s, cash-rich major labels were helping finance tours, throwing money at fledgling acts and investing huge sums in veteran stars even when their careers floundered.

Such investments—equivalent in spirit to the R&D expenditures of pharmaceutical firms—helped artists build enduring brands and transformed superstars into major corporations that overshadow young pop/rock acts even today.......WILL YOUNGER STARS FILL THE VOID?

Probably not. Because of the multiplicity of entertainment options today, reduced attention spans, personalized tastes and less record-label support, most of today’s artists will never be as big as yesterday’s rockers.

Radio used to have the power to make even a lower-quality rock release popular. However, the fragmentation of the music industry—fans using multiple formats and splintering across rock, hip-hop, country and electronic music—means most acts will never find the same big audiences......WHAT ABOUT CONCERTS?

Young megastars like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and country acts like Carrie Underwood make most of their money on tour. And there will be a successive generation of touring veterans like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Nicki Minaj, along with unexpected reunions and area headliners.

But many acts today from rapper Future to rockers Japandroids don’t generate colossal sums compared with older stars.......WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

The concert business is going in two directions: diversifying into festivals and smaller venues, to focus on younger audiences, while continuing to squeeze every opportunity out of the boomer market.

Joe Edwards, a St. Louis music-venue owner, sees the industry shifting focus from big venues such as amphitheaters to the smaller 1,000 to 3,000-seat venues suited to today’s artists. “I see more acts loving those sizes,” he says, since the artists don’t have to wait to play bigger stages. “Smaller venues will be very popular,” he says.

To reach younger audiences, Live Nation, the country’s biggest concert promoter, has been on a music-festival-buying spree. Last spring, the company bought a majority stake in Founders Entertainment, which runs New York’s Governors Ball festival, part of a strategy that diversifies its business away from the 40-plus amphitheaters it runs.
aging  artists  attention_spans  celebrities  concerts  deaths  golden_oldies  legacy_artists  Live_Nation  live_performances  music  music_industry  music_festivals  music_venues  rock-'n'-roll  small_formats  small_spaces  superstars  touring 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why a Music Mogul Is Snapping Up Tiny Trade Magazines
March 19, 2017 | WSJ | By HANNAH KARP.

the music industry is mounting a comeback, one of the most powerful men in the business is snapping up some of its least flashy assets: trade publications.

Music mogul Irving Azoff and a business partner, Tim Leiweke, recently purchased Venues Today, and are in talks to buy Pollstar, people familiar with the matter said. Both outlets cover the live-music business.

Rather than simply trying to pry readers or advertisers from the music industry’s biggest trade magazine, Billboard, the two men are primarily interested in using the magazines to break into the conference business.....The surge of interest in music’s more obscure trades comes as the concert industry continues a long boom and the recorded-music business rebounds after years of declining sales. While magazines and newspapers across the board are generally struggling to compete for advertisers and readers with Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, industry trades are closely tied to the health of the businesses they cover, with the firms in those industries being their primary advertisers.

Billboard executives view the entrance of Mr. Azoff and Mr. Leiweke into music media not as a threat but as welcome validation of the music industry’s recovery, according to a person familiar with the matter, who added that Billboard’s revenue has increased 86% since 2013....Mr. Azoff is the former executive chairman of the country’s biggest concert promoter, Live Nation Entertainment Inc.; Mr. Leiweke is the former chief executive of Live Nation’s next-largest competitor, Anschutz Entertainment Group.

Messrs. Azoff and Leiweke could use conferences to help Oak View Group, their venue-management company, which collects annual fees from about two dozen arenas in exchange for sponsorships, event booking and other services.

Controlling the concert trades also allows Mr. Azoff to take on Billboard, a publication he has publicly criticized as it broadened its appeal to woo readers and bigger advertisers from outside the music industry.
music_industry  mergers_&_acquisitions  the_Eagles  M&A  trade_publications  back-house_opportunities  Tim_Leiweke  music  magazines  moguls  concerts  live_music  live_performances 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Ongoing Economic Exploitation of Black Music | Dr. Lisa Tomlinson
Cultural Critic and Language Specialist
Email
The Ongoing Economic Exploitation of Black Music
Posted: 01/08/2016
African-Americans  Caribbean  culture  cultural_appropriation  cultural_criticism  exploitation  music_industry  music 
january 2016 by jerryking
Apple streaming service leaves iTunes behind
6 June 2015|Financial Times | Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco and Matthew Garrahan in New York

When Apple unveils a new music streaming service at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, it w...
Apple  streaming  iTunes  music  downloads  music_industry 
july 2015 by jerryking
Rdio aims for streaming music’s sweet spot
As the world’s streaming music companies grapple for market share in a nascent industry, Rdio Inc. is betting that less means more, launching a new low-cost option targeted at casual music…
Spotify  royalties  Rdio  music_industry 
june 2015 by jerryking
Ben Yagoda and Gary Rosen: Tuning Music Royalties to the Times
April 5, 2015 | WSJ | By BEN YAGODA And GARY A. ROSEN

Performers can go on tour and sell merch. Songwriters in the age of Spotify and Pandora are out of luck.

For some time, performers a notch below Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have complained about the change in music delivery from CDs to downloads to streaming, today’s dominant system, as the progression has chipped away at their already-modest royalties. These gripes are legitimate, but even worse off is the non-performing songwriter, who can’t go on the road and sell signed CDs and merch, and who takes home significantly lower royalties........The entire U.S. system of music royalties is confusing, contradictory and inequitable, a monument to more than 100 years of haggling among creators, purveyors and users. To call it Byzantine maligns that great empire.

For one, a musical composition (“the publishing” in music-industry parlance) and its recording (“the master”) receive separate copyrights, with separate licensing systems. There are dramatically different rate-setting mechanisms: Broadcast radio pays royalties for the composition, but nothing for the recording. Digital media—Pandora and satellite radio, for instance—pay for both, but nobody pays for recordings made before 1972, which are not protected under federal copyright law. (They may soon carry a royalty in certain states, thanks to lawsuits filed by former members of the Turtles.) Hardly any music licenses are negotiated in the free market.
copyright  digital_media  music  music_industry  musical_performances  Pandora  royalties  Spotify  songwriters  streaming 
april 2015 by jerryking
‘The Hippest Trip in America’ and ‘Soul Train’ - NYTimes.com
By ROSEMARY BRAY McNATTMAY 30, 2014.

THE HIPPEST TRIP IN AMERICA
Soul Train and the Evolutionof Culture and Style
By Nelson George
Illustrated. 236 pp. William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.99.

SOUL TRAIN
The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation
By Questlove
Illustrated. 239 pp. Harper Design/HarperCollins Publishers. $45.
books  African-Americans  book_reviews  entertainment_industry  television  soul  music_industry 
june 2014 by jerryking
DIGITAL MEDIA REVIEWS
DIGITAL MEDIA REVIEWS
Haupt, Jon. Music Library Association. Notes69.1 (Sep 2012): 132-138.

The founding of Pandora Media in 2000, Rhapsody in 2001, Audio - scrobbler and Last.fm in 2002, and Appl...
business_models  streaming  music_industry  Spotify 
april 2014 by jerryking
Long & McQuade CEO on family owned business success
Nov. 17 2013 | The Globe and Mail | RICHARD BLACKWELL.

What is that business model?

We take a very long term view of our customers – a cradle-to-grave thing.

Most people who are musicians, through their whole life they identify as being a musician. [Often] their kids are musicians and their parents are musicians. They might take piano lessons when they are little, then they might be in a school band, then a rock band in high school. They might get an acoustic guitar when they are in their 20s, and when they get older they might become a collector of expensive guitars. We want to interact with them all the way through.

So, very often, we are not really concerned with making the big sale. We want to be the company that, whenever this person needs anything regarding music, he immediately comes to us. Whether he needs a guitar pick or a $4,000 Les Paul [guitar], he comes to us.
music_industry  family-owned_businesses  family_business  business_models  CEOs 
november 2013 by jerryking
Shoal mates
October 5, 2013 | G&M | Brad Wheeler.

Nestled in the northwest corner of Alabama, the small town of Muscle Shoals was sweet home to a pair of legendary recording studios FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios — and the Swampers, the backing band for some of the greatest music ever recorded. Now Muscle Shoals, a feature-length documentary directed by Greg (Freddy) Camalier showing at TIFF Bell Lightbox starting this weekend, is set to tell the story of FAME Studios's boss Rick Hall and the region‘s deep-soul sound that produced hits for Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and other musical icons of the 1960s and The film premiered at the Hot Docs documentary festival in Toronto earlier this year. Brad Wheeler highlights some of the magic moments in Muscle Shoals music
music  music_industry  music_labels  the_South  films  movies  '60s  '70s  Alabama  soul  Wilson_Pickett 
october 2013 by jerryking
'Muscle Shoals': Land of 1,000 Hit Records - WSJ.com
September 19, 2013 | WSJ | By MARC MYERS

'Muscle Shoals': Land of 1,000 Hit Records
A New Documentary About the Alabama Music Mecca
music  music_industry  soul  R&B  the_South  movies  films  Jerry_Wexler  '60s  '70s  Alabama  Wilson_Pickett 
september 2013 by jerryking
20 Feet from Stardom: A chronicle of great singers with invisible faces - The Globe and Mail
Liam Lacey

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jul. 05 2013

"Stay cool, stay humble, stay beautiful, and just do the work." A movie about backup singers.
movies  music_industry  singers  films 
july 2013 by jerryking
The Lease They Can Do: What the Fight Over 'Used' Music Reveals About Online Media
April 03, 2013 | Businessweek | By Paul Ford.

What is a song worth to Spotify or competitors such as Rdio? To them, a song is an entry in a very large database—and they solve the licensing problem by managing the licenses in bulk, then allowing listeners access to their libraries of music. At some level, Spotify is not a music service but a license clearinghouse that specializes in music....So far, the large music labels have been able to negotiate with streaming services, but as the streaming music players get bigger their power will increase; Spotify is apparently looking for price breaks from the major labels.

The big question now is not “whose album gets made?” but more “who gets to listen?” Not just who, but when—and who gets paid for the privilege? Oh, for the days when record stores featured bootlegs and cats. The clerks might have been snotty, but at least you didn’t have to have endless discussions about databases and doctrine. No one, anywhere, had to know how often you listened to Supertramp.

That’s another part of the puzzle. Streaming services generate a tremendous amount of data that has value of its own; sooner or later it will be used to make decisions about what gets produced....So this is not about technology. Nor is it really about music. This is about determining the optimal strategy for mass licensing of digital artifacts. Songs are the commodity but the licenses are currency....So this is the task: Figure out how to make money, reward artists enough that they continue to make new things, and pacify the labels and studios, while also creating something that doesn’t rip off, confuse, or upset the audience. If someone can do that, then why stick to movies, music, or perhaps books? New forms of media could be sold as well. Tumblr blogs, animated GIFs, casual games, and the like could all flow into such systems. Right now, when media objects are sold, it’s often as art (like the six-second Vine video called “Tits on Tits on Ikea” that artist Andrea Washko recently sold for $200). A massive marketplace in ridiculous pictures could emerge. Flickr (YHOO)could turn into a mall. Pinterest could become … Pintere$t.
clearinghouses  music  online  Rdio  Spotify  streaming  licensing  licensing_rights  downloads  musicians  music_industry  databases  digital_artifacts  artists  markets  data  music_labels  Flickr  Pinterest  music_catalogues 
april 2013 by jerryking
Meet the most powerful man in music -
Mar. 18 2013 | The Globe and Mail | KATE TAYLOR
music_industry  Live_Nation 
march 2013 by jerryking
Book Review: The Soundtrack of My Life - WSJ.com
February 22, 2013| WSJ | By DAVID KIRBY.
The Midas Touch
Janis, Bruce and Whitney listened to Clive Davis's advice— Laura Nyro, Loudon Wainwright III and Curtis Stigers didn't
music_labels  music_industry  books  Clive_Davis  book_reviews  soundtracks 
february 2013 by jerryking
The value is in the details
November 30, 2012 | FT.com | By Ravi Mattu.

Troy Carter is the Founder and CEO, Atom Factory. He's also
Lady Gaga's manager used the web to help build her career and is turning his sights to big data.

One of those friends was Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of the Palo Alto-based data management company Palantir. “He said, ‘Send me all the data you have.’ So, we sent him everything and he said it was the worst data he had ever seen in his life.” The problem wasn’t the amount of data – they had lots of it, from Ticketmaster, Lady­gaga.com and merchandise sales – but the quality. Existing social media platforms weren’t much better. “When you deal with Facebook, the information you get is geographical – what city people are logging in from, what time of day – but you don’t get the behavioural information to help you build a better experience.”
massive_data_sets  music_industry  Lady_Gaga  data_driven  Facebook  African-Americans  behavioural_data  entrepreneur  data_quality  haystacks  data_management  customer_experience  detail_oriented  Palantir 
february 2013 by jerryking
A New Spin for Corporate Music Deals - WSJ.com
June 13, 2007 | WSJ | By ETHAN SMITH
A New Spin for Corporate Music Deals
Warner Venture With Top Manager Aims to Build on Ties to Artists.

Brand Asset Group, as the newly formed venture with Chris Lighty, the manager of rapper 50 Cent, is called, aims to address one of the biggest complaints among record labels: Their inability to capitalize on lucrative revenue streams such as merchandise sales and image licensing that typically benefit artists and their managers.

For years, labels have been vowing to vault out of the narrow CD and download business and into the "brand" business. Executives have watched in growing frustration as their artists cash in on endorsements, sneaker and clothing deals and the like. Labels have spent millions marketing artists and building their brands, but have benefited from only one dwindling revenue stream.

"The music industry is growing," Warner Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. told an investor conference last week. "The record industry is not growing." He went on to say that his company is trying to expand into "many, many other businesses" beyond the sale and licensing of music.
music_labels  music_industry  branding  celebrities  talent_representation  music_publishing 
june 2012 by jerryking
Electronic Dance Genre Tempts Investors - NYTimes.com
By BEN SISARIO
Published: April 4, 2012

The concert industry’s new favorite genre is electronic dance music....Having developed on the margins, electronic dance music — high-energy waves of mechanized sound that, at its best, creates a communal experience for a sea of strangers — is dominated by a network of independent promoters.

They include Insomniac, which presents Electric Daisy Carnival; Hard Events, another nationwide promoter; Ultra, whose namesake festival in Miami has expanded to Brazil, Argentina and Poland; and Made Event, behind the Electric Zoo festival in New York.

Their success has attracted a clutch of potential investors from inside and outside the music world. The insiders include Live Nation and A.E.G. Live, the two biggest corporate promoters.

The outsiders include Ron Burkle, the supermarket magnate who made an unsuccessful bid last year for the Warner Music Group, and the media mogul Robert F. X. Sillerman, according to people involved in investment talks who declined to be identified discussing private agreements....a marriage between D.J.’s and billionaire investors may be difficult. Live music is a risky and low-margin business for promoters. Pricing tickets too high or too low, for example, can sink an otherwise successful venture. Dance music also faces the perennial fad question: will its popularity stick this time or blow over as it did in the 1990s, when it was called electronica?
music  music_industry  investors  Live_Nation  EDM  live_music  high-risk  low-margin  music_festivals 
april 2012 by jerryking
Bahamas gets by with a little help from his friends - The Globe and Mail
brad wheeler
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 08, 2012
music  music_industry  Toronto  Brad_Wheeler 
february 2012 by jerryking
A Paler Shade of White
October 22, 2007 | The New Yorker| by Sasha Frere-Jones
indie  music  blues  soul  music_industry  race  culture  racism  business  hip_hop 
august 2011 by jerryking
IMWAN • View topic - Topspin
Devin Leonard, Bloomberg Businessweek
Sunday, July 24, 2011
music_industry 
july 2011 by jerryking
New Online Services Offer Hope to Music Fans - NYTimes.com
June 22, 2011 | NYT | By JON PARELES. Dematerializing
recorded music has consequences. The positive: it hugely multiplies the
potential audience, letting the music travel fast and far to listeners
who would never have known it existed. It escalates music’s
portability...Negative: it also drives down the price of recorded
music, often to zero, ...the unexpected combination of a nearly infinite
supply, constant availability, suboptimum sound quality and the
intangibility makes songs more trivial...a challenge to culturally
ambitious musicians: before they can be larger than life, they have to
be larger than the LCD screen. Or they can try to conquer that screen
and play the Internet as an instrument, using its defining attribute:
interactivity.....The evolving world of music: Bjork is working on an
album, “Biophilia,” that will have smartphone apps built around every
song: apps that diagram the song in both conventional music notation and
invented graphic notation. ....
Bjork  music  music_industry  cloud_computing  iTunes_Match  Pandora  Dar.fm  Rhapsody  Napster  MOG  Rdio  Spotify  smartphones  Jon_Pareles  streaming  Apple  free  mobile_applications 
june 2011 by jerryking
Berry Gordy Jr. | What's Going On | When Marvin Gaye Broke Pattern | Cultural Conversation by Marc Myers - WSJ.com
JUNE 7, 2011 | WSJ | By MARC MYERS.

Released first as a single in January 1971, "What's Going On" marked a major turning point for Gaye, Motown and soul music. Rather than continue to record formulaic pop hits, Gaye co-wrote a song that expressed his deep concern about the Vietnam War and the toll it was taking on American society. ....The single was considered a gamble for Motown. Its blunt protest theme was in stark contrast with Gaye's sexy public persona and Motown's congenial image. But as "What's Going On" raced up the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Gaye rushed back into the studio to complete a concept album that included "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" and "Inner City Blues." The new songs—supported by horns, strings and a choir arranged by David Van DePitte—took on urban decay, poverty, unemployment, Vietnam veterans, children and pollution.
songs  Motown  anniversaries  commemoration  Marvin_Gaye  R&B  singers  music  music_industry  soul  Berry_Gordy  '70s  turning_points  protests 
june 2011 by jerryking
Hip Hop Summit a showcase for Can-hop talent - The Globe and Mail
Mar. 31, 2011 | Globe & Mail | JOSHUA OSTROFF. *
Classified’s Oh…Canada
* + Maestro for Hard to be Hip-Hop, before the country’s very 1st rap
star big-upped Randy Bachman & Burton Cummings via Stick to Your
Vision.
* Michie Mee. In a red Adidas track suit, with dreads up in pigtails,
she busted moves while dropping classics like her dancehall-inflected
Jamaican Funk
* Kardinal Offishall, juiced the crowd with his hometown-repping singles
BaKardi Slang & The Anthem.
* K’Naan, made a surprise appearance to perform his soft-spoken Take a
Minute,
* Dream Warriors on their iconoclastic jazz-rap classic My Definition Of
A Boombastic Jazz Style.
* K-os took the stage with his full band before bringing Saukrates back
out for I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman,
* Maestro returning in full Symphony in Effect regalia – black tuxedo,
conductor baton & Africa medallion – to perform Can-hop’s
biggest-ever hit Let Your Backbone Slide
* the MCs joined together on the Rascalz’s anthemic Northern Touch,
Canadian  hip_hop  CBC  African_Canadians  music  music_industry  musical_performances  music_reviews  vintage  k-os  K'Naan 
april 2011 by jerryking
Pinetop Perkins 1913- 2011 | Austin Music Source
Pinetop Perkins 1913- 2011

By Michael Corcoran | Monday, March 21, 2011
obituaries  music_industry 
march 2011 by jerryking
Decoded, by Jay-Z - The Globe and Mail
Reviewed by Joshua Ostroff,, music editor of Spinner.ca, has
been into hip hop since buying Run-DMC and Beastie Boys cassettes in
elementary school. He has covered the genre for The Globe and Mail since
2002.
Dec. 06, 2010 Decoded, by Jay-Z, Spiegel & Grau, 317 pages, $40
book_reviews  Jay-Z  hip_hop  music_industry 
december 2010 by jerryking
Jay-Z’s ‘Decoded,’ a Guide to his Life and Lyrics - NYTimes.com
Nov. 22, 2010 | NYT| By MICHIKO KAKUTANI. Part autobiography,
part lavishly illustrated commentary on his own work, “Decoded” offers a
harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth,
while simultaneously deconstructing his lyrics. “Decoded” is less a
conventional memoir or artistic manifesto than an elliptical,
puzzle-like collage: amid the reminiscences, there are music history
lessons that place rap in a social & political context; enthusiastic
shout-outs to the Notorious B.I.G. & Lauryn Hill; remedial lessons
in street slang; & personal asides about the exhaustingly
competitive nature of rap & the similarities between rap &
boxing, and boxing & hustling drugs. At the same time, “Decoded”
highlights the richly layered, metaphoric nature of the author’s own
rhymes —underscoring how Jay-Z’s former life honed his gifts as a
writer, including a survivor’s appraising sense of character, an
observer’s eye for detail & a hustler’s penchant for wordplay &
control.
Jay-Z  hip_hop  celebrities  music  autobiographies  memoirs  books  moguls  music_industry 
november 2010 by jerryking
Why boardrooms are not all rock 'n' roll
Nov 1, 2010|FT|Philip Broughton.Managing creative people is
difficult,not just because creativity is rare and the people who possess
it chafe at being managed but because establishing a mkt for creative
work is one of the hardest things to do in business.VCs know this when
they install seasoned executives to guide young founders (e.g.Eric
Schmidt @ Google & Sheryl Sandberg @ Facebook).Similarly, Hollywood
often pairs a hard-headed business type with a creative genius.Steven
Spielberg's career took off under the guidance of Sid Sheinberg, a
fierce lawyer who ran MCA/ Universal.Book publishing's best-known agent,
Andrew Wylie, is nicknamed "the Jackal" for his tenacity on behalf of
clients...The Stones required 3 very different kinds of manager:(1) to
validate them within a highly competitive industry & establish them
in the public eye;(2)to usher them into the big time; and (3) to build a
protective fort around their steady-state operations & ensure their
L.T. survival & profitability.
ProQuest  Philip_Delves_Broughton  creative_types  rollingstones  autobiographies  Keith_Richards  music_industry  partnerships  talent_management  Andrew_Wylie  Hollywood  pairs 
november 2010 by jerryking
The State of Jay-Z's Empire - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 22, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JOHN JURGENSEN,
He's worth an estimated $450 million and hobnobs with Bill Gates and
Warren Buffett. How the Brooklyn-born performer has become the leading
music impresario of his generation.
Jay-Z  moguls  Live_Nation  music_industry  branding  partnerships  celebrities  impresarios 
october 2010 by jerryking
French School Puts a Formal Spin on DJ's Role - WSJ.com
APRIL 14, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by JOHN W. MILLER. French Jam: A School in Lyon Puts Formal Spin on DJ's Role
State Backs the Art of Scratching; An 'F' If You Can't Define Funk. Forward to Jude Kelly and Ann's Brad.
music_industry 
april 2010 by jerryking
The Boss - Deborah Borda - Drawn to the Music - NYTimes.com
April 9, 2010 | New York Times | Deborah Borda, President and
C.E.O., the Los Angeles Philharmonic, AGE 60, HOMETOWN New York, HERO
Martin Luther King Jr., PERSONAL GOAL To climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
CEOs  executive_management  MLK  music_industry  orchestras_&_symphonies 
april 2010 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview with Shakira - WSJ.com
APRIL 3, 2010 | Wall street Journal | By SILVANA
PATERNOSTRO. Shakira’s Colombian War. The Latin pop star on why she’s
spending millions on schools in her home country and beyond.
philanthropy  music_industry  education 
april 2010 by jerryking
Five Stairsteps
The Five Stairsteps, known as "The First Family of Soul", were
an American Chicago soul group made up of five of Betty and Clarence
Burke Sr.'s six children: Alohe Jean, Clarence Jr., James, Dennis, and
Kenneth "Keni", and briefly, Cubie. They are best known for the 1970
song "O-o-h Child", listed #392 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of
All Time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmDakhg45rk
wikipedia  music  music_industry  soul 
march 2010 by jerryking
Hall & Oates Finds New Fans With Old Mustache - WSJ.com
MARCH 12, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | b y JOHN JURGENSEN. Marketing a Famous Mustache
John Oates's facial hair makes a comeback of its own
music  music_industry  nostalgia  '80s 
march 2010 by jerryking
Abbey Road and the Day Studio Music Died - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 19, 2010 Wall Street Journal | By ERIC FELTEN. 'A
great room acts like an instrument. . . . It has a voice.' studios are
going the way of the great auk. The digital-recording revolution has
allowed producers armed with laptops and a few padded rooms in a
basement to forgo the expensive environs of the traditional recording
hall. Yet this comes at a cost: The demise of great recording studios is
contributing to the bland, characterless sound of so much popular music
today.

Particular studios have been crucial in defining the sounds of whole
eras. Capitol Studios in Hollywood gave the Sinatra years their sonic
signature. What would Elvis's essential recordings have sounded like
without the cobbled-together peculiarities of the Sun Studio in Memphis,
Tenn.? The airiness of classic '50s jazz owed much to the acoustic
properties of an old Armenian church in Manhattan converted by Columbia
Records into its 30th Street Studio.
Eric_Felten  music_industry  music  authenticity  music_labels 
february 2010 by jerryking
Atlantic's Jerry Wexler Showed Aretha R-E-S-P-E-C-T - WSJ.com
AUGUST 19, 2008 | Wall Street Journal |by JIM FUSILLI

Obituary for Jerry Wexler
Jim_Fusilli  music_industry  obituaries  music_labels  Jerry_Wexler 
april 2009 by jerryking
Where SXSW Points Talent - WSJ.com
MARCH 24, 2009 |Wall Street Journal| by JIM FUSILLI
travel  music  music_industry  SXSW  Jim_Fusilli 
march 2009 by jerryking
Princess of Wails
May 9, 2008 WSJ profile by John Jurgensen of Aimee Duffy and
the other members of the wave of young British (Amy Winehouse, Estelle,
Adele, Leona Lewis) who are retooling classic American soul ballads.
music_reviews  music_industry  United_Kingdom  soul  R&B  Amy_Winehouse 
january 2009 by jerryking
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