Archive for the ‘Music Industry Inside’ Category


Beck’s Offering For Record Store Day – Bands Clamour To Support Independent Record Stores

February 17, 2009


An exclusive seven-inch from Sonic Youth and Beck are the latest offerings for this year’s Record Store Day – a worldwide event in support of independent record stores. The day, April 18th, will see artists joining forces to create exclusive new tracks, live shows, feature bands staffing checkouts, and many more musical goodies.

Over 40 stores in the UK have already signed up and all will be able to sell two split seven-inch singles from the Beggars stable. The first showcases Sonic Youth covering Beck’s ‘Pay No Mind’ and Beck covering their ‘Green Light’. The second will feature Jay Reatard’s ‘Hang Them All’ and Sonic Youth’s ‘No Garage’.

Rough Trade East in London has already confirmed gigs by Sky Larkin and Sunny Day Sets Fire – as well as bands working the tills – for the day, and there’s more to come.

Artists from around the world, from Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows to Ziggy Marley, are adding their voices and faces to the cause. Ronnie from The Killers tells a little tale about a boy, his dad and their indie record store here

Many acts are giving away freebies, such as lyric books from Bruce Springsteen, chocolate from India Irie and special vinyl remixes from Franz Ferdinand.

“I think independent record shops will outlive the music industry,” comments Damon Albarn.  “Long term, their value to people is far greater, because even in our era of file-sharing and blogs, you can’t replace the actual look on someone’s face when they are playing something they really rate and think you should listen to it too. It’s special.”

The event has even joined forces with YouTube to create a Record Store Day channel, where all musical fans and independent record store supporters can add their thoughts. Click here to get involved.

Developed in the States by Eric Levin of Atlanta’s Criminal Records and Michael Kurtz of Music Monitor Network, April 18th will be the second time music fans celebrate independently-owned record stores around the globe.




The Evolution of Social Music

February 17, 2009


Lots of inovations have taken place to take forward music from being something that we encoutered to owning, being a personnal ownership, Walkmans, MinidisciPods. All these devices make music a very personnal experience. The latest format music is taking is that of a socail persuasion

In Todd Rundgren‘s presentation, Time for the Music Industry to Evolve, he notes that with the introduction of the Sony Walkman Tape Player to the marketplace in 1979, it was the first personalized listening experience that people had.  Previous to that if you wanted a personalized listening experience you had to do it in your own home.  This enabled you to take the music with you and it began to adapt to people’s lifestyles. Their listening habits began to change and essentially the music became the background to their lives.  Mix tapes grew highly popular and became a common exchange between ‘star-crossed lovers’ and the like.  This made their music experience active, but mix tapes were still quite tedious to make and your access to music was limited to the people that you knew…


Officially called the ‘Discman’, the first CD based Walkman was initially launched in 1984.  The progression from the Tape Player to the CD Player gave users an increased sense of control over their personalized music experience and would enable them to skip, digitally rewind or fast forward, shuffle, repeat, and loop.  With this heightened sense of control, music was brought to the foreground of people’s lives and began to transform their lifestyles in a way that seemed to more heavily reflect the culture they consumed.  Although traveling with a player and CD case wasn’t as clumsy as tapes, its drawback, pending on the size of your collection, was the bulky, book like case.  This shift in format temporarily took users towards a passive music experience.

The CD-R specification was first published in 1988 by Philips and Sony in the ‘Orange Book’.  In the late 1990’s, high-speed CD burners began to appear in home and office computers.  Its common problem was buffer under run.  For a variety of reasons, the computers at the time could not muster the I/O performance needed to keep the data stream to the burner steadily fed.  If it ran short, the burner would be forced to halt the writing process, leaving a truncated track that usually rendered the disc useless.  Typically, depending on the quality of your computer, it was in your best interest to stop using it during the process to prevent lost time and discs from being wrecked.

During this time period, the cassette-based Walkman was generally passed over in favor of the emerging digital technologies of CD.  Furthermore, with the emergence of the MP3 CD Player and the burnt mix, it was the first time people could, most effortlessly, place the songs they wanted to hear in a ‘maximized order.’  The music would become a part of people’s lifestyles, their listening habits would evolve, and essentially the music became the soundtrack to their lives.  Although this was not the first time that a personalized music experience allowed users to be more actively involved and become ‘curators’ of their music collection, it was only for ‘one work’ at a time.’  Soon, as CD-R Burners became standard on computers, these mixes were widely democratized and accessible to almost everyone.  The ease of mixing progressed heavily, but it relied on external technology.  For many, the introduction of Napster in 1998 meant that their music collection was no longer limited to their social ties, but rather to the Internet connection that enabled them to easily get songs from other people’s computers.

Apple iPods

Once the iPod was introduced on October 23, 2001, it increased people’s ability to maximize their music experience quicker, navigate it more smoothly, and have optimum control over the music they listened to.  Instead of adapting to people’s lifestyles like the Walkman Tape Player, it was now integrating itself into almost everything they did.  The music they listened to was no longer a fixed soundtrack to their lives, but an ongoing experience where they could create song maps in advance or on the go.  Song mapping, encouraged people to ‘take the wheel of the iPod and steer’ themselves in the direction of the optimum music experience that they desired.  They became the ‘curator’ of their entire music collection. Song_mapping This is where the concepts of Experience Maximization and Song Mapping are most prevalent, because people are trying to optimize and excerpt control over music experiences that haven’t yet occurred to avoid future frustrations.  As well as plot out maps of songs that are intended to maximize the level of satisfaction they expect to derive from activities like running by itself.

This personalized, maximized, and fully controlled experience could be taken with you wherever you go and be plugged into docking stations that created a home like listening venue where you choose to set up.  In this case, ‘home is where you make it,’ allowing you to bring a certain degree of familiarity and comfort into foreign surroundings.  Although your office may not sound as good as your home music system, in a sense, it could at least feel like it.  Over the last thirty years, what we’ve seen is a shift from the personal ‘home music experience’ to the personalized ‘feels like home music experience.’  In this personalized realm, music progressed from the background to the foreground of our lives.  It went onto become the soundtrack and then transformed into a song map.  This ‘Evolution of Social Music’ reveals bits and pieces about how the way people interact with music has changed and opens a window into the very diverse and complex listening habits that we have developed.

Watch full talk here


MySpace Scores User Engagement Gains

February 13, 2009

Myspace new

Facebook’s user base may be growing faster, but in the all important user engagement metric, January domestic comScore data showed all time highs in the “minutes per visitor” and “total minutes” categories at MySpace. The social networker’s page views also jumped to the highest level in more than a year.

Arrow up

User Engagement

  • The average MySpace user now spends 266 minutes (4.4 hours) on the site every month; a 5% increase over last month and a +31% increase year over year. MySpace says its users spend nearly 100 minutes more per visitor than the closest competitor.
  • Total minutes spent has reached an all time high of 20.1 billion up 15% from last month and up 44% year over year. MySpace’s total minutes claims double that of the company’s closest competitor.

Page Views Up

  • Page views on MySpace have reached an all time high of 44 billion, more than double that of the company’s nearest competitor. January’s numbers are an increase of 9.4% over last month.

It does the beg the question is its increase  just because people are waiting for Myspace to load!


Nine Inch Nails may have changed the Business Model for Music, It’s FREE

February 10, 2009


Since completing his earlier major record label contract, musician Trent Reznor has been experimenting with a variety of new and unique business models for his band, Nine Inch Nails, to reach and connect with fans. This case study explores Reznor’s experiments, examining what has worked and what has not – and why. Speaker: Michael Masnick (Editor/President & CEO, Techdirt Blog/Floor64)

Its basically means this:

Connect With Fans (CwF) + Reason To Buy (RtB)
= The Business Model ($$$$)

Entitled ‘The Slip’, the 36-track instrumental record, recorded in a ten-week period last year, is available in a variety of download options and as a physical copy.

The options are a free download featuring the collection’s first nine tracks, a $5 download featuring the whole album, a $10 two-CD set (either via the website or in shops from April 5) and a $75 deluxe edition, including a hardcover book and a data DVD and a Blu-ray disc featuring high definition recordings and a slide show.

There is also an “ultra deluxe” limited edition version for £300 which features the same items as the $75 version, but also signed and numbered by Trent Reznor.


Ireland’s biggest ISP agrees to a 3 strikes disconnection

February 4, 2009


The great copyright debate contiues with a move forward from Ireland.

Eircom, Ireland’s biggest internet service provider (ISP), has agreed to disconnect users that record companies identify as copyright infringers. The agreement was reached eight days into an Irish High Court trial.

The former state monopoly ISP, which is now privately owned, has agreed to give two warnings to subscribers before cutting them off.

Record industry group the International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) said that it would be taking action against other ISPs to ensure they did the same.

“The record companies will supply Eircom with the IP addresses of all persons who they detect illegally uploading or downloading copyrighted works on a P2P [peer to peer] basis,” said a statement from the IFPI.

“Eircom has agreed that it will from now on implement a graduated process,” it said. “The record companies have agreed that they will take all necessary steps to put similar agreements in place with all other ISPs in Ireland.”

The case involved the four major labels EMI, Universal, Warner and Sony.

Eircom said that when it received the labels’ list of people they suspected of engaging in illegal file-sharing, it would tell its customers that infringement had been detected.

If the activity continues Eircom will warn the subscriber that they will be cut off if there is no change in behaviour. If the file sharing continues the customer will be disconnected.

EMI Ireland managing director Willie Kavanagh is also the head of the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), which is affiliated to the IFPI.

“[This is] something we’ve had to work together to make sure this got to a stage where we can deal with what is an enormous difficulty within the Irish and worldwide record business,” he told broadcaster RTE.

The ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy is a popular one with rights holders, who are lobbying Governments across Europe to force ISPs to implement it.

The UK Government stopped short of including such a demand in its Digital Britain report last month. It said that it plans to force ISPs to pass details of subscriber activity to rights holders but did not demand that they disconnect users.


Concert Industry May Be A Bust This Summer

February 3, 2009


There are already signs that 2009 will be a tough year for live music promoters.

For the last decade, the music industry has countered declining profits from album sales by raising the prices of concert tickets. The average price of a ticket to the top 100 acts rose a stunning 8.4% last year, according to Gary Bongiovanni, the editor in chief of Pollstar, a box office trade magazine.

“That’s not a prescription for a healthy business,” he says, “but that’s what we’ve been doing.

One month into 2009, the good times may be over.

Coachella, the annual rock festival near Palm Springs, Calif. produced by AEG Worldwide, recently announced it would offer a layaway plan for fans who want to spread out the $269 it will cost for a three-day pass. Like a department store pushing hard to sell furniture, the festival will let fans pay half now and the rest by April 1, or put 10% down with equal installments of $121.05 in March and April.

The business model has worked for StageCoach, the country companion to Coachella. Layaway tickets made up a quarter of all sales, promoters say.

Other festivals that offer layaway plans include the All Points West Festival in New Jersey, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee, and the Rothbury Festival in Michigan.

None of it bodes well for the live music industry. Even if customers are able to purchase tickets, they may not be able to purchase high-margin items like beer and T-shirts at the venue. For example, Live Nation (nyse: LYV – news – people ), the world’s largest promoter, loses 4% on each ticket sold, but makes 43% of its overall revenue from extra charges like parking and food.

That puts the company in a precarious place, analysts say. “Tickets are a luxury item that people cut back on,” said Alan Gould, an analyst at Natixis Bleichroeder in New York. David Kerstenbaum, an analyst at Morgan Joseph, agreed, saying, “The company is going to have to be very careful about its price points. They won’t be able to raise prices as much as they probably would have liked.”

Live Nation maintains customers are continuing to buy tickets because their typical consumer goes to just one or two concerts a year. The company says they saw little difference in ticket sales between 2007 and 2008, when the recession kicked in.

Artists, meanwhile, may be hit especially hard by any dip in ticket sales or prices. The upper tier of performers make 7.5 times more money from touring than from recorded music sales, according to a study by Marie Connolly and Alan B. Krueger at Princeton University.

Musicians have leeway in setting ticket prices but are often reluctant to cut prices. “They think ‘Well, so and so got that much, so I’m worth



Music Industry Inside: Ringtones can cost more than the actual song!

January 30, 2009


Juniper Research released a report in 2005  stating that the ringtone industry could bloat to $9.3 billion (USD) by 2009.

Lets take a look at Britian’s  No1 in the charts right now to get a feel of where things are headed.  Introducing  Lady GaGa

Just Dance (Download)
by Lady GaGa

Price: $0.99
Remix "Just Dance Feat. Colby O'Donis"

Just Dance (Ringtone)
by Lady GaGa

Remix "Just Dance Feat. Colby O'Donis"
Hmmm so it appears the standard pricing is that the ‘actual song’ is nearly three times the cost to purchase than a snippet in ringtone format.

” While the downloads of mobile ringtones and realtones will comprise the bulk of revenues ($4.8 billion), the market for full-track downloads is expected to increase from just $20 million in 2004 to nearly $1.8 billion in 2009, while ring-back tones – already generating substantial revenues in Asia – should be worth $2.7 billion worldwide by the end of the decade”

And depending which source you read a staggering $14 Billion by the end of 2011 (

Still waiting to find the results of that particular forcast however there is no deneying the effect that the music industry is in a strange position right now where the ringtone can cost more than the actual song.

Music sales worldwide fell by about 7 percent last year as another sizable jump in digital sales failed to make up for a deepening decline in the compact disc market, according to John Kennedy, chief executive of the industry’s main international trade group. The IHT reports.

Revenue from music sold over the Internet, via mobile phones and in other digital forms, rose by 25 percent last year, to $3.7 billion, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said in a report set for publication Friday. Digital sales accounted for 20 percent of the industry’s revenue, up from 15 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, growth in downloads from online music stores like Apple’s iTunes has slowed. … That is hastening the music industry’s push to develop new business models for digital music.

Major record labels have joined with Nokia, the maker of cellphones, to provide free, unlimited music downloads in Britain. …

“The industry has shifted to Plan B,” said Mark Mulligan, an analyst at Forrester Research. “The record companies have realized that the only way they can fight free is with free itself.”

“Mobile Music Sales Will Reach $3.2 Billion by 2012 But Analysts Say ‘Tracks Must Be Free’, The music industry has got to be prepared to give music away for free”according to analysts Screen Digest.

But full-track downloads will only make up half of that, with the rest still coming from things like ringtones. The report warns “paying for music is progressively becoming a niche activity as the value of recorded music is already in steep, possibly terminal, decline”.

In 2000, U.S. consumers bought 785.1 million albums; last year, they bought 588.2 million (a figure that includes both CDs and downloaded albums), according to Nielsen SoundScan. In 2000, the ten top-selling albums in the U.S. sold a combined 60 million copies; in 2006, the top ten sold just 25 million. Digital sales are growing — fans bought 582 million digital singles last year, up sixty-five percent from 2005, and purchased $600 million worth of ringtones — but the new revenue sources aren’t making up for the shortfall.

Hense Crazy Frogs mere existence