A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Random Thoughts

The Grammy nominations are out and as usual the metal category reads like a comedy. Why even bother, no one cares. The Grammy’s are as relevant as the sales metric. Maybe next year they will be renamed into the Streammy’s and some magic formula will be used to find nominations.

What is it about people or organisations sense of entitlement these days?

Consumers of music are finally given a choice (legally and illegally) on how to consume their music and all the middlemen come out screaming for the Governments or the courts to write new laws or set precedents that protect their business models. In the current case, you have the publishers BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music via copyright troll “Rightscorp” using a 1998 law to compel ISPs to support its pre-internet business model. These organisations think that shaking down people is the way forward.

Sort of like Billboard. Seriously, what kind of fucked up maths goes into their charts. Hello, look at everything that is successful and you will see one common theme. They all kept it SIMPLE. Steve Jobs knew it. Daniel Ek knows it. Sean Fanning knows it. Mark Zuckerberg knows it. However, the people at Billboard have no idea. Someone, decided that 1,500 streams of any song equals an album sale. WTF. How does the stream count of any song reflect the influence (if any) of an album?

It’s good that Billboard is focusing on what people are listening to however it is bad that they are trying to recreate that listening metric to show a fake album purchase. Buying an album does not mean one listens to it, oftentimes people only listen to the hit. Report that.

The charts are there to purely satisfy the recording industry. It was never about the consumer. The recording industry and their press outlets all want to “high-five” each other on the number ones. And then what. 99% of the classic albums never got to Number 1. “Back In Black” from AC/DC never reached Number 1 in the U.S. “Led Zeppelin IV” never got to Number 1 in the U.S. “Master Of Puppets” from Metallica never reached Number 1.

I get it. Change is inevitable. For all the talk about monies, and what are those “poor start-up independent bands going to do” in the current free music industry it’s funny to see that more indie/self-funded music is being made now than ever before. Do you think the new breed of musicians are sad because recording studios or CD plants have closed?

Of course not.

While the recording industry promotes what it has lost, it fails to see what fans of music have gained. And by those fans gaining , the recording industry gains.

In Australia, the Government posted all of the individual submissions to the Australian Government’s Piracy Discussion Paper online and one of them caught my attention.

“I have spent a lot of time and money on my song to be mastered and distributed through CDBABY and iTunes. In the last 4 months since my song was released there has been over 30,000 hits on Utube [sic] where someone has uploaded it. To make matters worst [sic] there is only about $80 in the bank from the sales. Can someone tell me how to stop this.”

The first thing that comes out of that rant is how misinformed the “musician” is.

First, if someone put the song up on YouTube, then they are obviously a fan. Connect with them.

Second, YouTube’s has a Content ID system. There are players out there that can assist with this. Find them.

Third, 30,000 views on YouTube means an audience. Surely that is a good thing. What steps are in place to mobilise and grow that audience?

Fourth, without YouTube, how would that artist reach 30,000 people. Of course that would be via a record label. Which means gatekeepers and the chance of not being signed.

Final point, no one is rushing out to buy CD’s again or mp3’s.

Another that got my attention was the following;

“I am a writer so I want copyright to be protected to protect my livelihood.”

It’s hard to believe that people are in an industry without fully understanding why Copyright came into being. In a nutshell, Copyright was always about promoting the progress of society by returning works into the public domain once their copyright expired. Once upon a time, it did and it worked brilliantly and now (since about the Seventies), not so much as Copyright got twisted into what it is now.

Copyright was never about having people’s livelihoods depending on it.

Also there is no evidence that stopping copyright infringement leads to more purchases of music, movies or books.

After reading through a bit more of the submissions, I was dismayed at some of the words used like STEALING and THEFT.


No one has stolen nothing. iTunes still has the song for sale, Spotify still has the song for streaming, YouTube has multiple copies of the song for viewing. Amazon still has the book for sale in both hardcover and e-book format.

What the people have done is COPY the work.

It’s not that hard to understand, however people need to do the research to educate themselves.

Music, My Stories

And The Grammy Goes To……. Metallica

The Grammy awards is not about the awards, it is about the performances. The Grammy organisation exists solely to sell a TV show and advertising. Go on all the music and news websites and what are people talking about after the Grammy’s.

If you said, Metallica and their mashed up performance of “One” with classical pianist Lang Lang, then you are right.

If you said, it is people blasting Metallica’s terrible and pitchy performance of “One” then you are right again.

If you said, it is people applauding Metallica’s performance, then you are right again.

That is why after the Grammy’s, Metallica got a 125% boost in Spotify streams for the song “One”. So if they had 100,000 streams the previous week, they had 225,000 streams after their Grammy performance for their song “One”. Overall, across their whole catalogue, their Grammy performance gave them a 63% increase.

Heard anything about the actual winners in the Best Metal category. Who was it again? Who won the Metal award?

To prove my point, look at the Daft Punk performance of “Get Lucky”. Their performance of “Get Lucky” included Stevie Wonder and a large portion of Stevie’s song called “Another Star”. Guess by how much that song streams increased by on Spotify after the Grammy performance?

Did you say 635%?

Yep, spot on. Was Stevie Wonder nominated for anything?

Okay that was a trick question, he was part of two nominations. A massive group nomination for Best Musical and a nomination in the R&B category for a song that he featured in. However no other song performed at the Grammy’s got even close to the percentage increase experienced by Stevie Wonder on Spotify.

When you carry out a performance in front of 28.5 million U.S viewers, it is bound to get a reaction. Metallica and their management team know this. Credit Cliff Burnstein. A good manager is the difference between the haves and the have-nots. And that is what Cliff is. A good manager.

So what about the winners of the metal category. “God Is Dead?” from Black Sabbath didn’t get much traction after the awards. Out of mind, out of sight is what I say.

But back to Metallica.

You see while Keith Urban and Beyonce played some of their new stuff that no one cared about, Metallica played what the people wanted to hear. They used that exposure to remind people, why they care about them in the first place. They didn’t try to promote something recent or a special new song, written for the Grammy’s. They played “One” goddamn it. Even though I didn’t really like the mash-up, it was still Metallica, playing a signature tune that is 26 years old.

Who cares about the categories? There are too many of them anyway, so no one cares about who wins. The artists that do win at the Grammy’s are the ones that perform. And the Grammy for Best Metal Performance goes to Metallica once again.