A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

The Past Is Done. The Future Is Here.

The Internet age.

Where everything is thrown against a wall and whatever sticks, ends up lasting forever.

In other words, first week sale numbers don’t mean a thing. The scorched earth publicity and marketing push by the label for an album release don’t mean a thing.

If any artist is focusing on the here and now, its contra to the way  the music business works in the connected Internet era. We’re (the fans) are only concerned with what lasts.

But the media tries to sell it so that everybody who is involved in music deserves to be rich from music. But how many are willing to do the work, especially when nobody’s paying attention to them.

Being in music isn’t about the highs or lows, winning and losing. It’s about surviving.

Here is a little secret.

The ones that end up winning in the future are creating their catalogues away from the radar, in stealth mode.

And it’s not easy.

Every musician is competing against the means of production. The costs to create content are low and we (the people) are overwhelmed.

What do we read, what do we watch and what do we listen to?

Everybody’s got a book to read, a documentary to watch, a track to listen to and no one’s got time to do it all. The last four years of my Guitar World subscription are still in the plastic wrappers the magazines came in.

Unopened. As a subscriber since 1986, I thought I would keep it going until this year is over. So January 2017 is my last issue.

The last time I read the magazine, it sounded like the article was written by the PR company instead of the actual journalist. There was no guts to the story and there was no in-depth analysis. Nothing at all. Gone are the days when Wolf Marshall used to go In Deep into players styles and so forth.

But the press over the last fifteen years believes it must promote everything and is rarely critical. And the press is missing the point how we are in the midst of a revolution, living in an era of chaos that will not last forever. But no one is reporting it. It’s all about piracy, copyright trolls, Spotify royalties or something so far removed from the real issue.

Fewer people will be successful from now on than before, despite everyone being able to create. We are going to have just superstars and niches.

And for all of those rock bands and metal bands, guess what, it’s still about the one song that hooks people in. But not all people. The entire world doesn’t live and breathe music. Remember that in your quest for global dominance.

And one last thing.

Spotify is not the problem, YouTube is. YouTube has more visitors and pays less. At least on Spotify you get the whole album along with the “song” that draws people in. Notice on YouTube it’s never the whole album. Yeah I know that some user accounts on YouTube have the whole album up but you need to look for them, go deep. So if you are in the album game, then you want your fans going to Spotify. But not a lot of artists are willing to say that.

But the album is fading. Yeah I know it makes great profits, but a 70 minute album with two good songs is a bad fit for today’s listeners. We don’t have time to listen to an album twenty times to get it. That’s what we did when we had no cash and could only afford one disc. But that was in the past. You don’t see the telegram and analog mobiles coming back.

The past is done. The future is here.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Another Episode in the Recording Industry Dumb and Dumber File

Seriously, how stupid can the recording industry get!

Why would the recording industry associations battle a Copyright ruling that allows people who purchase a CD to legally rip it?

First, CD sales are on the decline. The whole history of music is available on YouTube and Spotify and Pandora and (insert any other streaming service here).

So why does the recording industry still fight “ripping a CD” laws. No one with any common sense can believe what the UK Music and the British Academy of Songwriters claim.

That if people are allowed to rip the CD’s they legally buy, it would cost the rights owners tens of millions. So what they want is a tax on back up CD drives.

Are these recording industry idiots seriously that out of touch with technology?

Don’t they know that most computers don’t even come with a CD drive! My Apple iMac doesn’t even have a CD drive. In other words, CD drives are disappearing at the same rate that CD sales are disappearing.

But the recording industry, which the article incorrectly calls the music industry, still believe in some 1998 ideal of CD sales and ownership.

Even one of the largest tech companies in the world, believed that music was all about ownership and not access. For whatever reasons, Apple is very late to the streaming party.

When Steve Job’s introduced the iPod back in October 2001, the selling point was “this amazing little device holds a thousand songs, and it goes right in my pocket”. For millions upon millions of music fans, the iPod became a must and in return Apple continued to grow into a very powerful company.

However, Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue offer nothing amazing with Apple Music. They offer a music service with features that already exist in Spotify or even Soundcloud. But they hinder their music service by putting it behind a paywall. This new “revolutionary” product is mired in the past.

It’s like the record labels constructed Apple Music and not Apple itself. Maybe that is the truth as Jimmy Iovine’s background leans more to the recording industry than the tech industry.

Artists payouts has proven to be a contentious issue again. Transparency in the area is non-existent. Apple was not going to pay artists during the streams that happen during the three-month trial period. Then Apple did an about flip and said they would. On top of all that, Apple Music is being investigated for anti-competitive behaviour.  The last thing the labels would want is a government investigation.

Did anyone also notice that when Apple did its reverse flip on paying royalties during the free 3 month periods, it was Eddy Cue who went on the record. Meanwhile, the recording industry stooge Jimmy Iovine, remained silent, just like the label heads at Universal, Sony and Warner. However it was those idiots that created this mess in the first place.

If you are a musician this is what you should know;

• Music streaming revenue is surpassing sales of music downloads.
Research from P. Schoenfeld Asset Management shows that there will be 250 million worldwide music streaming subscribers generating over $16 billion in streaming revenue.

Your challenge is to get people to listen to your music consistently. Forget about the CD sale, or that Vinyl sale or that download sale. They are memento products. Listens is your sale. Eventually, the fan base that listens will start to want your memento’s.

One last thing.

If your song is not on Spotify, it is on YouTube. Taylor Swift took her music off Spotify and saw her YouTube plays increase. Yep, that’s right. Sales of her music didn’t increase at all, but her YouTube stats went through the roof.

It’s because people want to listen.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

What We Know

Machine Head is a premium metal band. They have earned their spot through killer releases since 2003. Slipknot did sell more with their new one however the quality of the music this year was with Machine Head while Slipknot became an institution like Metallica.

Big Corporations fail to learn. Sony got hacked in 2011 and did nothing to tighten up their security or to encrypt their data. In the 2011 hack, all of the Playstation user names, passwords and credit card details were stored on a text file with no encryption. Fast forward to 2014, and a lot of the sensitive information around salaries, payroll numbers and social security numbers were stored on a text file with no encryption.

No one cares that Chris Broderick or Shaun Drover left Megadeth. In the same way no one cared that Jason Newsted left Metallica. Hell no one cared when Dave Ellefson was not a part of the band. Just because they can write riffs it doesn’t mean they are any good. And there is no doubt that Chris Broderick can play and is very technical. But can anyone name a definitive song or riff that he wrote in Jag Panzer or in Megadeth.

The most pirated TV shows are also the most successful commercially and financially. And seriously isn’t it any surprise that the most locked up show behind paywalls and corporate deals is the most pirated. For anyone living under a rock, that show of course is Game Of Thrones.

The most pirated movies this year are movies from 2013. So when are the movie studios going to make these movies available on proper streaming services. The Wolf Of Wall Street finally made it to Netflix just a few weeks ago and it is a 12 month old movie.

Vinyl. Do you see dial-up internet and analog mobiles coming back or Amiga 500’s?

Speaking of vinyl, the fans as usual are getting ripped off. Vinyl is way overpriced, and if you purchase a vinyl record, you don’t get a digital download code. Some bands do it, especially in Pledge Music campaigns however if you purchase vinyl from an online store or a brick and mortar store, you get nothing.

Hellyeah’s “Blood For Blood” is a very underrated album and Tom Maxwell rose to the occasion as a songwriter and a guitarist.

Making money in music is still the same as it has always been. Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage provides some truths.

Irving Azoff and Global Music Rights (his company) is representing artists in their demands that YouTube take down their music. If YouTube doesn’t comply they will be suing YouTube for billions. And the reason why they are going after Google is that they have been the least co-operative and that Google has failed to license the works properly, while Goolge maintains it has. Yep this is another lawsuit to protect the 1% and nothing else.

The streaming argument is always loaded with emotion and no intelligence. Look at the facts. Pandora pays differently, Spotify pays differently and so does YouTube. Artists get a different payday and the songwriters get a different payday. If the artist is also the songwriter then they get a different payday. But when you add into the mix the record labels (who normally get the monies as the copyright holders) and the Publishing groups (who get a share) and the Performance Rights groups (who also get a share) and the Managers and the Accountants and the Legal teams and you get to see how decent payouts trickle into low payments back to the artist.

To prove my point a silent album experiment earned an independent band $20,000 for a 3 month period. And there stream counts had nothing on the numbers that the bigger artists generate. Goes to show what can happen if you cut out a lot of middle people.

Old men attached to the old ways are still running the music business. Take away their radio lifeline and the labels would be clueless as to what to do.

Data is sales. Why do you think Metallica and Iron Maiden hit markets and sell out straight away? Hell, Metallica is going to hit the road again in 2015. When a band can see huge numbers in certain cities from P2P traffic, streams, Shazam look up and they have the means to hit the road, they do.

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