We found an interesting article in the latest edition of Wired about a new system for indie acts to deliver tracks to radio stations that rely on automation to manage their playlists. Well, it’s not a new system, exactly — major labels and commercial radio have been using it for years.
As Wired scribe Eliot Van Buskirk writes, “indie musicians have been at a disadvantage when it comes to delivering music to larger stations… because the major labels use something called Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) to send new tracks to stations digitally and securely (to minimize leaks).” read more
Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, is known for his clear-headed analysis of emerging business models. He’s the guy that analyzed Amazon’s success in his now frequently-cited book, The Long Tail. His latest article, which he plans to expand into a new tome next year, explores the future of business models based on the concept of not paying money for stuff. read more
We typically run our "This Week in News" round-ups on Fridays, but we were running a little behind last week, so we posted it yesterday. But the noteworthy stories just kept coming. So consider this your music/biz/tech/policy after dinner mint. read more
A new study (PDF) by NYU/Stern professor Vasant Dhar indicates that blog buzz has a strong correlation with album sales. The study looked at blog posts, changes in an artist’s number of MySpace friends, and online album reviews over an eight-week period — half before an album was released, half after.
The study found that increases in MySpace friends had a slight positive correlation to album sales. More significantly, artists who received ample attention from major blogs seemed to “move more units,” as they say in the biz. read more
The New Economics of Music
Economist Umair Haque explains why the music industry is so vulnerable to piracy and how to fix it. He argues that consumers download music because buying an album comes with a great element of risk because the record label provides no guarantee of quality. In most industries the cost of a product is an indication of quality, but the music industry has near-uniform costs. Umair suggests new pricing models to reduce this element of risk. Bubble Generation, February 15, 2008read more
Insiders talk free music at MidemNet
Music industry and technology insiders met in Cannes to discuss the future of free music at the annual MidemNet forum. Many of the participants said “they believe that subscription-based or advertiser-based business models are the answer.”
Author: Ray Bennett
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, January 27th read more
Recording Industry Should Brace for More Bad News
The exodus of big-ticket artists like Robbie Williams from EMI could be an indicator of things to come. The author argues that traditional labels are becoming obsolete as consumer habits change.
Author: Wayne Rosso CNET News, January 18, 2008 read more
…but asking people to pay for them is another story. At least according to Trent Reznor, whose recent label-free, download-only release of Saul Williams’ The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust resulted in “disappointing” sales — even at the suggested $5 price point. (Williams, on the other hand, seems satisfied.)
As this interview with Mr. Reznor in CNET points out, five bucks is around the cost of a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. And these days, it’s not much more than a gallon of gas. For a full-length album of higher-than MP3 quality. read more
The political statement may be that the system is broken. And that the layers and layers of bureaucracy, and all the different gatekeepers that have been in the middle between musicians and music fans — well that goes away. Now, that doesn’t mean that this is the solution — this sort of voluntary tip jar model where everything’s available for free and people pay for it if they want to pay for it. That’s not a long-term, systematic solution for the challenges of how artists get paid in the future.
It’s been almost two months since Comcast’s regulation of BitTorrent traffic was first revealed by the Associated Press, inciting an Internet-wide call to arms for proponents of network neutrality. In case you haven’t been following the story, it was revealed that Comcast was “actively interfering” with traffic on its network, using a technique known as packet-forging to disrupt traffic relating to BitTorrent applications — including the Gnutella peer-to-peer sharing client and IBM’s Lotus Notes groupware application (used by businesses for sharing calendars, emails and other files).