This post authored by FMC communications intern Olivia Brown
Metadata. Sounds like a android with irony issues. But it’s actually important to musicians and composers.
So what is it? Metadata is information that lives with every file on your computer. Through a mix of words and numbers, metadata describes files so that they can be managed by both the user and the system. In the case of a music file, metadata refers to the tags associated with a particular piece of music — such as the artist, album name, year of release, etc. These tags are definitely useful for the listener in keeping track of a digital collection. For artists, it’s about tracking for downloads and plays, which can ensure timely and accurate compensation.
Unfortunately, not all systems to organize metadata are created equal. Non-rock artists, especially jazz and classical musicians, have borne the brunt of some of the most poorly organized metadata out there. This is largely because the new business models are often developed with only popular music in mind.
...and how musicians, labels and songwriters are compensated
Sunday, August 19, 2012
How are musicians paid when their fans buy downloads on eMusic? How are songwriters paid when their music is played on Pandora? Since our founding, Future of Music Coalition has provided musicians, managers and labels with the in-the-trenches details about how performers, songwriters and labels are each compensated when their music is either streamed or downloaded on an array of music services. read more
Whether on vinyl, cassette, CD or via digital download, income from the sale, license or performance of sound recordings has been a core part of many musicians’ income streams for decades. But there’s no doubt that income from sound recordings — perhaps more than any other — has experienced significant challenges and undergone serious changes in the past 10 to 15 years. read more
By now, you've probably heard all about the iPad and seen the pictures of Steve Jobs displaying his new "tablet" in a manner undoubtedly familiar to the late Charlton Heston. So far, reaction to the device has been mixed at best, with some people already lining up to take potshots at Apple's latest doohickey.
We still think it's pretty neat, mostly because we're curious about what it could mean for the music biz, which is still struggling to find an attractive replacement for physical product. And as long as whatever new gadget plays nice with independent and unaffiliated creators who want to join the digital party, we're cool. read more
If you follow new technologies for the digital distribution and access of music, you've undoubtedly come across the name Spotify. In recent months, the Sweden-based service — which offers a deep catalog of high quality streaming audio via a rock-solid and intuitive desktop client — has racked up the press mentions on both sides of the Atlantic. Spotify's Daniel Ek will be presenting at the Future of Music Policy Summit 2009 (Georgetown University, Washington, DC, Oct. 4-6). Reserve your spot now! read more
Apple Debuts Unprotected Songs Online
Apple begins selling DRM-free songs from EMI on Itunes; songs downloaded from iTunes will play on other digital music players for the first time. by May Wong, Associated Press, May 31, 2007
Amazon Store to Sell Music Free of Copy Protection
Amazon.com plans to launch a digital music store later this year. Their MP3-only strategy, says founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, "means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device." Billboard.biz, May 16, 2007read more
The New York Times Magazine had an interesting piece over the weekend on how musicians are building new distribution networks and fan bases via the Internet.
The piece kicks off by profiling Jonathan Coulton, a former computer programmer and unsigned Brooklyn indie artist who is making a “reasonable middle class living” by selling CDs and music downloads via his web site, iTunes, and CD Baby. Coulton built a fan base by recording a song a week for all of 2006 and then posting them on his blog. They ranged from odes to Tom Cruise (“Tom Cruise Crazy”) to pieces about the dead-end life of a programmer (“Code Monkey”). read more
Another day, another major blow to DRM. EMI and Apple just announced a deal to distribute the label’s music via the iTunes web site without DRM. This is a significant move because the major labels had expressed a strong commitment to DRM (although there had been some signs of fraying recently — see the SNOCAP posting below). There are several basic technological questions that have not been answered, but it appears a sea change is in the works on the DRM front.
iTunes will begin selling the DRM free tracks in May and other music download sites will follow thereafter. The price for the tracks will be $1.29, instead of the usual $.99. The sound you hear may be the other majors scrambling to follow.
An “FMC Classic” article from June 2003 that summarizes the benefits and challenges of the iTunes Music Store when it was first launched and made available for independent labels and artists. read more