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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

les paul gets it

les paul, hangin’ with vh1

i don’t care what they do, just come on up [to the] stage and we’ll do the best we can and make them a star

posted by roj at 11:17 pm  

Friday, April 22, 2005

revenue models for music videos

back at the end of january/beginning of february, i stumbled into two pieces on how the music business was flopping around trying to find some new models to survive on. this was about music video distribution.

i don’t want to get too far into the history of the music video, but i will say that generally speaking, the music video has been viewed as an advertisement for the album, much like the tour was to “support the album.” the album, of course, being the unit that matters for the record company, since their revenue structure is, historically at least, built on album sales. the current trouble probably has something to do with the death of the album.

in any case, it’s obvious that the record companies need to find new revenue models, and they’re willing to try anything.

universal and warner have realized that the music video is a product unto itself, and as such can be sold (or, rather, monetized):

Universal Music Charging Video Nets to Air Artists [ny post, february 1, 2005 – now locked up behind a pay-per-view model itself, and certainly not worth $3.95]

Universal’s new policy is believed to be the first in which a record company has decided to charge per video for every service that exists.

MSN is the first to sign on under Universal’s new policy. Universal’s existing deals will remain in place and be renegotiated later.

then there’s warner…

Unlimited basic video clips are included, however, premium content such as music videos and 3D games are available for an additional fee, including WMG music videos for $3.99 per music video.

posted by roj at 10:15 am  

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

funding the brainz

i’ve been off-and-on with robert for i guess years now, and tonight i got an important message… musicbrainz is looking for some bootstrapping money. This, of course, means that I need to direct your attention there, which is here.

so, please step up. i’ve done the quick homework for you, both the irs and guidestar have the metabrainz foundation, inc. listed as a charity (with not much data, considering it’s a new entity), so i’ll go ahead and vouch for robert and his work.

right now, it looks like musicbrainz is tracking some 250,000 albums from just a bit more than 150,000 artists (and that ratio says a lot). if you’re not familiar with what musicbrainz does, a quick visit here will get you clued-in.

i’m going to say that robert kaye is good people. he’s assembled a bunch of good people (including this one and this one) to keep this project doing good things. and, finally, this is important for the future of music, particularly for the independent, small-scale musician i love so much.

[ listening to songbomb ]

posted by roj at 4:08 am  

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

moby embraces remix format

you can love moby or hate moby, but the news item that moby’s embracing his dj fans.

Moby’s new track Lift Me Up – released today – comes with the new di music player that gives fans the ability to edit and personalise tracks using alternative, original material that is also included with the single, and resave them as MP3 files. The scope of the alternative materials is unlimited, with Moby providing a number of alternative vocals, guitar, drums and base tracks.

mix it the way you like… that is, if you’re interested enough to work it.

posted by roj at 4:56 pm  

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

magnatune and the cdbaby

just a quick observation, magnatune has signed with cdbaby. lots of implications. no time. implications left to the reader.

posted by roj at 3:27 am  

Monday, February 14, 2005

the first no-retail grammy

as a former member of the academy (long story), and being familiar with the making of the sausage, i tend to avoid the grammy awards, but this year there’s a little footnote worth noting in all the hype. reuters seems to have wrapped it up in one sentence very nicely:

Jazz composer Maria Schneider took home a Grammy on Sunday for her album “Concert in the Garden,” without selling a single copy in a record store.

now, you can argue about the artistic merits of a grammy winner, but you can’t argue about the relationship between grammy nominees/winners and sales. this year, we have the first grammy winner that’s not pumping cash through retail chains. that’s a big deal.

so, congratulations to maria schneider… and maybe you’ll drop by that link and push this envelope just a little bit further.

one more little detail – schneider is doing the limited edition thing – 10,000 units, and the auction thing. if you’re interested in music promotion in the new century, that’s worth a visit too.

I will release only 10,000 CDs of ‘Concert in the Garden’ –that’s it, not one more.
9,000 of these CDs are available for pre-order. 1,000 are being reserved for a special auction to be announced in the near future. … After these CDs are sold, this recording will only be available as a digital download.

update (2005.02.21): joi picked up on this, so i can relax now that the world is aware :). barry got it too. excellent.

posted by roj at 5:15 am  

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

i’ll take radiohead for $350, alex

a wonderful first-person account of the burden on culture from the business of music.

posted by roj at 10:50 am  

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

damn the pirate queen – or disney, at least

just after i praised good works by queen, along comes their label (or rather, the parent of their label, i suppose), and lays down the lawyers to defend the empire…

back in september, good musigeek waxy brought brought us a bit on te kleptone’s night at the hip-hopera, and went the extra mile, mirroring the work and tracking down a really comprehensive sample list (credit where due)…

then today, waxy gets a done to others since the good old days of uncle walt [pdf].

update: boingboing has it. it’s got legs.

posted by roj at 7:21 am  

Sunday, November 14, 2004

u2 games the p2p networks?

barry’s keeping me on the ball, so to speak, with this piece on the u2 album “leak”

we discussed this promotional approach back in january…. here.

of course, taking credit for this strategy essentially blows the strategy, so we’ll probably never know if the leak was intentional or accidental, but we can watch the cd sell despite (or because) of p2p popularity…

posted by roj at 3:36 am  

Monday, November 8, 2004

hail the pirate queen – black catalog coming online

there’s a new model in town.. and it’s about longetivity in the music business, embracing the audience, enhancing value, and doing good all at the same time…

Queen sell pirate music to fans [bbc news, nov 3, 2004]

Using expert advice, the band has selected the best illegal Queen recordings and will make them available to download on their official website.

The downloads will be available at the rate of three tracks each month, at a fixed cost of £5 per recording.

All proceeds will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, to combat Aids.

this is a big development in a lot of ways… firstly, the career trajectory of queen changed pretty dramatically with freddie mercury’s death in 1991. that means real limited access to two of the three general revenue option for a band – performance and patronage. queen isn’t queen without freddie, so they won’t be doing blow-out stadium concerts or movie soundtracks anytime soon. left with no options other than their past to move forward, queen has embraced their legacy of bootlegs, and, in very classy form, added value to the “black catalog” (not to be confused with their back catalog).

the filtering problem is… well, a huge problem. with that many years of tours, and that many potential bootleggers out there in the world, the pile of junk bootleg recordings of queen has got to be huge. so how do you sort it out and find the gems in the crap? talk to the experts, of course. in this case, it’s frank hazenberg, andreas voigts and frank palstra. these musigeeks have been playing with this material for years. ask them what’s worth having – they know.

and now, leveraged through the official sanction (and gathering point) of the queen website, and with an eye toward doing some good with this material (proceeds benefit the mercury phoenix trust).

posted by roj at 5:05 am  
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