Mr. Lowery’s Speaking Tour: Interview with @davidclowery after Columbia Law School, George Mason University and CMJ Keynote

trichordist:

David Lowery and Chris Castle talk creators rights, copyright and the internet…

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

David Lowery just concluded a whistlestop tour of academic panels at George Mason University and the Columbia Law School, finishing with a keynote at the Continuing Legal Education program at CMJ.  We caught up to him for a recap of his brush with academia:

MTP: What were these conferences about? How did you bring your academic experience to bear on your participation?

Lowery: Ha. My academic experience is relatively limited at this point. Yes this is my fourth year teaching “business fundamentals of the music business” and “publishing and licensing” at University of Georgia, but compared to many of the folks at these panels I’m a relative newcomer. Most of the folks on these panels have been teaching law for quite some time and often have extensive industry experience in entertainment and/or technology.    I think though I’m much closer to the younger students, the young and aspiring artists than…

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Two Sincere Questions for The Future Of Music Coalition #SFMUSICTECH

trichordist:

Timely questions as the FOMC Policy Summit is one again upon us…

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

We notice that Future of Music Coalition has submitted testimony to congress asking that they “represent” artists in the Copyright Reform process begun by Congress.

So since they’ve  volunteered to represent us.  We feel it only fair that they answer these two questions:

1. Who selects your advocacy positions?  
AFM, AFTRA, NARAS, Nashville Songwriters Assn, and ASCAP all have democratically elected boards who set the organizations’ positions.  Do you have members who vote for leadership?  If not, who is making those decisions?

2. Who funds your organization?
Google is listed as your first sponsor of your primary event.
http://futureofmusic.org/events/future-music-summit-2012

How much money do you get from Google?  Do you think you should be taking funding from a source many artists believe to be opposed to their interests?

FOMC Spondors

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The Paradox of Pirate Logic : Music Versus Music Software – Full Post

trichordist:

By simply adding the word “Software” to the word “Music” the rationalizations around stealing labor from musicians falls apart very quickly.

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

by Chris Whitten
(Copyright in the Author, Posted with Permission)

The bottom line for many in the often heated piracy debate is this: “Give us a good product at a fair price, make it convenient and easy to obtain and we’ll buy it”.

There is a digital product that ticks most of those boxes. So by comparing two products I wonder if we can learn anything about the chances of reducing music and movie piracy by making it better quality, more affordable and easy to download?

I’m of course talking about music production software.

About 7 years ago I was involved in creating a virtual drum instrument in collaboration with a Swedish music software producer Toontrack. Our product has been critically acclaimed, is a best seller, but is also unfortunately a favourite with software pirates. The pirate’s ‘advice’ to “adapt or die” appears then to ring hollow. As a performance…

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This Weekend in NYC : Benefit for Content Creators Coalition (c3): Defend Artists’ Rights: Economic Justice in the Digital Domain! w/ Marc Ribot, John Zorn, and friends

A Benefit Concert for c3

Featuring John Zorn, Eric Slick (Dr Dog), Steve Coleman, Marc RibotHenry Grimes, Marina RosenfeldTrevor Dunn, Brandon SeabrookSatomi Matsuzaki (Deerhoof), Amir ElSaffar, and more!

The event will also feature a short screening of highlights from Michael Count Eldridge’s upcoming documentary film “Unsound”.

General Admission: $20 pre-sale (ends at noon on 10/18) $25 at Doors

Special Artist Rights Supporter tickets include reserved balcony seating and access to a one hour meet and greet prior to the show // Doors at 7pm

TICKETS :
https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9950804

MORE INFORMATION:
http://roulette.org/events/benefit-content-creators-coalition-c3-defend-artists-rights-economic-justice-digital-domain-w-marc-ribot-john-zorn-friends/

 

Safe Harbor Not Loophole: Five Things We Could Do Right Now to Make the DMCA Notice and Takedown Work Better

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

By Chris Castle

There has been considerable discussion about how the DMCA notice and takedown procedures are “broken.”  We don’t think that this is quite true—the procedures are manipulated, misunderstood and abused on a grand scale.  That doesn’t mean that the notice and takedown procedure is “broken” any more than the laws against burglary, theft and tax evasion are “broken.”  No statute can control unethical behavior by those who use the law as a flimsy excuse to get away with bad behavior.

Many Internet companies have interpreted the DMCA to permit bad behavior until the victim of the bad behavior notified the bad actor that they were behaving badly—each time they behaved badly.  This “catch me if you can” interpretation of the DMCA was not at all what the Congress had in mind.  We would go further and suggest that not only was it not what the Congress had in mind, it…

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Streaming Is the Future, Spotify Is Not. Let’s talk Solutions.

It’s not that streaming can’t work. It can. It’s that Spotify is a bad business model that has unsustainable economics and exploits artists because it is a wall street financial instrument and not a music company.

We’ve previously published a couple posts on streaming music where we explore how access models and windowing are working for the film industry and could serve as a guide to the record business. We’ve also shown how transactional music purchases have made legal music consumption the best value in the history of recorded music.

The key to building streaming business models that make sense and are sustainable is to increase the subscription fees, utilize well thought-out windowing models and experiment with new pricing tiers for access based services.

Historically the music business has employed the use of special markets such record clubs  (remember 11 CD’s for one penny). It’s not that record clubs were bad, in fact numerous studies found them to be great source of additional revenue if managed in a way that did not cannibalize front line sales. (Remember 12 month record club holdbacks?) Now we need to strike the same balance with streaming services.

So let’s get real, the Spotify business model and streaming math just does not work and can not work in it’s current form.

Here are five suggestions to get music streaming back on track as a viable business model.

1) Minimum Payment Per Play

You want to give your service away? Fine, but artists and rights holders are not going to subsidize your business by devaluing our work. No plays without a minimum royalty–including the “free service”–and all plays pay at paid subscription rates. If you can’t sustain your business doing this, then you need to rethink how your business works. Your bad business model is not our problem. Maybe an unlimited, non-graduated free tier is a really, really, really bad idea. 30 Day trial offer, ok. Virtually unlimited free access, no.

2) Windowing

The music business must embrace windowing to maximize revenues across all distribution channels and platforms. It’s so basic we can’t believe artists and labels are not utilizing this to greater effect. The first 30 days of a new release could be limited to transactional streaming access by the day, week, or the month at different price points. Likewise, perhaps only two songs from an album are made available on streaming platforms for the first year of release. There are many unexplored variations and options.

3) Transactional Streaming

The music business needs to embrace new models such as “transactional streaming” much like VOD exists for film versus transactional downloads or physical product. There is no reason why streaming distributors should have every title, ever released, for one fixed, flat price. Again, new releases in particular should be priced as transactional streams where the consumer can chose between low cost limited access to a new release, or pay more for a transactional download.

4) Tiered Pricing based on Access and Consumer Value Proposition

Just like cable tv and SiriusXM, one possible solution is to create price tiers based on access. For example, catalogs can be curated into genre and lifestyle packages. Creating bundled packages adds value to both the end user and the streaming service. Individual packages can be as little as $4.99 a month, and complete access could priced at $49.99 a month. Again, there are many unexplored variations and options.

5) Move Beyond Stockholm Syndrome

The answer to every attempt to introduce real world economics to the marketplace can not be met with “or else they’ll steal it.” We already know that. They have been stealing it for over a decade (thank you Mr. Ek for your contributions to uTorrent). The film industry is not approaching streaming with a gun to it’s head offering every title ever made on every platform for one low monthly fee. Itunes is the single most successful dedicated online music business ever, and it doesn’t have a “free-tier”.

Isn’t it odd that companies like Pandora and Spotify that are not profitable and don’t support artists are thought to behold some kind of gnostic wisdom of economics that defies all logic and reason? Last year Twitter lost $645 million dollars. Record labels have been profitable for over half a century with a sustainable ecosystem that invests in artists and new talent, while also creating hits and stars. It’s time to leave the rainbow unicorn school of economics and faith healing behind and develop real business models based on real economics.

Anyone remember the dot com bubble? Where is mp3.com now? Things can and do change fast in web/tech. Any talk of the “record industry” without MySpace in 2004 and you would have been laughed out to the room. Where is MySpace now? Spotify can (and very well may) quickly become MySpace. So let us all focus on how to make streaming actually work for all stakeholders and not only those with equity… it’s just math.

RELATED:

Who will be the First Fired Label Execs over Spotify Fiasco & Cannibalization?

Why Spotify is not Netflix (But Maybe It Should Be)

Mythbusting : Music Is Too Expensive!?

Mythbusting : Music Is Too Expensive!?

trichordist:

Something to consider amongst the chatter of proposals to reduce streaming subscription costs. We couldn’t think of anything more silly, and here’s why…

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

Music has never been less expensive to own, legally. We often hear that if music were cheaper, artists would sell more, but this is simply not true. Myth busted, read on.

Digital Music News – Worse Than Worst Ever? Tommy Boy Starts Number-Crunching Again…

“The first Beatles album in America came out in 1964 at $4.98 list,” Tommy Boy continued. “In today’s dollars that would be $35 for a 28 minute, monophonic 8-song album.”

In other words, using today’s pricing of $9.99 for an Itunes album would have only cost $1.35 in 1964… Even if you wanted to entertain a $20 CD (are there any $20 CDs these days?), the same would have only cost $2.70 in 1964. That’s nearly half of what it actually cost then.

So in the very worst case scenario, music is STILL 45% less expensive today than it was in 1964! And that’s calculated on…

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c3 ‪”#thatsongwhen 10k people listened, the artist got paid $60 and the major labels got stock options.”

c3, The Content Creators Coalition is enlisting musicians and songwriters to share their true stories of Spotify plays, payments and thoughts to raise awareness around unsustainable digital service royalty structures. Join in.

If you care about the economic rights of artists in the digital domain, join us in hijacking Spotify’s new twitter hashtag campaign. Got your own numbers to share? Like so: Fun with new Spotify hashtag campaign: “#thatsongwhen 10k people listened, the artist got paid $60 and the major labels got stock options.”

We do believe in digital. But current rates are not sustainable. Spotify is using our music like venture capital and promising better returns later while they pay their employees and hire expensive ad firms to create the above hashtag campaign.

thatsongwhenSarahManningthatsongwhenTessaMakesLove thatsongwhenMarilynCarino

FOLLOW c3 ON FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/ContentCreatorsCoalition
https://www.facebook.com/pages/ccc-nycorg/

Meltdown at the Soho House: Spotify’s Artist Charm Offensive Tour Self-Destructs on Opening Night

trichordist:

Uh oh…

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Spotify is conducting a artist relations charm offensive in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles.  (This is a time to be thankful I live in a flyover state–they won’t be coming to Austin!)

The idea was there would be a meeting at the toney Soho House in New York, a membership only location that costs more to join than most artists make in a year or two.  Of course, Spotify no doubt has a corporate membership for impressing…business people.  Right.  Business people.

What Spotify wasn’t expecting was a bunch of feisty artists who were not on the payroll who came expecting actual answers and not shillery.

Here are three of the many issues that Spotify were confronted with:

1.  “The Per-Stream Royalty Will Never Increase“:  There was a big dustup over royalty rates that boils down to why should artists take it in the shorts while Spotify executives…

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A Detailed Explanation on Why Streaming Has Failed… | Digital Music News

Props to Paul Reznikoff for breaking this down, legit style and in a presentation and all!

Streaming: A Financial Failure

READ THE FULL POST AT DIGITAL MUSIC NEWS:
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/10/02/detailed-explanation-streaming-failed