Artists, Know Thy Enemy – Who’s Ripping You Off and How…

trichordist:

With all the talk about Spotify and YouTube Music Key, let’s remember the source of the real problem…

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

Musicians have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time. There are no shortage of stories about the wrong doings of managers, booking agents, etc and of course record labels.

But today we find ourselves in a battle with an enemy few of us understand. If we were to believe the writings and ramblings of the tech blogosphere, than they would have us believe that our enemy is our fans. This is simply not true.

The enemy are the for profit businesses making money from our recordings and songwriting illegally. Let’s be clear about this, our battle is with businesses ripping us off by illegally exploiting our work for profit. This is not about our fans. It is about commercial companies in the businesses of profiting from our work, paying us nothing and then telling us to blame our fans. That is the ultimate in cowardice…

View original 959 more words

#irespectmusic Turtles Win in New York pre-72 Case Against SiriusXM

trichordist:

Have a Great Weekend!

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

More to follow, but the Turtles win another one for all pre-72 artists in federal court in New York applying New York state copyright law.

Turtles NY Memorandum and Order Denying Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement

View original

Apple Announces Itunes One Dollar Albums and Ten Cent Song Downloads | Sillycon Daily News

Satire – but not by much.

Apple Computer announced today that for it’s Itunes Music Store to remain competitive in the digital distribution marketplace for music they would be changing their retail pricing of album downloads to one dollar and song downloads to 10 cents each. The pricing change will be effective on black Friday for this holiday season. “Since we purchased Beats music and are competing directly with Spotify we recognized the need for more competitive pricing structures based on what consumers may be willing to pay”, an Apple spokesman said. He continued, “Spotify has proven that as long as we’re paying 70% of gross, the retail pricing is irrelevant, irrelevant! We are even contemplating 10 cent albums and one cent songs to further achieve parity with music streaming services!”

Record label executives rejoiced in the move as one source exclaimed,” I don’t know why we didn’t think of reducing the retail price of downloads by 90% years ago. It’s still money, right? It’s so simple that this is really the only way to grow the business to $100b annually while competing with piracy.”

 

calculator

Music Streaming, New Money Vs. Old and the Market Cap of All Music… | The Cynical Musican

A must read post from The Cynical Musician:

“In a hypothetical future that is nothing but streaming (a depressingly real possibility, given that everything but streaming is going down the drain), the size of the industry is capped at 70% of streaming service revenue. There’s no way to grow the industry, because there’s no new money coming in. The subscription revenue pays for all present and future consumption, it doesn’t matter how many (or few) hot new releases there are. In fact, it doesn’t even matter what music is on the service or how popular it is. The size of the pie is fixed from the start.”

READ THE FULL POST HERE:
http://thecynicalmusician.com/2014/11/new-money/

Jay Frank’s Magical Mystery Streaming Math… Or, Brotha Can Ya Spare A Calculator?

Music industry exec and blogger Jay Frank commented on our post BUT SPOTIFY IS PAYING 70% OF GROSS TO ARTISTS, ISN’T THAT FAIR? NO, AND HERE’S WHY…. Jay’s comment is typical of the thinking that has landed the record industry where it is today (losing money and in trouble).

It’s hard to tell from the comment whether Jay actually believes what he’s saying in the same way someone who bought a million dollar house with no money down, on a zero percent, 5 year ARM convinced themselves there was no housing bubble…

If they [Spotify] go from 10m to 100m free users, they’ll be able to charge much larger premium rates, and may even strike deals with some acts. That could easily result in $1b in artist royalties, given some other media models. This now puts Spotify at $3.5b in artist royalties per year. Pretty good.

To your point, though, that’s still half of the $7b number you put out there.

Right, no kidding “that’s still half of the $7b number”. To be fair to Jay, you should read his whole comment in context at the link above.

However, by his own admission he is still coming up short by $3.5b. If you factor that in with the analysis of the projected revenue losses from YouTube’s Music Key that’s another estimated $2.3b in the hole. But the simple truth is much easier to see, revenue keeps dropping as it has for the past 13 years while piracy apologists and digital music snake oil salesmen have yet to show any increase in actual overall net revenue from recorded music sales.

YouTube’s MusicKey Will Cause $2.3 Billion In Music Industry Losses… | Digital Music News
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/11/03/youtubes-musickey-will-cause-2-3-billion-music-industry-losses

By Jay’s logic, digital albums would sell for one dollar not ten while digital song downloads would be priced at ten cents and not one dollar. That’s not the case for good reason and illustrates quickly and effectively why Spotify paying 70% of gross is moot. We don’t think labels would agree to getting paid 70% on one dollar album albums and ten cent songs. Of course the labels don’t have 18% equity in Itunes either…

The larger truth and common sense is that Spotify economics don’t work in the same way $1 album downloads and $.10 song downloads don’t work – there’s not enough scale to make the economics sustainable. If Jay truly thinks you can more than double the revenue from transactional downloads by reducing the price by 90% we’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn we’d like to sell him very cheap.

In terms of “highly selective math” Jay continues his comment from above:

To your point, though, that’s still half of the $7b number you put out there. True, but that presumes that Spotify is the only player in town. While they may be a major force, there will also be other internet radio, satellite radio, video streaming, other streaming competitors and probably still physical and digital retail sales. Add to that greater ubiquity in tracking usage with increasing penetration of smart mobile devices combined with declining mobile data cost…and I feel like we’re starting to approach $10b a year.

And that’s just the U.S.

Ok, so let’s see that $10b a year in revenue streams plotted out and lets take a closer look at it. Here’s what subscription based services look like right now. Netflix only has 36m subscribers in the US, no free tier, and massive limitations on available titles of both catalog and new releases. Sirius XM, 26.3m in the US as a non-interactive curated service installed in homes, cars and accessible online. Premium Cable has 56m subscribers in the US paying much more than $10 a month and also with many limitations. Spotify… 3m paid subscribers in the US after four years.

Tell us again about this strategy of “waiting for scale.” Spotify is Three Million PaidThree… Oh, and that’s just the U.S.

* 3m Spotify Subs Screen Shot
* 26.3m Sirius XM Subs Screen Shot
* 36m Netflix Subs Screen Shot
* 56m Premium Cable Subs Screen Shot
* $7b Music Business Screen Shot

Hey, it’s just math… but in the meantime Jay, you may want to look at this:

Streaming Isn’t Saving the Music Industry After All, Data Shows… | Digital Music News
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/06/26/streaming-isnt-saving-music-industry-new-data-shows

A Detailed Explanation on Why Streaming Has Failed… | Digital Music News
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2014/10/02/detailed-explanation-streaming-failed

You can email Paul Resnikoff at paul@digitalmusicnews.com

calculator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RELATED:

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

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

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

 

BUT SPOTIFY IS PAYING 70% OF GROSS TO ARTISTS, ISN’T THAT FAIR? NO, AND HERE’S WHY…

Spotify is not paying sustainable rates for the cost of goods. Look – it’s like this, if something cost you $100 to make, and someone else sells it for $10… it doesn’t matter that you are getting 70% of the gross, you’re still over 90% unrecouped on a per unit basis. This is the problem with Spotify, is that it undervalues the true cost of goods (including R&D, etc).

Artists agreeing to streaming their music on Spotify are essentially agreeing to sell albums for One Dollar and Songs for Ten Cents… Oh Wait, Spotfiy actually pays way less than that… (calculated on a per stream basis).

This is why arguments about marginal percentages miss the point completely. It’s about simple math and simple economics.

The cost of music is not in the distribution of music (which is cheap). The cost of music is in the human labor of the CREATION of music (which is expensive).

The cost of goods is greater than the marginal cost to distribute those goods. Stop confusing the product with the container.

The CREATION of music is also more than the cost of RECORDING music. The cost of music is in the sustainable needs of the human labor for food, shelter, clothing, etc.

Spotify can not scale and work at current economics… One More Time…

SPOTIFY MATH FOR THOSE OF YOU AT HOME WITH CALCULATORS:

Just show us the math where streaming scales, we’ll wait. Spotify has 3m paid in the US at $10 each.

$10 x 12 mos = $120 per year. Pay out 70% that’s a gross of $84 per year per subscriber. Simple Math.

That $84 per sub is in revenue to all artists in rights holders. Times that by 3m and you get a whopping $252m a year in a $7b business.

Multiple that by 10, to get 30m subs @ $10a month and that’s only $2.5b a year… and that’s a big IF Spotify ever gets to 30m paid in the USA… and IF they do, that’s ONLY 2.5b in revenue against the $7b now…

So you effectively cut the revenue to everyone by 1/2 to 2/3rds… how does this math work without raising the price of subscriptions? It doesn’t.

It’s just math.

 

calculator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RELATED:

Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

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

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

RIP NARM

trichordist:

…Of Foxes and Hen Houses…

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

There used to be a great organization called the National Association of Recording Merchandisers or “NARM.”  A few years ago, we watched them invaded by “digital retailers”.  (Check the board of directors photographs–you can spot them the same way you can pick out talent agents–especially the guys who drove BMWs when they were in the mailroom.  You know what I’m talking about.)  Now it is called the “Music Business Association.”

So now I get this crap in my email today:

NARM RIP

The idea that these people are buying into Google’s bullshit shakedown demotion scheme based on “preliminary results are in” just check Torrentfreak is such obvious shillery that it’s nauseating.  The answer to piracy?  Search engine optimization.

“Now would be a great time to refocus your efforts on SEO so your licensed offerings appear ahead of new and smaller infringing sites who will be working hard to improve their own rankings.”

View original 30 more words

Why Taylor Swift Is Winning The War On Streaming – It’s About The Math Silly, not Technology…

Streaming is Good, the Economics are bad – Get It?

There’s a media pile on claiming that Taylor Swift is going to lose her war on streaming… really? Is there a war on streaming? No. There is no war on streaming. The battle is over economic injustice, not technology. We’ve written about this before…

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

and

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

The record business would do well to look at the solutions and marketplace that the film industry has developed with varied and robust consumer options in the streaming landscape. These include different access and payment models, not one business for all.

So let’s get this straight, and go right to the heart of the issue. It’s just math, and it’s simple math at that. We’ll ask again if anyone can show us how streaming scales to sustainability for artists and rights holders. Let’s see it, because this is how it looks to us…

SPOTIFY MATH FOR THOSE OF YOU AT HOME WITH CALCULATORS:

Spotify has ONLY 3m paid in the US at $10 each.

$10 x 12 mos = $120 per year. Pay out 70% that’s a gross of $84 per year per subscriber. Simple Math.

That $84 per sub is in revenue to all artists in rights holders. Times that by 3m and you get a whopping $252m a year in a $7b business.

Multiple that by 10, to get 30m subs @ $10a month and that’s only $2.5b a year… and that’s a big IF Spotify ever gets to 30m paid in the USA… and IF they do, that’s ONLY 2.5b in revenue against the $7b now…

So you effectively cut the revenue to everyone by 1/2 to 2/3rds… how does this math work without raising the price of subscriptions? It doesn’t.

It’s just math.

So please get your arguments right. No one is arguing against streaming as a technology or distribution mechanism. They are arguing over the fact that these piss poor business models can not exist or operate without artists subsidizing VC funded or publicly held companies.

If these business models are so bad that they can not afford to pay for the cost of goods to maintain a sustainable ecosystem it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start over. That has nothing to do with streaming, technology or distribution and everything to do with exploitative economic injustice.

It’s just math silly.

 

 

Rut Ro: @taylorswift13 Leaves the Spotify Cult and Proves the Rule: Spotify Needs Hits, But Hits Don’t Need Spotify

trichordist:

Spotify Needs Hits… But Hits Don’t Need Spotify…

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

If you’ve been observing the media campaign opposing Taylor Swift’s decision to withdraw from Cult Spotify while having the biggest first week sales of any record in a very long time, hopefully you haven’t been distracted by the bright and shiny object.  Taylor Swift has proven the rule that we all knew, but was very unpopular to actually act on:

Spotify needs hits, but hits don’t need Spotify.

Check it out–if you can find the Billboard chart that deals with people who actually sell stuff, you’ll see what happened very plainly.

Everyone from the LA Times to The View has been acting like the invasion of Bob Lefsetz.  The breadth and scope of this media concentration leads me to one conclusion:  It is being orchestrated.

And who benefits from such a campaign?  Spotify.

So think about that for a minute.  Imagine if you decided that a certain record store didn’t…

View original 557 more words

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…

View original 1,803 more words