Technology and A Musicians Triumph
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Are Musicians Benefiting from Music Tech? | Artist Revenue Streams | Page 4

Robert Peters's insight:

This all-inclusive study on the effects of technology on the music industry gives great insight for musicians in understanding the changing world in which musicians are developing their careers.  As the digital boom is continuing to expand, the music industry is a great example of an industry that is effected in multiple ways.  These effects vary from person to person depending on their particular job in the field and can influence how particular musicians develop a following, record their music, and ultimately make a living.  Something that I really like about this particular piece is that it gives you both sides of the story.  If a musician responded to a survey with a positive statement, there are reasons why the positive aspect occurred and the same with the opposite.  The takeaway from this study seems unusually positive.  Being that, since this was written, there have been significant changes in streaming services, it seems as if the analysis on the revenue stream for these services has changed quite drastically with the news of Apple’s streaming service, Spotify, and programs such as Tidal.

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Lifetime Learning: The Impact of Technology on Music: How Has the Quality of Music Changed?

Lifetime Learning: The Impact of Technology on Music: How Has the Quality of Music Changed? | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Robert Peters's insight:

The quality of music has drastically changed.  There is no doubt in my mind with the introduction of digital recording techniques, you don't even have to be a musician to put out music.  Is the music going to be good though?  Probably not if you're not a musician.  It will probably be listenable though.  Part of the big problem is that people are used to hearing this music nowadays.  What is good to consumers and fans is not what was considered good 40 years, or even 20 years ago.  Since anyone can make music these days with the right equipment, does that hurt the real musicians who are putting out music that they work really hard on.  Complexity disappears and average becomes the norm.  

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The real reason why the music industry collapsed – Blog – ABC Technology and Games (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The real reason why the music industry collapsed – Blog – ABC Technology and Games (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Downloading killed music? Are you sure? Here's an argument that you might not have heard.
Robert Peters's insight:

As a musician who truly enjoys hearing good music, not to include the corporate pop put out today, I can relate to the message this man is putting out.  It seems like great music has died.  When I say great music has died, I mean that you don’t hear it on the radio anymore.  Yes, there is a slew of great bands putting out great music today, but all you ever hear on the radio is overproduced pop.  Corporations have thrusted the music that people should be wanting to hear into the background of what we are forced to hear.  The quote from Simon Cowell sums it up pretty well; “A song won’t be a hit unless it appeals to 14-year-old girls.”  These companies take select artists, develop them in a way that captures the ideal image that they are looking to duplicate and throws it on the public like we don’t even notice what’s happening.  In a way, most young people have gotten to the point where they can’t notice what’s happening because that’s all they have known their entire life.  The musicians slaying their guitars and singing great melodies are officially behind the scenes. 

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Are Musicians Benefiting from Music Tech? | Artist Revenue Streams | Page 4

Robert Peters's insight:

This all-inclusive study on the effects of technology on the music industry gives great insight for musicians in understanding the changing world in which musicians are developing their careers.  As the digital boom is continuing to expand, the music industry is a great example of an industry that is effected in multiple ways.  These effects vary from person to person depending on their particular job in the field and can influence how particular musicians develop a following, record their music, and ultimately make a living.  Something that I really like about this particular piece is that it gives you both sides of the story.  If a musician responded to a survey with a positive statement, there are reasons why the positive aspect occurred and the same with the opposite.  The takeaway from this study seems unusually positive.  Being that, since this was written, there have been significant changes in streaming services, it seems as if the analysis on the revenue stream for these services has changed quite drastically with the news of Apple’s streaming service, Spotify, and programs such as Tidal.

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Sean Parker: Music isn't 'winner take-all' - CNNMoney

Sean Parker: Music isn't 'winner take-all' - CNNMoney | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Billionaire Sean Parker talks Taylor Swift, and the future of the music business.
Robert Peters's insight:

Sean Parker states that music is going through “an incredibly agonizing and long transition.”  CD’s are not selling like they once were and even downloads have tapered off.  Like Parker says, subscriptions to streaming sites are the number one way that consumers listen to music these days.  It’s hard to believe that 2014 was the first year in which “the music industry brought in the same proportion of revenues from digital channels as physical format sales.” 

What I want to know is how do musicians who are not on a record label get the streams that they want on a piece of music that they work really hard on?  Let’s say that you have a band who has put out an album that is just as good as any other piece of new age music that is being put out these days.  Who do they contact to start generating the revenue from streaming services?  My idea of getting people to listen to my music on Spotify was to message all of my friends to tell them to check it out.  Of course, I was in the wrong.  The only people that listened to my stuff on Spotify was my friends and maybe some of their friends.  Maybe the key is to focus on people you don’t know and try to get the word out to them.  But maybe the real key is to have a record company promoting it for you.  Based on the facts presented by Mr. Parker, streaming services are here to stay, but how can the average musician tap into that?

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The Fresh 40

The Fresh 40 | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Every week, thousands of artists release albums on Spotify.  Sifting through all this new music to find good stuff to listen to can be hard. Luckily, there are lots of tools from New Music Tuesday ...
Robert Peters's insight:

It is great to see Apps that focus on spotlighting artists who are new to the recording world.  It can be really tough for a new musician to find ways to get their music out there.  Like Paul states, almost all music apps that seek new music generate leads to musicians who have been recording for years.  This type of application is another way highlighting the difficulties new musicians have in getting their music out there.  If consumers only have the ability to listen to or seek out music in the digital realm from musicians who have been doing it for years, how does a new recording artist break into the spotlight on streaming services? The Fresh 40 may be a good answer.  Now, how can we make The Fresh 40 app popular enough to put a dent in the problem?

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#070: Social Media 101 - The Music Entrepreneur

#070: Social Media 101 - The Music Entrepreneur | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
In this episode of DAWCast: Music Entrepreneurship, I take a look at social media 101. With social media 101 you will learn how to use social media well.
Robert Peters's insight:

As I was listening to David talk, I was thinking about the massive amount of opportunity there is out there for a band to try to create some sort buzz about themselves through social media.  It is very clear that social media can be a great tool for musicians or any other sort of artist out there.  It does take the right type of person to be able to manage sites like this however.  I’m willing to bet that in quite a few bands, the desire to keep up a professional social media presence is done by a manager of some sorts; like David mentioned before, it can be easy for a musician to become overwhelmed by the process. 

Here is something to ponder.  The presence of social media can actually create an influx of musicians, some good, and some bad.  There is more competition in the music industry because of social media, but at the same time, this adds a way for every musician to get their music out there and try to connect with people.  More competition could actually translate to more friends and more bands to play shows with if the sites are used properly.  In today’s society, those bands not willing to get out there and find their fans by less traditional means as in the past, may have negative consequences by doing so.  It could also be argued however, those willing to capitalize on the tools available may still have a difficult time succeeding but may be able to create a path headed in the right direction. 

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Albin Serviant, CEO de MXP4, revient sur son SF Music Tech - Will People Still Pay for Songs in Five Years? - San Francisco Music - All Shook Down

Albin Serviant, CEO de MXP4, revient sur son SF Music Tech - Will People Still Pay for Songs in Five Years? - San Francisco Music - All Shook Down | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
After spending all day at the S.F. MusicTech Summit, I'm sitting at my laptop, listening to an MP3 -- and not posting about it on any of a handful of social networks.

Already I'm showing myself to be so behind the times, apparently.

Cloud-based streaming issues were Monday's buzz topics -- and that means something at a tech conference like this, where there's more buzz in the conversations than in the free coffee.

How can we monetize streaming services? How can we make apps that pull from the cloud without facing heady royalty fees? How can we make the music listening process more interactive, less interactive, with more sharing, less sharing? Who even has space on one's hard drive for old-fashioned MP3s anymore?

And what about that elusive quality: disruption?

New music technology doesn't have anything new, prompted one panel moderator -- tech thinker and Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen -- whose prelude to his panel argued that new companies should solve something -- and that often they don't.

"Jethro Tull used the flute," Allen said. "That was disruptive."

But Allen's panel touched on another central idea of the conference: That in moving forward with technology, music consumption and its culture may be rolling backward in history to a simpler time.

When an audience member said his work as an indie band manager made all this music technology overwhelming, panelist Jesse Von Doom of Cash Music was quick to agree.

"I truly believe simplicity is a big idea," Von Doom said.

That yearning was lost among those debuting new gadgets and apps at the summit, where ideas like Rexly (goal: "to make Apple music social"), and Bopler Games by MXP4 (goal: "game-ify artist pages on Facebook") announced new ways of interacting with music.

Simple listening is so passé. Even TuneWiki, which crowdsources its lyrics creation and whose wide feature set allows for ample sharing of lyrics, was quickly asked in a Q&A session when it would allow for streaming songs.

 

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Via Albin Serviant
Robert Peters's insight:

This is a major topic that needs to be addressed.  This article mentions that technology is bringing us back to more simple time for music.  Many artists these days are forced to make their money by performing.  Don’t get me wrong, I think most of us musicians would agree that performing is a huge part of why we create music for people:  the fact is, as the various mediums for getting music to fans has changed over the years, most of us have soaked in the idea that music can sell.  We see rock stars making good money and living a life that other aspiring artists may wish to emulate and this gives us the thought that we can sell our music too!  Not so fast though!  We’ve gone to eight tracks to record player to CD’s to MP3’s and streaming digital music.  In the past, fans were pretty much forced to buy the music that they enjoyed.  You should see my mom’s record collection.  I’m sure she spent a ton of money buying her music.  We can get our music for free these days, so why bother buying it?

On the other hand, the various mediums we as artists are able to take advantage of has the capability of reaching far more people than the days of the eight track.  Back then, if your music wasn’t on the radio, chances are, people were not listening to it.  Performance is a huge part of why a musician does what they do, but so is the idea of getting the music out there for fans to hear.  We can put our music in a slew of places to ensure that people hear it, but are musicians able to rely on the income it generates to sustain a comfortable lifestyle?  In many cases, they cannot.  They will make their money by playing shows.  It could certainly be argued however, the more people who get a hold of your music, free or not, the larger opportunity you have to create a fan base that will come spend money at your shows, and gather to support your creativity. 

 

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Apple Music Boycott - Should Indie Artists, Labels Stop Releasing New Music ... - hypebot.com

Apple Music Boycott - Should Indie Artists, Labels Stop Releasing New Music ... - hypebot.com | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
The outcry over Apple Music's 90 free day trial is growing within the independent music community.
Robert Peters's insight:

This is just what I want for my band.  I want to be forced to not release new songs.  I guess in the meantime I can just devote my energies to playing out live.  Speaking of that, we had considered doing a live recording and releasing the songs on ITunes.  I guess I'll have to wait on that for the time being.  It has always been tough to make it as a full time musician, but the glory days of making money while touring and selling CD's is over for a lot of bands.   Why not stream our music for free right?

At least the exposure is good.  New people might hear my music and become fans.  Maybe they will come to a show and fall in love with what we do.  But if everyone's songs are free to stream, maybe mine won't even be heard.  Maybe I wasn't going to make any money off of the streaming anyways.  There are people who will though, and it must be tough to be in their shoes.  How do the musicians who are making money off of streaming songs feel when that income is cut off?

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The Impact of Technology on Live Music Performances

The Impact of Technology on Live Music Performances | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Blog post at XL Events Blog : These days technology seems to effect every aspect of our lives―from the food we eat to the way we read books. Music is no exception to th[..]
Robert Peters's insight:

This blog post had me thinking about what shows used to sound like.  I think that I have taken for granted the amazing sound that we as musicians are able to produce, and fans are able to enjoy during a show.  Of course, with this new technology, has to be someone who knows how to use it in order to utilize its full effect.  Even if a musician is hitting the wrong notes, god forbid, technology at least can make the wrong notes sound full.  Even average bands who own the proper equipment can adjust their sound to make them sound better!

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Technology’s Impact on Creating Music

Technology’s Impact on Creating Music | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Robert Peters's insight:

What Alex has to say really makes a lot of sense and I will agree with it almost 100%.  The accessibility of digital recording mediums has made the recording process more convenient than ever.  Like he states, you can literally take your laptop with you anywhere you go to build on your sound.  This opens up the field and makes it much more saturated, but the talent is really what shines through.  Just because there are more people recording music, does not mean that those who record it are going to be successful.  The people who will be successful are those who know how to use their platform to produce music that people want to hear; music that sounds professional. 

Although some people may prefer the analog sound, it is no longer practical to have machines that take up a large room to record sound when the digital revolution has allowed us to move past that.  It makes so much sense that those who embrace it will have the most success and those who do not become “dinosaurs.”  One aspect that I really enjoy about the recording experience is having multiple ears on the final product.  It is fun to work with a producer, several different engineers, and multiple musicians to come out with a final product.  In considering, that product may come out great because you have so many people working on one project, but if the need to work with that many people is diminished, why not embrace less opinion in the process so long as the results don’t suffer?

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LISTEN: "No Other Way" from Peirson Ross's "Wild Ones"

LISTEN: "No Other Way" from Peirson Ross's "Wild Ones" | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Toronto songwriter Peirson Ross and filmmaker Frank Wolf are currently on a 900 km North Eastern canoe tour from Georgian Bay to Montreal in support of the album "Wild Ones".
Robert Peters's insight:

This is effort at its best.  I’m willing to bet that Peirson Ross was really excited to get out there and do a tour in a canoe.  I’m sure he is a musician with a soft side for the wonderful world of nature that surrounds us.  What he is doing almost sounds unthinkable.  As a matter of fact, I’ll bet you won’t see any mainstream musicians going out there to promote an album in a canoe.  Why?  Is it because they have a tour bus with shows promoted by heavy hitters?  Is it because they have no desire to go into the wild?  Maybe it is because their music is not as conducive to nature as Ross’s is.  This particular article makes me beg the question, what makes a musician successful?  Is it up to us as musicians to decide that, or the consumers who listen to the music?

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Automatically generate album covers with deep learning

Automatically generate album covers with deep learning | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it
Using deep learning image recognition, Flickr and Python to automatically generate album cover of an imaginary Doom-metal band!
Robert Peters's insight:

When my band decided to put out our first and only album, we wanted to do it right.  We spent so much time in preproduction and in the studio to make sure that we got our music sounding the way we wanted it to.  Album art didn't even cross our mind until late in the process.  Once we started contemplating what we wanted on our cover, we generated a ton of ideas.  The problem is that none of us knew how to execute what we wanted.  We decided to hire a professional to tackle the issue at hand.  Over $2000 later, we had our product.  Yes, it looks professionally done and we are proud of it, but still, I was at odds with the final product.  The reason I felt this way is because of the money it took to create.  $2000 is a ton of money for an emerging band to fork over just for the artwork on the CD sleeve itself.    

Clarifai is giving artists the opportunity to generate a product they can be proud of for very minimal cost.  This service allows musicians the possibility to spend their money elsewhere (promotion, recording, etc.)  Although I'm sure using Clarifai requires unexperienced users to sacrifice their time in exchange for a decent looking product, it does offer them the chance to create a CD cover they can be proud of with a minimal budget.    

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Indie labels back Apple Music after decision to pay artists during free trial

Apple owes Taylor Swift a big thank you. Days after the iPhone-maker reversed its decision not to pay artists during Apple Music's three-month free trial — a change of heart brought about in no...
Robert Peters's insight:

This is a huge win for all music labels, but I’m not surprised that it took Taylor Swift speaking out to make it happen.  Taylor is a huge revenue generator for Apple and their partnership is something that the company obviously does not take lightly.  It goes to show the enormous pull that the big hitters have in the field.  The top-bottom effect in this particular instance is quite helpful for those independent artists who do not have the influence those at the top enjoy. 

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Why Jay Z’s Tidal is a complete disaster

Why Jay Z’s Tidal is a complete disaster | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it

Like many rappers, Jay Z writes songs that have a paranoid streak. He lashes out against conservative cable news anchors, overzealous cops, lazy music critics, and less talented lyricists, all of whom, he insists, are out to get him because he’s famous. On May 16, Jay Z uncorked one of these bilious anthems, Say Hello, from his 10th studio album, American Gangster, at an exclusive performance for people who’ve signed up for Tidal, his subscription-only streaming-music service. Stalking the stage at New York’s Terminal 5, Jay Z addressed critics of his new venture, who have savaged it as tone-deaf, unimpressive, and—perhaps most wounding for a celebrity who famously boasted “I’m a business, man”—a lousy investment.

In a black baseball cap cocked to the side, several large gold chains, and a dark tunic with white stripes that looked like something a fashion-conscious crossing guard might wear, the mogul complained about how he’d been mischaracterized by his detractors. “They say I’m a bad guy,” he rapped. “That’s the picture they paint. They say a lot about me. Let me tell you what I ain’t.”

Jay Z unveiled Tidal at a press conference in late March, flanked by 15 of the biggest acts in the music business, including his wife, Beyoncé, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Jack White, and Kanye West, all of whom were introduced as equity shareholders. Many seemed awkward and unprepared. Another owner, Alicia Keys, quoted Nietzsche and gushed about Tidal’s cultural significance: “We’re gathered … with one voice, in unity, in the hopes that today will be another one of those moments in time, a moment that will forever change the course of music history.” There was a lot of utopian rhetoric about restoring the value of music in the digital age. Less time was spent on new features, technology, or other reasons for listeners to try—and pay for—a Tidal subscription.

The backlash was immediate. Tidal’s detractors weren’t just the predictably vexatious music bloggers, who described the service as little more than a vehicle for musical plutocrats to line their pockets. The haters also included some of Jay Z’s peers. “They totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid,” said Ben Gibbard, lead singer of the indie rock group Death Cab for Cutie. The habitually caustic Noel Gallagher of Oasis told Rolling Stone, “Do these people think they are the f---in’ Avengers? They are going to save the f---in’ [world]?” In late May Tidal hovered at No. 9 on the iTunes list of top-grossing music apps, trailing Slacker Radio.

At Terminal 5, Jay Z’s backup band halted in the middle of Say Hello to let him freestyle. He laid out the case for Tidal and skewered his competitors in verse: “So I’m the bad guy now, I hear, because I won’t go with the flow?” He said Apple executive Jimmy Iovine had offered him “a safety net,” presumably in the form of a payment for endorsing the company’s forthcoming streaming-music service, and that Google had “dangled around a crazy check.” (Apple and Google declined to comment.) Jay Z dissed “middlemen,” griping that YouTube paid him “a tenth” of what he deserved. “You know n----s died for equal pay, right? You know when I work, I ain’t your slave, right?” Jay Z even drew parallels between his situation and the police killings of young black men such as Michael Brown and Freddie Gray.

Until now, Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has had an almost unbroken record of success. A hip-hop Horatio Alger character, he rose from the bleak poverty of Brooklyn’s Marcy public housing projects to become one of the world’s most successful musical artists. He’s sold 34 million albums in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen Music. Billboard estimates he made $22 million last year from musical activities. Apart from his artistic talent, Jay Z also aspires to be one of the world’s great businessmen. “I affiliate with Billy Gates, that’s my peer,” he once rapped. And: “You looking at the black Warren Buffett.”

A masterful extender of his own brand, Jay Z, whose net worth has been estimated at $520 million by Forbes, has co-founded a successful record company (Roc-A-Fella), clothing line (Rocawear), nightclub chain (the 40/40 Club), and management company (Roc Nation). He sprinkles his verses with boasts about products he’s designed (Hublot watches and Reebok S. Carter sneakers) and acquired (Armand de Brignac Champagne). “He’s taken the equity that he built as Jay Z and successfully abstracted it to a lifestyle brand,” says Jeff Kempler, a former senior vice president at the Island Def Jam label group and a member of Roc-A-Fella’s board in the early 2000s.

Tidal is Jay Z’s most ambitious venture yet—an effort to profit in an arena that’s thwarted not only other musicians but startups and venture capitalists, too. Many artists are unhappy with the economics of streaming, notably Taylor Swift, who pulled her albums from Spotify last November. Jay Z wants to do better on two levels. Tidal pays record labels and music publishers a higher royalty—75 percent of revenue, vs. Spotify’s 70 percent, boosting the value of music on the Internet, including his own. And as a large shareholder, he could sell off his stake at a profit if outside investors give Tidal a valuation approaching those of other digital-music platforms such as Pandora and Spotify.

Another possibility is that Jay Z, who declined to speak to Bloomberg Businessweek, will lose his entire investment in Aspiro, Tidal’s Norwegian parent company, which he purchased in March for $56 million. In streaming, he has formidable rivals. Spotify, the 9-year-old market leader, is valued at $8 billion, and it loses money. Three-quarters of its more than 60 million members use its free, ad-supported service rather than paying $9.99 for a monthly subscription. Smaller players such as Deezer and Rhapsody also lose money but have managed to stay afloat. Apple is expected to introduce its own product using Beats technology later this month at the same $9.99 subscription price—but the $757 billion company can afford to break even or even lose money on music as long as it sells more iPhones, iPads, and watches.

So what is Jay Z thinking? He turned 45 in December. The onetime street hustler is now a husband and a father and hobnobs with world leaders such as President Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president of France. Some say he has grander ambitions in middle age. “He’d like to be a billionaire,” says Rob Stone, co-founder of the Fader, a magazine that extensively covers the rap world. “He’s talked openly about that. But I think in his mind, it’s no longer just about how much money he’s making. It’s about his legacy and what the name Shawn Carter will mean after he’s gone.” He wants to save the music industry from the brutal economics of streaming—and make himself a fortune in the process. So far he’s doing neither . . .

Robert Peters's insight:

This cause seems noble.  What musician wouldn’t want to make more money on each of their songs that are streamed?  The music industry for Indie bands will chew you up and spit you out, so it seems like a no brainer that musicians would want to make more money for their art.  Tidal’s practicality seems to be the issue at hand.  In a world where music consumers have a vast array of options for free digital streaming, why would someone want to pay for a service that they do not have to?  This has been somewhat of a downfall for musicians in the industry to begin with.  An artist puts out a CD and is lucky if they go on to sell it beyond their family, friends, and close fans.

Someone like Jay-Z and the handful of artists that have endorsed the Tidal venture are already successful artists.  They have their labels, their managers who can get them the shows they want, and a massive amount of support from the public.  In most cases, these people were big before the digital music revolution and this has helped add to their continued success in an ever changing, technologically advancing industry.  Who will benefit from this Tidal wave?  The big boys will benefit.  Jay-Z is a businessman and ultimately that what it comes down to.  He is keeping with the trends in this market to better his cause to a jaded public who doesn’t want to pay for music but loves to listen to it. 

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Charlotte Chandler's comment, June 27, 2015 6:59 PM
Only, old people still buy CD and pay for music- this generation wants it for free! The only way to get these guys to pay, is to offer something personal like a chat or something using technology.
Norman Chandler's comment, June 27, 2015 7:32 PM
The rich, just get richer!
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Why Independent Music Fans Need Real Net Neutrality | Kevin Erickson Op-Ed | PitchFork

Why Independent Music Fans Need Real Net Neutrality | Kevin Erickson Op-Ed | PitchFork | Technology and A Musicians Triumph | Scoop.it

From the beginning, the story of independent music in the U.S. has been about a struggle to level the playing field for creative expression and entrepreneurship—about finding ways for a more diverse array of creative voices to be heard above the noise of a handful of massive companies using the combination of technological control and economic domination to drown them out.


When I say "from the beginning," I’m not talking about Our Band Could Be Your Life. I’m talking about independent labels as far back as the late 1910s and early 1920s; Black Swan Records, for example, one of the first African-American owned & operated labels, was founded out of dismay over major record companies’ mistreatment of black performers and audiences.


But stuck in a system where major companies controlled pressing plants and distribution networks, the label was ultimately unable to compete, and Black Swan went bankrupt in 1923. It wasn’t until after WWII, when more independent pressing plants opened and access to technology was democratized, that independent labels were able to start to really take off.

Over the years, this dynamic has been repeated across evolving technologies; a flourishing of indie upstarts ultimately reined in by waves of consolidated corporate power. When the 1996 Telecommunications Act lifted the ban on the number of radio stations a single company could own nationwide, companies like Clear Channel could expand their ownership from 40 radio stations to over 1200. Local DJs and programmers were fired and replaced with automated systems playing nearly identical playlists across every market.

Bands like Fugazi once warned of the influence of an industry principally controlled by "Five Corporations," of a dystopian mass society where fewer and fewer voices speak to an ever larger and more passive audience. Now we’re down to just three major labels, and despite payola laws, those three companies keep a firm grip on what gets played on commercial radio.

To reach audiences, independents have had to focus on alternative infrastructure that allows gatekeepers to be bypassed, like independent record shops, college radio, and especially the Internet.


The online sphere hasn’t turned out to be a panacea—it’s disrupted traditional revenue streams and is prone to the same corporatization as legacy media; but nonetheless, it’s offered fans access to and information about a greater diversity of music than ever before.


What makes this possible is Net Neutrality, the principle that all traffic should be treated equally, regardless of who made it; meaning your favorite cassette label’s website, music videos, or other data can flow just as effectively as OneRepublic’s.

But now a new class of potential gatekeepers has emerged in the form of Internet Service Providers, the companies we pay for online access, and what’s being hoarded is attention and access. Big ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T would like to be able to charge big content companies extra for faster speeds and preferential treatment, while those who can’t pay-to-play get left behind.


And in the same way that Clear Channel and friends bulldozed local radio, consolidation in the telecommunications sector has run rampant. This year, fresh off its recent purchase of NBC/Universal, Comcast announced its plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, an unprecedented concentration of power that spells more bad news for music.


Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Robert Peters's insight:

We all know that giant media conglomerates have dominated media across various mediums for a long time.  This article references the involvement of major labels in setting the scene for popular musicians since the early 20th century.  As I’m driving across the country, I love hearing the same commercial Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Metallica songs over and over again.  The repetitive nature really gets my toes tapping.  I also love it that we are giving independent musicians such an opportunity to get in with the big guys.  Independent musicians now have the technology to make music that is in many cases, just as polished as what we hear coming from the major labels.  In many cases, the musicianship coming from independent artists is more diverse and technically challenging than what we actually hear on our beloved IHeartRadio broadcasts. 

Independent artists typically turn to the internet and its various tools in order to share their music.  Net Neutrality as it is called, has allowed independent artists to get their music out there to the fans that they want to target.  How can we allow the three largest communication corporations to cut off an artists’ ability to have their music distributed and accessed in the only streamline medium for music without thinking about the consequences as a society?  Our culture is changing and it’s shaped around what the big boys want us to see and hear.  We cannot afford to let this happen.  Our culture and the creativity shaped from within what we are force fed will diminish and the little guys trying to make it with their creative abundance will only be pushed under the rug further if net neutrality is diminished. 

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BOON YUXIN's curator insight, January 19, 2015 5:13 PM

This article is an informative notice for music fans. It basically emphasizes the influence of independent music label.