More “Music 3.0”

In case there is anybody who hasn’t seen this yet…here’s a brilliant example of what’s really going on here:

“Music is the one thing that opens the door to bringing people to a place where they’re all connected…. religion, politics, those things seem to divide everybody. But music seems to bring everyone together.”

And kudos to the designers at the Playing for Change website — the site is all about the audio and the video, but none of the clips auto-starts.

Susan Boyle Tops Whitney AND The Beatles

As I was saying, “we make the stars.”

Susan-boyle-at-home-pic-sm-473686870 CNN reports on the pending arrival of Scottish singer and YouTube sensation Susan Boyle’s album:

The Scottish star’s debut album, “I Dreamed A Dream,” has sensationally topped the online-retail charts, quite a feat considering her record is not even being released until November 24.

Thousands of eager fans have already pre-ordered the record on Amazon.com, just days after the release was announced.

That’s resulted in Boyle’s climbing to the top of the charts, beating heavy hitters Whitney Houston and the Beatles to the top spot.

A pre-release version of Boyle’s cover of the Stone’s “Wild Horses” has  found its way on to the web. It’s not exactly rock & roll, but it does make you wonder what exactly is it about this woman’s voice that is so stirring.

Of course, anybody can top the Beatles in downloads, since the Beatles remain “a band so obscure you can’t find their music on iTunes.”Or anywhere else in the Celestial Jukebox, for that matter (unless you upload them yourself to Lala.com).

Music -v- Marketing

At the core of all of this, it is the music that is key. But putting out good music and being a good marketer are not mutually exclusive. If you do something cool — something fun or valuable or neat beyond just the music — it’s not going to matter as much if the music itself isn’t good. This is why, I have to admit, the one area where I think all three of these artists could have done a better job is actually making the music itself free.

via www.techdirt.com

No Starship but…

BlowsKinda funny to listen to the first "Jefferson Starship" album (ie. the
first after the band ceased to be an Airplane). Written and released in
1970, the album is a musical work of 'science fiction' that looks back
from some time in future to launch of a starship in 1990 that had been
under construction for ten years…

You know – a starship circlin' in the sky 
it ought to be ready by 1990
They'll be buildin' it up in the air even since 1980
People with a clever plan can assume the role of the mighty
and HIJACK THE STARSHIP
Carry 7000 people past the sun
And our babes'll wander naked thru
the cities of the universe
C'mon
free minds, free bodies, free dope, free music
the day is on its way the day is ours

Sorry to say, we never quite got the starship together, minds are still shackled by all manner of things (let's start with religion…), sexuality is still mostly repressed (at the same time it is exploited), and hell, you still can't buy dope, let alone get it for free…

But the "free music" part?  THAT part it appears they got right (but not until long after they'd all earned a tidy fortune from Industrial Rock & Roll).

The Problem With Spotify – Maybe It’s Their Business Model?

via www.nme.com

Is everything all right at Spotify? News that the music streaming service has reverted to being invite-only – just days after the much-heralded launch of its iPhone app – is deeply puzzling. It's a bit like Arctic Monkeys releasing 'Humbug' – then a week later saying, Wait, hang on, it's not finished, can we do that again?

Furthermore:

But there is another, more troubling possibility: Spotify has a cashflow problem. As New Media Age point out, Spotify pays record labels per stream – it's not much, about half a penny per track – but any sudden spike in users would cause a corresponding hike in the site's costs.

Aside from the obvious question of "who gets that ha'penny per track, you still have to wonder where even that ha'penny is coming from. Advertising??

The celestial jukebox has arrived (?)

The Spotify iPhone app has been approved. With this app, I will now be able to carry 5 million songs in my pocket, and every week thousands more songs will be added to my collection automatically.  This is the proverbial celestial jukebox – the great jukebox in the cloud that lets me listen to any song I want to hear.    This is  going to change how we listen to music.  When we can listen to any song,  anywhere, any time and on any device our current ways of interacting with music will be woefully inadequate.

via musicmachinery.com

Has it really? I keep hearing that the Spotify app has been approved, but I still can’t use Spotify, as previously reported, the Lala.com app for the iPhone has been in limbo for more than six months now. But if and when it does arrive, it’s not really going to change “how we listen to music.” We’ll still use our ears for that, and some sort of delivery device like speakers or earbuds. But it will change how we collect and music. Mostly because… we won’t actually have to collect and store it ourselves any more, nor are we confined to the limitations of shelf (or hard-drive) space and budget.

The question then becomes, if we in fact have access-on-demand to everything, what will we listen to? And how will the people who make that music sustain their efforts?

The linked article continues:

The new challenge that these next generation music services face is
helping their listeners find new and interesting music.  Tools for
music discovery will be key to keeping listener’s coming back.

Which begins to ask the pertinent question: with changes in the media, patterns of behavior change.  What new behavioral patterns will emerge in the era of infinite music — and what business opportunities do those new behavior patterns offer.

And how much do we have to think about such things before we can get a clue what the answer is…??

Today’s Discovery via Lala.com

Of course, I’ve known about Maura O’Connell almost as long as I’ve lived in Nashville, but when “Phoenix Falling” from this 2006 album rolled around on a playlist (which I started by selecting Cheryl Wheeler), I knew in a heartbeat what I want to be listening to this afternoon. No disrespect, Cheryl, but this stuff is knocking me out:

And after I listened to this album, I listened to her newest, Naked With Friends, which I’d first heard about listening to an interview with Maura on the podcast edition David Hooper’s Music Business Radio.

A Contrary Opinion

Demand for a subscription music service has been capped, and a mobile app won’t help drive incremental demand even if it is a good product.

via www.businessinsider.com

I never did try Rhapsody (or the Napster subscription service), I guess I’ll have to check then out to see how well they work. I know a couple of people who’ve tried it and speak well of it. But when I read “demand… has been capped” at fewer than a million subscribers, I just have to think… somebody’s missing the boat. Hell, could just as well be me…