This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
The music world has barely managed to process the revolution wrought when songs became files. But streaming subscription services hasten an even bigger upheaval: songs becoming links, playable with one click, from a newsfeed, email, or Facebook profile. The real fun is about to begin.
Worldwide online music revenue from end-user spending is on pace to total $6.3 billion in 2011, up from $5.9 billion in 2010, according to Gartner, Inc. Online music revenue is forecast to reach $6.8 billion in 2012, and grow to $7.7 billion in 2015. By comparison, consumer spending on physical music (CDs and LPs) is expected to slide from approximately $15 billion in 2010 to about $10 billion in 2015.
Technological shifts alter the ways we listen, but not always in obvious directions…. In its day, the LP was an unwelcome innovation, reviled by some fans as a biz-driven rip-off. Collections of themed songs or instrumental exotica showed off how good albums were in sustaining a mood.
This was scented-candle listening if anything is, but its demonstration of the LP’s power helped establish the format in time for the rock era, with its concentrated individual exploration of music. That in turn created a market for headphone listening, which turned into portable headphone listening, which dovetailed with the age of “multitasking” Cocker talks about. All these shifts seem logical with hindsight: all had significant, unintended effects on the culture of music.
The irony of copyright law as it stands is that historic orchestral broadcasts are often almost impossible to reissue by anyone, until they pass into the public domain. The standard contract with an orchestra would allow for an initial broadcast and then a single repeat transmission. Thereafter, a new contract would need to be drawn up with the musicians for any further use of that recording. Trying today to track down the performers (or their estates) for a symphony orchestra that existed in 1960 is well-nigh impossible.
since 2009 the number of people who pirate music has dropped by 25 percent in Sweden. The sharp decrease coincides with a massive interest for the music streaming service Spotify.
forget the internet, it was the advent of the cassette in the 70s and early 80s that wiped out a lot of labels in Africa – making his detective work harder – because it made copying music so easy. “I imagine that a lot of the artists whose recordings have surfaced on Awesome Tapes from Africa never made a lot of money from them anyway – they’ve always been used to piracy. So the idea that someone somewhere else is bootlegging their material: it’s not new to them. But they’ll recognise the benefits of any exposure.”
Sensitive to any suggestion that he has exploited artists through releasing their material without permission, Shimkovitz says: “When I travelled in Africa, I was struck that every artist, however big or small, wanted more than anything to know whether anyone had heard of them abroad. It’s not, in the first instance, a question of getting paid – which is a good thing because I’ve not been able to pay the artists whose music I’ve posted online.” There is, instead, a simple message on his site: “This is music you won’t easily find anywhere else – except perhaps in its region of origin. But if you’re an artist/etc and wish for me to remove your music, click above and email me.”
Through an app called Padrucci (a mash-up of iPad and Petrucci, an early-16th-century music printer), musicians can access the more than 100,000 scores users have uploaded to the IMSLP from libraries and private collections around the world. Many obscure works, available only in small music repositories in Europe, can now appear on your iPad in seconds. Additionally, some of the files are scans of the original composer’s handwritten copy. For musicians who have spent years studying the works of a beloved composer, to play from the original (albeit a digital version), can be thrilling.
according to SoundScan, 155.5 million albums were sold in the U.S. in the first six months of 2011, compared to the 153.9 million albums sold at this time last year, resulting in that slim 1 percent hike. Of course, when one includes single-track downloads (generally speaking, 10 songs are the equivalent of an album) the number of albums sold comes to 221.5 million, resulting in a 3.6 percent rise.
I was going to say these numbers aren’t exactly something to “write home about”, but for an industry that acted like a petulant child in the face of the digital revolution, this might very well be something to write home about. Prior to 2004, album sales had decreased every year since 1999.
the music industry is economically quite small and unimportant compared to the computer industry. And yet somehow - through honed lobbying and old boy networks - it wields a disproportionate power that enables it to block innovative ideas that the online world wants to try
Amazon has responded to some of these music industry complaints with a letter contending that since the launch of Cloud Drive two weeks ago, that MP3 sales are up.
Infamous for not ever releasing the sales figures to back up these sorts of claims (the same goes for claims about sales of Kindles and e-books, for example), Amazon doesn’t say how much sales are up. But it insists that the new cloud-based storage will help