And in a move that might seem redundant given the irony that she had already coated herself with, Lady Gaga invited the performance artist Millie Brown on stage to drink a bottle of neon green liquid and vomit all over her. Her actions — to happily shill for Doritos, then deliver a lecture on the importance of independent thought — perfectly encapsulate the conflicted state of the industry.
According to the annual report from the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), total music sales revenues in 2012 increased by 0.3% from 2011. This marks the first time that record sales have increased since 1999. Revenue from digital sales increased by 9% from 2011, and revenue from streaming services increased by a whopping 44%. The report also tells us that the best-selling song worldwide last year was "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen (12.5 million units sold), and that for the second consecutive year Adele had the best-selling album, moving 8.3 million copies of 21 in 2012.
This week's Consequential Apathy is dedicated to the bands that did their thing in a short time and made a mark for future bands to come, just their hometown or even a small group of friends. You can read my thoughts after seeing one of my close friend's band play their final show. I want you to think of all the bands that lasted for such a short time but made a huge impact in your life. Head to the replies and be "that guy" who saw "that band" when.
You're going to need some time to sit down for this one this week. In case you haven't yet, please read NPR intern Emily White's blog. Then read professor and ex-musician David Lowery's response. Then read Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan's response to Lowery. If you make it through all of that, I've got some thoughts on all three pieces here. What I want you to think about this week is the tangible ownership of music. If there's one vinyl record or CD in your collection that you would never part with, why? When and where did you get it, and is there a story behind it? Would love to hear why the tangible medium will never die from music fans instead of the press.
In another interesting industry story, this article claims (behind quotes from anonymous "highly placed digital music sources") that Google has offered at least one record label over $1 billion "for all the rights in every country for every piece of music and for every platform." A piece of the article is below.
A jam-band called String Cheese Incident is buying a large amount of tickets to its own shows from Ticketmaster and re-selling them to its fans via its own website to help fans avoid Ticketmaster service charges. The band is simply eating the service charge costs themselves, in an attempt to "stage a symbolic protest as part of a decade-long conflict with Ticketmaster." A snippet of the article is below. What are your thoughts on Ticketmaster's service charges, which the article states can add 30-40 percent to the cost of an order?
This week's record sales charts are in, and it looks like Attack Attack!'s This Means War managed to sneak into the top 10 overall with 17,500 sold. Congrats to Rise Records. Perhaps more importantly, they outsold Nickelback - who came in at No. 11. Please leave your thoughts on this in .gif form in the replies. Also relevant: Adele sold under 100,000 units of 21 for the first time in a long time, but if you count sales of 19, she was still over that benchmark.
This week's Five and Alive is brought to you by "Theeee Siiimpsoooons...do do do dodo do do..." and includes commentary from Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos. If you love the show and want to read some thoughts about satire on the music industry written in 1996, I highly recommend that you check this one out.
What are the odds of being successful as a band without a record deal? The math says: not good. Note: This research paper is written with the UK musician in mind. However, its findings may loosely translate to USA musicians and other territories.
Last week, Punknews ran a poll and discussion about the business model of Kickstarter. Two days ago, booking agent Neil Rubenstein, a prominent figure for some time in the Long Island music scene, voiced his opinion on the subject. Of the people I've shown his blog to, some agree and some completely disagree with his thoughts on the contemporary model.
Since the '80s D.I.Y. punk and hardcore scene, bands have worked odd jobs, used illegal methods to go about booking tours and lived in absolute squalor in co-op style houses across America. This has been going on for years and still does to this day. At the turn of the new millennium, technology took over and as we all are more than...
The fine folks over at Authentik Artists have released a new podcast, which centers on streaming music services available to artists. If you haven't checked out their other podcasts, they also have ones on DIY music marketing, production, publishing, and licensing.
This week's Five and Alive comes from Jason Tate. He gives us five things we should watch out for in the next decade to come. Join his thoughts in the replies and discuss what you think worked this past decade and what may or may not work in the next one to come.
Yesterday, the New York Times posted an interesting article about Polyphonic, which invests in rising bands outside of the scope of a record label. What do you think of this idea and what bands would you like to see take advantage of opportunities like this?