Category Archives: RIAA

Feeling a bit cantankerous today, I think I’ll take it out on the music industry

Could be because small breakaway provinces and mutual protection agreements involving Poland tend to lead to world wars, could be because my puppy’s been sick lately, could be the inaneness of the Bears’ “quarterback controversy” has been decided – w/o having a real quarterback.

Regardless, more to the point of the blog, a few things in the media world that are pissing me off right now…

The RIAA took my baby away – Messing w/ Pandora, a truly innovative platform that helps people more fully enjoy music based on the DNA of their preferences is assinine. Of course, this makes sense in light of the fact Pandora is all about discovery, where as the RIAA protects the two dozen artists – and their extended entourages – you can here over the standard airwaves today. Eff the radio anyway; what more does a band or artist need beside YouTube and a nice social media experience. To wit…

Swift Move – Hidden in the fluff of the USAT Life section was this piece about Taylor Swift, who’s new album isn’t coming out for a few months, yet fans are posting videos of themselves singing the song. How did this occur? Because Swift did a segment with a radio station (oh, the irony per the above Pandora rant) awhile back performing the demo of the song. From the article: “Somebody stripped the audio and put it on the Internet,” says Swift, 18. Her management wasn’t thrilled: “I wasn’t allowed to play new music for people after that.” Well, I could see how her management wouldn’t want her upcoming album to have fans literally singing it’s praises before it comes out. Wouldn’t want it to go straight to the top of the charts or anything.

Pasties – Some months, that’s all my fav music magazine, Paste, is good for. This is one of those months. A new look at “International Music”. Wow. So music is international? There are musicians in Africa basing their work on tribal sounds? Experimental noise coming from Scandanavia and Iceland? New wave/punk synthesis coming from England? Regga/ska influenced bands in Brazil? Who knew?

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Filed under digital distribution, monetizing media, music, paste magazine, RIAA, riffs

Radio Unfree USA

The RIAA and their various associates (musicFIRST? whatever…) would have us believe AM-FM radio is piracy. This quote from the post on Wired’s blog sums it up nicely:

“The argument boils down to this: Radio is making billions off the backs of recording artists and their labels; and the recording artists gain invaluable exposure because they’re on the radio, so royalties should not have to be paid.”

Been awhile since I was in a biology class, but I’m pretty sure that’s close to the definition of symbiosis.

A note on radio station ownership in the US for those not aware. I don’t know the exact stats but something like 4 companies control most of the stations in the country (ever noticed on long drives that there’s always a “MIX”, “X” and some station with a one syllable dude’s name? The fruits of too few owners of media outlets, my friends). And in case you haven’t noticed, that’s done a lot in terms of limited genres and artists now heard over the airwaves (Thank God for The Current here in MSP, though I do still pine for REV105 on occassion and still drop in online to good ol’ KGSR down in Austin, TX).

So we’re talking about whether or not the relatively limited number of artists – and the labels that represent them – that receive the majority of airplay on commercial radio are compensated enough for their music. What do you think?

Separate but related – just finished a book called “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism.” It’s an interesting look at how “punk capitalism” and “the hip hop generation” are making major corporations (and industry groups for that matter) determine if piracy empowered by digital technology is just a new form of competition. Good and fast read.

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Filed under books, digital distribution, entertainment industry, monetizing media, RIAA