Team Eye vs. Team Ear Part 1 – TV Sets Through History

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Recording allows us to store and replay something. It is the first time-shifting. It’s been around for ~ 200 years but it wasn’t until the last 100 that they really started making tangible progress for commercial applications.

Images were first. Then sound. Then moving images. By 1930 they were all combined into “talkies” – narrative moving pictures with synced sound.

These independent technologies progressed through the 20th century: Phonograph was invented and perfected to bring recorded music into the home; TV was invented to bring moving pictures into the home. The march of progress was obvious. Each new era brought better tech with better specs.

Today we are going to look at the advancement of the TV set over 70 years.


 

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You can see that overall screen size has risen linearly while pixel size has grown exponentially. Weight has come down and price, after adjusted for inflation, has come way down.

How do you think TV set history will compare with music playing equipment? Stay tuned to this series to find out.


 

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Streaming’s Shortcomings

Unknown-1images UnknownIf everyone got their music from streaming?  That is a big problem.

Streaming…

  1. has no cross promotion with local events or the local economy.
  2. has no cross promotion with local unsigned bands.
  3. has no direct connection back to the artist.

  4. completely ignores the purchasing power of the listener.
  5. has a limited and unstable (ever changing) catalog.
  6. pays a lower royalty per listener than other performance licenses.

  7. is the worst sound quality of all distribution platforms.
  8. has no production credits or copyright information.
  9. has no writer, composer, or publishing credits.

  10. has no human interaction for discovery of new music.
  11. assumes genre and style over all else when mixing music.
  12. assumes what you liked yesterday morning is what you will like Friday night.

  13. avoids selecting album/deep cuts and non-hits nearly as bad as top 40.
  14. requires multiple subscriptions (network and provider) to be active and paid up.
  15. cannot be rewound and reviewed for additional enjoyment.

  16. cannot easily be recorded or mixed into playlists and sets.
  17. contains only a low-resolution cover image, not complete artwork.
  18. contains no lyrics or artist notes.

  19. just got The Beatles this year.
  20. requires almost no paid humans to get it to your ears.

 

I’ve been around streaming for literally 20 years now, and have programmed it and listened to it since the beginning. If it truly is taking over the music industry we have to be honest about it’s shortcomings. That’s the only way we can start to address them.

Another internet casualty

Another internet casualty

 

Taylor Swift verses Streaming

Recently Taylor Swift made news by pulling her latest album from Spotify and other streaming music services. Her statement calls these new services “a grand experiment” and said she doesn’t feel comfortable putting her music into that system as it’s currently set up.


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I agree with her. Taylor is smart to negotiate with her record being a hot commodity right now. I believe this comes down to royalty rates, not a full retreat from streaming pop music.

Before streaming/mp3 – Old Way– you heard a new song/artist either from a friend, browsing, or on the radio. If you decided you must hear it on-demand, you bought a copy for yourself. You’d pay $10-20 for a hard copy complete with artwork and case and take it home.

How did this system sustain for 50+ years?  Old Way

1 – Radio payed royalties for every track they played, based on their total listenership. The radio earned their money from advertisers based on listenership/ratings.
2 – The $10-20 you paid for the album/cd/cassette was split up amongst the various parties that got that music to you: about $5 to the store, $5 to the record label, $3 to the distributor/warehouse,  and maybe $1 made it back to the artist. This changed based on the deal the artist had, but no artist earned below $.25 per album sale.
3 – This gave us a functioning network of music stores, music distributors, music labels, and popular recording artists that could earn a decent living from their succesful recorded work.

The streaming system works very differently: New Way

1 – Radio is still around and paying royalties, but listenership has declined steadily for 20+ years, reducing ad rates and royalty payments.
2 – If you add Taylor Swift to your streaming favorites and can hear her songs whenever you want, Spotify pays royalties at the level of $.0005 per song streamed. Let’s use this to project some earnings. Taylor Swift now needs 100,000 streamed plays to earn the same as selling 1 single CD. New Way

Out of 10k fans, if half buy the new album that earns her $5000 Old Way. To earn that from streaming she would need 10 million plays from those 10k fans, or 1ooo plays per person (20 per week) all year.  5k fans that would have bought the CD would need to stream her song 40 times a week for a year to equal the same earnings from the CD years. New Way

3 – It’s not just Miss Swift’s bank account – think of how many other jobs are removed in this model — the music store (most are long gone), the music distributor (also going extinct), the music label (down to 2 majors left), the professional music studios (paid for by the labels), all the artwork and packaging, truck drivers, etc. and on top of that artists can no longer earn the same streaming hits to people. That’s a lot of jobs wiped out by online distribution of music.

I agree that streaming won’t go away any time soon, so the major artists will continue to negotiate over rates. I don’t buy any of the crying from the streaming companies about how expensive it is to license songs. You are launching an entire business on the art/content of others and you should have to pay a rate that allows your content creators to not just survive, but thrive.

I have legally streamed my music to at least hundreds of thousands of people and I have earned < $1 in all that time. It is not a sustainable model, convenient or not.

My Quick iTunes Radio Review

I gave iTunes Radio a spin for the last couple of days and it’s been pretty decent, as far as mp3 shuffle services go. Since it’s Apple we really don’t know the specifics on it, but to me it works a lot like Jango without ads with more bass. Also, each song played is available in the iTunes store, naturally, so you can purchase an mp3 immediately, or just favorite it in the stream you are building.

It’s ad free, that’s good[I heard my first ad, Macy’s national ad, very musical like FM rock radio style.] It allows you to pick the hits or explore more, so that’s good.

I put it on explore funk, based on funkadelic, and it’s doing a pretty good job keeping me entertained. You can pause or skip songs, but you can’t go back on them (unless you buy them of course).

Everything has album artwork but nothing else in the way of art or lyrics or info. No crossfades or segue logic. Performance as far as skipping and crashing has been flawless. Sound quality is the same 10% crap from Apple.

Overall it’s a nice first attempt but this is a crowded scene and it’s nothing special.  iTunes Radio is still just a shuffle service, but it’s a pretty interesting shuffle through the apple music store.

Numerica! Finally

Yeah yeah yeah I know my projects take forever to come out sometimes. I’ve heard that before. I try to make it worth the wait.


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So there’s a new 2MERICA LP entitled “Mass Entertainment”, featuring 5 songs of fresh funky goodness, about to hit the interwebs in a couple of weeks. Yes finally, some new funk from the #1 funk band in Cleveland (look it up!!).

The title track is out exclusive on Jango Radio and it’s bumpin up the echarts, so click over to http://www.jango.com/music/2MERICA and give the thumbs up so we can keep on truckin…

 

Clean Sweepin The Jango

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OK so none of our bands have hit the Jango Global Top 10 yet, but we are definitely on a run over at Jango.

Last week, the 4 Flux-adel bands that are on Jango – Roaming Crazy, 2MERICA, The Stares 20/20, and Ezraz — all scored high enough for the bonus round. Each of our artists does well overall on Jango, but we’ve never had all of them score high in the same week. Very cool!

Fans are collecting from around the world (without facebook’s help), so however you listen to music online or off, do some promotion for our fun little Flux-adel family.

ps — we are planning a huge release party this summer for all Flux-adel Artists — stay tuned for more info soon.