Tag Archives: music business

Music Delivery in 2020

Today is October 14, 2020, the day that I pay my bills. I switched over to online billing a long time ago, and my statements routinely show up in my e-mail inbox. I log-on and pay my cell phone bill, my Netflix bill, and my internet bill. The bill for my internet seems a little high, so I look into things a little closer. It appears that the introductory rate on my music add-on has run out, and I am now being charged full price. Continue reading

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Social Media for Musicians

I am amazingly fortunate to have a young lady named Sarah Cicuto (@cicutoface) on my management team. She does all of my bands’ release writing, sponsorship proposals, marketing plans, one-pagers.. All of the stuff that I’m not nearly eloquent enough to handle. She is an invaluable member of my organization, and I cannot stress enough my appreciation for her time and effort.

Sarah and I were presented with an interesting circumstance last week. I had an artist telling me that social media sites like Twitter, Foursquare, etc. were not game changers. Essentially that they were not worth the time. I was decently appalled. I pride myself on the education of my artists, whom I constantly forward articles from Music Think Tank and 9GiantSteps, but this wasn’t enough. My artist thought the information was anecdotal, thought these sites offered trivial gains. The words used were, “marginally successful.”

If I was decently appalled, Sarah was fuming. She began talking in the third person. “Sarah is upset,” I read. “Let’s do something about this,” I said. Then Sarah went back to her day job, applying social media and engagement  plans for giant corporations. I thought that maybe we would do some research and send off an e-mail blast to my clients. Three days later, I got the following. It is a comprehensive article regarding social media and online presence. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement.

I really think that Sarah nailed it. Here we have a wealth of information in language that any band can understand. After the jump, her article in full. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: Led Zeppelin & the Blues

Baby, baby, I’m gonna bring it on home to you

I done bought my ticket, I got my load
Conductor done hollered, “All, aboard”
I’m-a take my seat, ride way back
and watch this train roll down the track

Baby, baby, I’m gonna bring it on home to you

-Willie Dixon “Bring It on Home” (1963)

Baby, baby, gon’ bring it on home to you

I’ve got that ticket, I got that load
Join up, gone higher, all aboard
I’m-a take my seat, ride way back
and watch this train roll down the track

Gonna bring it on home, bring it on home to you

-Led Zeppelin “Bring It on Home” (1969)

The popular English rock band Led Zeppelin has been brought to court for their multiple instances of copyright infringement. These cases have settled out of court, but are outnumbered by the startling similarities that reside in the remainder of the band’s catalog. Through an examination of the blues as an art form and contemporary copyright law as it stood at the time of Led Zeppelin’s fame, it will be shown that the band went far beyond the tradition of shared concepts, rhythms, and structure that is present in the blues. Led Zeppelin has committed the unforgivable; they have not only taken ideas, lyrics, arrangements, melodies, and rhythms without any credit, but they have taken these musical elements from a population that has been historically exploited. Led Zeppelin is yet another in a long line of western light skinned appropriators that have taken what they deemed just from African-American culture without fair compensation. This practice has not been isolated to labor and culture, but expanded to creative works that are protected under internationally recognized laws. Called into question is the African-American community’s ability to combat such appropriation. Often the artists themselves are not responsible for litigation, but their record label or other representative who act of the musician’s behalf. We will examine this tendency and its implication for what can be seen as a broad, unrecognized cultural theft. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: The Implications of Business on an Art Form

The music business is changing because the record business is changing. While touring, merchandising, and licensing continue to flourish, the sale of CD’s has diminished in recent years. While CD sales decrease, digital music retailers like iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and eMusic set new revenue records almost yearly. Companies like Tunecore allow artists to become their own record label. A shift in revenue source, a focus on singles over album sales, the creation of new mediums for delivery, and the ease of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) distribution have drastically changed a landscape that for decades has relied on an unwavering business model. In changing times, a business model must change as well. Along with this shift in business model must come a shift in regard for the very art form that has driven the music industry forward since sheet music was sold from Tin Pan Alley. Likewise, a shift in regard for those who create this art must also take place. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: The Development of Copyright Law

There was once a website that gave the user access to nearly every album ever recorded. These albums were available in all file formats, and they were free. The site had over 180,000 users, was easy to search, and housed a thriving community of music lovers. In October 2007 this site went offline. Word of mouth spreads fast on the internet and before too long it became clear that site administrator for Oink.cd, as the site in question was called, had been arrested by an International Federation of the Phonographic Industry task force for suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.1 News of this arrest surprised few since the site allowed users to connect their computers to the computers of other music fans in order to download the files housed on these remote computers. The site acted as Google does, allowing users to search for the music they desired. This activity made copyright infringement easy, and the site’s closure was inevitable. Continue reading

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