I have a lot of friends in the movie and theater industry. I’m always amazed how their unions protect them. Musicians have basically been hung out to try. We have been experimented on by technology companies. Yes ok I love tech and that I can listen to any song I want anytime, anywhere. I love how I can be my own distribution and promotion company. Still there are some who take advantage of us and the streaming services are guilty of that. This week Pink Floyd wrote an opinion piece for USA Today I think you should read (link).
“Internet radio companies are trying to trick artists into supporting their own pay cut…. Sounds good. Who wouldn’t want to be “part of a conversation”? Who doesn’t support Internet radio? What scrooge would refuse to sign such a positive, pro-music statement? Of course, this letter doesn’t say anything about an 85% artist pay cut.” – Pink Floyd
There’s no reason to be jealous because money doesn’t make a person happy. There’s a lot of proof to that but let’s all agree Pauly D’s take is a bit unsettling. I’ve never seen any of these DJs live or even listened to their sets somewhere so I also can’t really scream out any true reviews. Here’s what Forbes says these guys earned last year: Tiësto – $22 million, Skrillex – $15 million, Swedish House Mafia – $14 million, David Guetta – $13.5 million, Steve Aoki – $12 million, Deadmau5 – $11.5 million, DJ Pauly D – $11 million, Kaskade – $10 million, Afrojack – $9 million and Avicii – $7 million. Keep in mind these are artists making money. That’s an excellent thing.
“Every so often, the tectonic plates of mainstream musical taste shift. In the 1960s, there was the British Invasion, followed by disco in the 1970s and the rise of glam metal in the 1980s. The 1990s saw the advent of grunge and the resurgence of boy bands, followed by hip-hop’s hegemony in the 2000s. Now, the tables are turning again.” – forbes.com
The Merkel government has proposed a plan called “Rewarding Life’s Work” which is essentially a 350 Euro per month social security contribution that would be required by all the self employed. Add the new tax to required health insurance, rising energy and food costs and Berlin may loose some of it’s appeal for musicians. My personal opinion is my generation is now seeing it’s first real economic challenge. There are bridge tolls in the NY area that are $15. $10 is more like $1 used to be. We can complain but the world’s resources are being fought for and there are smart people on the other side of the world working all day for pennies. I would like a Utopia where artists could just concentrate on art but I don’t forsee that happening. My advice is work hard and use technology to your advantage. Use it to create pockets of time to paint and sing your masterpieces world be dammed.
“The German government’s plan to force freelancers to pay a compulsory retirement ‘contribution’ will kill off entrepreneurship and destroy millions of independent careers. That’s the opinion of Tim Wessels, an IT specialist from Hamburg who has launched a petition against the so-called “Rewarding Life’s Work” law. Freelancers will be forced to pay €350+ a month to support the broken pension system, on top of the €300-€600 they must already pay for health insurance (plus other taxes). Demanding that entrepreneurs fork out at least €650 a month in contributions before they earn a single cent will end innovation in Germany.” – deskmag.com
If you were ever wondering as an musician if your maximizing your revenue The Future of Music site lists 42 ways you can make green. They also explain some of the differences between royalties and publishing. Take a look at the list here: link
“If you’re a musician or composer, you probably have a basic sense of the ways you can make money. Some revenue streams are simple to understand, like playing shows, or selling CDs or t-shirts. But there are many, many more ways that musicians can earn money from their compositions, performances, sound recordings, brand, or knowledge of the craft. We list 40 of them… So if you hear Patsy Cline singing “Crazy” which was written by Willie Nelson, Willie created the musical composition when he wrote down the notes and lyrics. Patsy created the sound recording when she performed Willie’s song, and it was captured on tape. As you browse the list, it’s important to keep these distinctions in mind since there are many times when different parts of the creative team are paid differently.” – futureofmusic.org
More music selling, sharing madness is upon us with Google Music and iTunes Match. A few months ago I started using Spotify. Here’s what I briefly am feeling now on overall topic. I’m still discovering most of my music via YouTube. I like obscur 80s electronic releases and even better the occasional rare demo tapes. If I find some new lost or interesting song on YouTube Google’s great search engine groups related videos in the sidebar. I’ve found over 100 songs that way in just a couple of months. Some of the songs I find on iTunes and then buy. Some will never be for sale anywhere. For example, a 1981 demo cassette uploaded in Italy with only 2 YouTube views. I “save” those songs audio and add it to my iTunes library. Apple fanboyism aside iTunes Match is incredible for my use case. It now takes all my purchased songs and obscur finds and let’s me have them everywhere. I thought I would use Spotify more but my friends who I follow aren’t listening to anything I really want to hear. The few Spotify playlist websites aren’t full of playlists that interest me. It’s an amazing service but I haven’t clicked with it yet. I’m not giving up on it yet though. I live in Gmail and Google docs all day. I’m trying to like Google+ but although I post things there my engagement seems low. The best thing about Google music will be it’s Google+ integration. Of course if Google+ doesn’t keep my interest then that’s out the window. As a musician I wonder what the cut will be for Indies on G+?
“If you want the benefits of iTunes in the Cloud for music you haven’t purchased from iTunes, iTunes Match is the perfect solution. It’s built right into the iTunes app on your Mac or PC and the Music app on your iOS devices. And it lets you store your entire collection, including music you’ve imported from CDs or purchased somewhere other than iTunes. For just $24.99 a year.” – Apple.com
Oliver’s Early Electronic Playlist on Youtube: click here
It’s hard for me to believe that I have been writing to you for 4 years. In that time there were 1,235 posts, 622,235 Unique Visitors and a whole lot of conversation. The two most popular posts so far haven been “Is learning at the SAE Institute Worthwhile?” (link) and “Keep your channel faders low and the master at 0db!” (link). What’s a birthday without gifts? So I bought myself a Jomox Mbrane from Novamusik. Prepare for snare! I also loaded up the Songify app and did a disservice to the world with the diddy above. Thank you for reading and commenting. Stay on the rhythm!
“Happy Birthday to You”, also known more simply as “Happy Birthday”, is a song that is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person’s birth. According to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” The song’s base lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages.” – Wikipedia
If you are in the New York City area next weekend, September 24 come to SAE on 1293 Broadway and hang out with Ableton, Propellerheads, Steinberg, Keyboard Magazine, Celemony (Melodyne), SSL, IK Multimedia and many more pro-audio companies. They set up exhibits in the classrooms and practice rooms. It’s a great chance to see and demo new (sometimes yet released/announced) products. There is also an extensive panel series. You can sit and watch a group of people chat about a number of music related topics. I will be speaking on the “The Future Tech Tools Guide: How to us new music platforms & APPs to build your business & create a better workflow.” panel. The event is free but you have to register in advance. Come say hello: imsta.org/imsta_festa.php
“IMSTA FESTA, a celebration of music technology, features exhibits from the major music technology companies on the market today as well as the highly educating Shocklee Innertainment Panel series about music, creativity and business. Come hang out with NYC’s community of musicians, producers, engineers, DJ’s, artists, managers, studio owners, coders, music students and audio tech enthusiasts. You never know who you may run into.” – imsta.org
I’ve been really pleased with all the remixes people have been sending me for Joyless Pleasure. I’m still waiting for a few but Maurice is already well into the album artwork. I’m keeping most of the mixes unheard for now but one of the mixes is out of the bag and happily already charting. Everyone knows Magda. She’s one of the big one so I’m pleased to post she’s got Miro’s remix of Hostage at number 3 on her most recent chart.
“Miro’s creative sound architecture shines in a variety of interpretations, living between romantic gloom, absurd musicality and rhythm mathematics that could be a Stanley Kubrick version of modern dance music whilst retaining functionality. His mostly dense assemblies enrapture the fantasy thursty listener, who can expect episodic surreal surprises. His deepest passion for detail and visionary audio adventures can be heard regularly on his label Lazerslut and has been unveiled on labels such as Klickhaus, Harthouse, Tic Tac Toe Records and several others.”
The UK Riots will have an effect on independent and electronic music. The Sony DADC warehouse has been burned down. It contains large stocks of records from Warp and others. I’m certain some of these labels won’t survive this. To see a full list of those effected: click here.
“Numerous independent record labels fear they have lost a catastrophic amount of stock in a fire at a distribution warehouse in north London during the riots in the capital on Monday night. A three-storey, 20,000 square-metre building in Enfield, owned by Sony DADC and holding stock to be distributed by the Pias Group, was burned to the ground.” – guardian.co.uk
A friend of mine Emrie Sherwood decided she needed to promote her album Richter Feat Eden. She didn’t think the label was doing enough so she hired her co-worker to do what you see above. Is the the best $5 or worst $5 ever spent? God help us she apparently has more on the way…