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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Urge city, state, federal agencies to Double Down on Arts #DDoAH

In light of the Trump Administrations abandonment of Art, Culture, and Humanities, as reported by CNN.  Art, Humanities and Music advocates need to let Congress know the value of The National Endowments of Arts and Humanities and that we should be doubling their budgets not eliminating them. It's the only rational and patriotic direction we as a nation need to embrace since it's the only one we've not tried.  #DDoAH

Congress [Local Leaders too, from city mayors, county executives and governors should know that arts, culture, and humanities are the foundation of America. However, in this post I'm sticking to the arts side since refusing to fund the humanities in the richest nation ever to be on this earth is American Suicide. It's it? 

Let's talk,  about Business, Exports, and IP across a number of trade categories, the citizenry, and communities. Music Alone raised the GDP of the USA nearly 4 % and still today we're   ENTERTAINERTING OUR ECONOMY TO DEATH.   Think about it.   We have some of the biggest artists across all mediums and our culture is in demand, people want to be like Mike or the Misfits.

However in the US we have an issue on not understanding the value of art and culture and both role in how the world see the USA.  Every dance, painting, song is an expression of US values from the individuals or bands perspective as well as an export and IP with Art & Music is our future and it's also better to send art than bombs.



Really, the USA can only go up at this point since England is selling most of that to the USA- Thanks Obama. Don't read that.  However, Yikes! its now Trump'smps hands.  While I've been waiting to see what he was going to do.  Since, I was pleased that the Import-Export Bank was saved; Since I've posted so many times about exporting US Made Music it's like a broke record.

Now, that Trump is proposing to eliminate the arts and humanities cut everything of art and cultural value; And, a undermine the growing trend of exporting IP out of the USA I've got to do more than just say something. This blog is a start. read to the end for my personal offer to help artists.

Everyone that cares about the Arts, Humanities, and Music needs to go to public official's offices and visit them in Washington, DC.  Of course using social media with hashtags like #ArtWorks #SaveNEA or other that tag to your representative's social media will make for a third wave of activism.

I want to let David Grasso,  DC Council Member proposed during this year's Arts Advocacy Day.
Double down on the Arts.


Speaking of NEA and Motivation from their surprise findings of three new NEA reports here are key stakeholder reasons from being engaged in the arts, humanities, and music

Motivations include:
  • Top reasons Americans attend the arts (performances and exhibits) include socializing with friends or family members (73 percent); learning new things (64 percent); and supporting the community (51 percent).
  • Despite similar household incomes and education, people who call themselves middle-class were more likely to attend the arts than those who identified themselves as working class. Thwarted interest, rather than lack of interest, may be the cause for lower attendance rates among some audiences.
  • Life stages—pursuing higher education, marriage, child-rearing, and retirement—are often more predictive than age alone, as a factor in attending the arts. For example, parents with young children under age six more often cited socializing with family or friends, learning new things and celebrating cultural heritage when they attended performances accompanied by their children.
  • For more key findings, go to Arts Data Profile #4.
What's my motivation for this?  I'm an advocate for US MADE MUSIC.  I also run a public traded company thats' Artistsbandslabelsowned. Moreover; The NEA has found though it research and information that is publically available online here, Which I urge anyone to look into since it's very expensive and makes the case for artist better than I'm going to do in this blog.
FYI, I will personally meet with you and your representative in Washington, DC to help you meet with Congressional and Senatoral public servents. Follow me on @SonofNels
When Bella Nae, Big Heff and I had best meeting EVER. And I urge Artists, Bands Groups, Playing DC to Visit Representives Offices and invite them and staff to your DC show. 


UPDATED: Current Music Sales and right now Physical or US Made Music is 59%

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Obama Administration record on supporting US Made Music.ain't so Good.


















Now that the Obama Administration has come to an end I wanted to do a bit of a rap-up post about his time as of running the economy and being the commander in chief and top spokesperson for US Made Music and figured that just before the April 4th Trade Data is released we can catch everyone up on where US Made Music stands in the business world and how Obama's 8 years in office impacted the entertainment in the US;  Specifically, Prerecorded Compact Disc (Except Software), Tape, and Record Reproducing: which is category 334612.

And, it's easy to see that imports are larger than Exports.

January 2017
Trade in Goods
and Services

Deficit: $48.5 Billion
Exports: $192.1 Billion
Imports: $240.6 Billion


Next release: April 4, 2017

Just so we're all on the same page: 334612  is the same "rock and roll" that is coming into the US as an Import and not being exported. Moreover, this category used to be an industry leading sector driving the US economy and the dissemination of US culture abroad.  Remember the phrase Cultural Diplomacy,   I've been the one asking Obama's  Secretary of Commerce, numerous Under Secretary's  plus leading figures at the State Departhemet.

I've taken the newest trade date for NAICS334612 and posted it as a Google Sheet for anyone to take a look without having to jump through all the hoops and dig through all the data.   HERE
If  we don't export our music how's the US doing this Cultural Diplomacy? 
Worst of all is the Obama Administration knew that we needed to do something about spurring US Made Music that it helped to pass the Music Act in 2012 that set aside money in the Commerce Department to -- Develop, Manufacture, and export it and I've never met someone that even knew it existed or that it's expiring.

Moreover! How is it possible, I love to ask, that we have some of the biggest recording artists in the world; Yet, the USA is negative in it's export of music made in the USA?   Want to Learn more about how we got here and what to do by the above link or visit TheMajorsSuck.com and the question I have to ask is why is this subject so under reported and hard to find data about something as important as US Made Music?  

2002 Music Biz Census.
Prerecorded Compact Disc (Except Software), Tape, and Record Reproducing: 2002


As Micheal E. Porter eloquently pointed out in “The Competitive Advantage of Nations,” that a nation's prosperity is created and not inherited, states must recognize that a nation's competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industries to innovate and upgrade.’


We have failed to heed these words and worse is that -- we are entertaining our economy to death!   Nelson Jacobsen, USMADEMUSIC.ORG 
Thanking Lil Flip, for his show during SXSW 


Ps Why we need the US Music Act is the next blog and I'll wait for the April Trade Data.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Distribution as a Service #DaaS Altavoz is Flexxin




The ability to go online select a distribution solution (digital | physical | global) has been something I've worked on since 1994 when I bought Altavoz Distribution from Mary Liles in Raliegh, NC packed it up in a Uhaul and moved it to Rockville, MD as well putting it on the information superhighway, thanks to Doug Humphries inventing modern day hosting, at Digex.com/~Altavoz.   Moreover,  when Jessamyn Sarmiento and I  restated Altavoz in 2011 one of the first domains we registered was DistributionasaService.com and it's been our intent all along since DaaS and platforms like it is the next generation of BusinessofCloudComputing.com (which is for sale to raise money for HelpEarth)
Let's be clear,  there is NO team that has been working on Brick to Clicks Distribution longer than the team at Altavoz's 22 years and going. 
So! it's with great pleasure that Altavoz announced this week that another distributor, Musgrove Distribution has chosen DistributionService.co as  it's physical distributor using Manufacturing On Demand Music new capabilities as well.  AVOZ is recruiting a new senior level manager to oversee this so let any experienced distro people know,  With the channel for other distributors and groups to use the DaaS platform now open AVOZ expects to be announcing many more of these deals.

To boot:  The DaaS platform is enabling other service offerings that being announced this week and next that shows the Future of Entertainment Today is here at Altavoz Entertainment, Inc (OTCPK:AVOZ)

And, in the words of Lua Proc, we #Flexxin
A video posted by Nelson Jacobsen (@sonofnels) on


BTW not using the #AmazonEcho  yet, your way behind the curve. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

First quarter results are in and like this weeks' sales --digital's only 42%


I've been so busy with bringing an ArtistsOwnedPublic.co to life, that I've not really been able to look too deep into the sales of music as reported via the National Sales report from Nielsen Soundscan. I figured it was a good time to test my gut (that physical was kicking digial ass, dispite all the hoba-abo -blo about streaming), address the  growing grumble about the value of Record Store Day, issues about Independents getting on Pressing Plants to even become competitive with the majors, and how the USA is still floundering with it's cultural and economic policies, and make a prediction for what this means to the overall marketplace and our culture as we export it.

For a lack of better analogy, the USA is Entertaining our Economy to Death.

Let's  start with my growing bewilderment of the Obama Administration inability to move forward any kind of exporting of US Made Music.  The USA each year under this Administration has exported less.  Sure, The independent community was excited when Obama first entered office and everyone was onboard with Rep, Jerry Nadler when he introduce the M.U.S.I.C. Act, which I've blogged about many times however I'm givin the highlights below.


(c) DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘‘United 18 States independent music label company’’ means a cor- 19 poration, partnership, or other association created under 20 the laws of the United States or of any State (including 21 the District of Columbia or any commonwealth, territory, 22 or possession of the United States) 


(1) signs musical recording artists to contracts 24 to assist in the recording, promotion, and sale of the        25 recorded music;  for the immediately preceding fiscal year 2 has— (A) total revenues of less      than $50,000,000; and (B) total recorded music sales of less than one percent of the total    recorded music sales in  the United States; and is not majority owned by a corporation,  partnership, or other association that has total revenues of more than $50,000,000. 

(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2013 14 through 2017 to carry out this section.

Here we are at the door step of this program ending in 2017 and a look athe Seasonally Adjusted U.S. Eports of Good by End Use Cataegory -- shows that the USA is still importing more music than it exports.
That is just crazy (arent the most of the largest recording artists in the world are from the US) since so many often sing about how proud they're of being an American. Aren't we as a nation proud enough to export it? 



This bring me back to part of the issues.  The Majors understand too well if the Indies start to get into this larger pool of fans that are still buying physical ( a majority 58.1 percent is physical) and start to export US Made Music,  the Majors goolden goose is cooked.

However since I've watched this MusicAct pretty much come and go with the situation only getting worse;  I'm not sure what can be done short of the revolution along the lines of  what  is happening in politics. Yet, The US music business is owned by Multi-National-Corporations that don't want "Made In the USA" exported (for any number of reasons with $ being online 1 of them) and surely don't want to have it known that Congress has sat on it's hands every year since the enactment of this measure and done NOTHING.

On a peronally note, I"ve asked my Representive Eleanor Homes Norton in person and on social media more than once, if she'd setup to support DC Made Music by inquiring into how #DCMusic makers can access Music Act funding; And, never gotten a response.   I also know the Music Act wasn't  brought up this year for Grammys on the Hill and that' because the Majors Suck and Congress don't care about local music or don't known that it's important?
 It can't be understanding of it's Economic Impact or Congress would do more to support this Export item (334612) that happens to be our Culture and often the Cornerstone or cultural diplomacy  
Now on to the Occuping of Vinyl plants since Vice  was covered it people are thinking something may be afoot.  And, after last weeks Record Store Day, I'm sure more grumbling will commence.   However I've been on about this for some time infact about a year ago I posted on Reddit about the "Occupying of Vinyl Plants" and got labeled a tinfoil hat fools and this issue of them just clogging up the plants (Capacity Restraint). Now they're rubbish that is being pressed is keeping the fans from getting releases from the Indie bands they truly are going to record stores day-in-and-out to discover and reward recording artists by Buying This and helping a local music release find an audience.

As the whole notion of having a Record Store Day --some where along the line has become this day where top artists release pet projects in very limited, for them, batches and essencially clogging up the whole ecosystem and keeping defacto local music deminutive to the majors.  IMHO It's got to stop and we need to get back to vialable stragegy for Clicks and Bricks Distribution issues.  And,  whomever is the next President can deal with the mess that Obama made of the US Recording business.



Predictions if we don't done anything it's going to get worse, if we just start to take notice of how other countries activally promote their export of this peice of culture and make a half ass attempt at it our econony can only improve.   Infact if we could get this going and the Majors back to exporting their US based artists as US Made Music the US Economy would be humming a different tune.

However until we close the loop hole created by President Clinton and reinstitute the Check Box Rule on Custom forms, asking if the item is IP, who's and pay them and the USA a tax on it', The USA will keep Entertining our Economy to Death and our Culture too as this has allowed one of the few indusries making jobs to become haliburtonized and it's hurting our standing abroad. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The rise of #MusicCities and how Philly is failing Musicnomics

A new bill from Philly City Councilman Mark Squilla would require owners of nightclubs, cabarets, bars and restaurants in the city to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of entertainers — bands, rappers and DJs — in a registry, and to share that personal information with police upon request. Billy Penn

The idea that music is on the economic bus, is new for many City Planners and Gov' officials (Austin, Seattle we know you've been on it for a while) and now there is even a very detail report from the data-suits called Mastering of the Music City and here are few of the highlights. 


  • In Melbourne, live music alone generates over 116,000 jobs and more than AU$1 billion in spending at small venues, concerts, and festivals.
  • The Rock al Parque music festival in Bogotá attracted 400,000 attendees to the city in 2014, making it one of the largest music festivals in South America. Since its inauguration in 1995, it has attracted more than 3.8 million attendees.
  • Music tourism in Austin accounts for almost half of their US$1.6 billion economic output and contributes US$38 million in tax revenue to the city.
  • In Berlin, the intermingling of music and technology businesses in the city has demonstrated the way that a successful music economy can attract and retain talent in other industries.
  • And in South Africa, organizations like the SAMRO Foundation have sought to use music to bring people together under a unified cultural banner.
Click here for the 106 Page report in PDF. 

To show the grown of this and the re-emergence of music as the more than a passenger on the bus, in some it's recognized as the driver of it. Take Mayor Brown's  State of London address to the London Chamber of Commerce, The Mayor stated:  “We set a goal to become a Music City and this began to take shape in a big way this year,” said Brown. “To lead the way, the City of London developed a Music Strategy that will make London a Music City and a music attraction.”


Even the Feds have been getting in on it via the Our Town grants program, which I strongly encouge any #MusicCities ambassadors to take a look gander. 



OUR TOWN: Introduction


The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work - placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place.
- See more at: https://www.arts.gov/grants-organizations/our-town/introduction#sthash.ezrWOYpc.dpuf


So it seems, that despite the best efforts of the overtechnated to STEM-roll our towns into factories of apps & widget makers -- Music Cities --are something that just is a part of each of these towns. And, that why each of our USA Music Cities needs to start to adopt and work on the Best Music Cities practices.




Well! then there's Philly. According to the sponsor of the bill  “Giving performers’ information to police when requested enables them to review past performances to see if there were any public safety issues during their events,' Councilman Mark Squilla told Billy Penn via email."  There is clearly work to do and that is the reason why I started the CityMusicDeal (TM) and let it be know the  PhiladephiaMusicDeal.com  is coming to help with the stakeholders the overall Musicnomics of Local Music. 


PS While all music sales were down for week ending 1/28, it interesting to note that digital fell another point behind physical.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Music is not leading in sales because it and the Majors suck


















The blogs and socials have been blowing up over the recent to most news that new music is not selling as well as old music. However, as I pointed out here, news about what is happening in the Music biz doesn't always circulate in the Main Stream Media so information like this often seems like a suprise.

Moreover; there is a very simple reason why it's happening -- the music made before the auto hits ruled the airwave, it was better.  Now why it's better is from a number of reasons some of which are too much technology and others include the use of factory line processes to churn out hits.  In a factory how much diversity is there?  Not much, right.

The human ear, mind, and HEART needs music that is about something and or finds a place that wasn't being occupied by sound at the time and the right song, meleody or whatever it is that makes music, music...

It's a jagged little edge or a black hole sun that stirs our imagination, not the same micro-seconds reprocessed over-and-over again. We want to pour through the liner notes, look at the art and see where that music fits into our world and when it does there's just something magical about it and when you try to make it a process instead of a discovery the magic cannot find a place to bond to the music.

For those that have been part of a creative process the alchemy of events, peoples, weather and timing all come together, or not, and the hows and why's aren't really documentable.  It's just that feeling and it makes it's way into the recording process. Maybe it's love and that spark goes from the minds to words to each song; And, carries into the engineering, mastering and manufacturing and the gestalt of a recording is just much bigger then the limited creative soul that multinationals are kinda know to have since they've always got their mind on the money.

Too bad giving them money it's on the minds of today's record buyers?

Now what does this all mean? Is there more afoot and what is the bigger question?  Let go back to last years midyear report from Nelison and it was 1st starting to show the decline of the hits and the power of being in a catalog, which is something that the majors wanted to keep from the indies.   Back in 2013 I was starting to really focus in on the lack of cooperation and hoped the news about catalog sales would be a final blow to the notion of Doing it Yourself "DYI" and that being part of a distribution catalog was everything.  Of course, the music biz is just one of those things they don't teach you in music biz school or on the Intertubes.  One usually finds out by being in it, luck helps, and after years of not being a catalog or having already been in one the value of it start to become self evident.

Our company, Altavoz, has been preparing for this day, when the back catalog was again worth something,  think the best kind of passive income, and having a Back-catalog Distribution Deal now is the play!

Coming up in the next few weeks Altavoz will make another announcement or two that will further reshape how music, particularly pre-1972, masters and recordings are brought back to the public domain.

PS Physcial is leading in sales over digital with 53.1% of the total market.