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.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Software and Other Prerecorded Compact Disc, Tape, and Record Reproducing in DMV

Bringing this down to a local level and get into some Muiscnomics here is the DC, MD and VA which is arguably one of the largest economic blocks which operates under the guise of a Metropolitan area ``which can include across State borders alliances and is primarily where the economic growth is coming from  and come to find out we don't really have any organized effort to export entertainment out of the DMV.

So I've taken the time to search for how the District, Maryland and Virginia fared in exporting its local music by compiling theIndustry Snapshot Software and Other Prerecorded Compact Disc, Tape, and Record Reproducing (NAICS 334614)  for each of them via the website. Each of the outcomes is linked on their initials DC, MD VA.

Until now there has been no recorded record industry output from the District of Columbia. There is a developing effort which I've been part of called  DCMadeMusic which is soley about exporting DCmusic out of the District. Currently, Mayor Bowser and her administration are making strides in  music and signaled this renewed focus by bringing music into the purview of the TV & Film office ~music and changed the name  Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment. Then let a campaign and industry veteran Angie Gates.On a personal note I've made it no secret that the workforce in DC is ideally suited to be the holders of 100s if not thousands of jobs in the growing economic arena. 

While Maryland is showing some industry data, as the CEO of one the companies reported as an exporter of 334614 goods in MD there was not much help from our local or State economic development offices and basically under the former Gov, we were under assault as a business in MD. I've noticed that the new Governor Hogan has been active in the arts via his wife's time and efforts including working with Jane Chu at the NEA on supporting the Maryland Arts Council. It's still up in the air as to what if anything the Governor will do and I've seen no effort to support Maryland Made Music so your guess is as good as mine. 


I've  talked then candidate Terry Mculliff, now Governor, prior to his election about a vision and any plans to be part of the growing trend of techtainment with music in particular, being a priority.  And, while he was enthusiastic for it there's just no one focused from the top of the state as far as I'm aware.  On the local level an effort by Tim Anderson Associate Professor & Chair Communication & Theatre Arts at Old Dominion University. to stabilize and grow the Norfolk music scene while capturing the historic gifts that have come to music from Norfolk, VA. I'll have a blog about this later in 2016. 

Why not jump in the game with the Brits and sell ourselves some entertainment, jobs and culture diplomacy by the release from the hearts and voice of it's citizens. 

In a Medium post about Entertaining our Economy to Death Im sorry to say I can highlight the point by the September trade data with the US showing a whopping (((((-1,112.3 for September)))) which is when 25 hit our shores in route to the stores for holiday shoppers to snap up at record-breaking pace

Adele's 25 has now sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

Think about this...The number one record in the USA is coming into the USA reflected in the trade data totals; And, little ole UK is kicking our asses!

Ending on a positive note

This local level thread is something that we saw explode with the birth of a MusicCitiesConvention and the expansion of our City Music Deal (TM) into Cleveland via the lead by Quincy Taylor.  Moreover, I hope to see in 2016 various levels of government across the DMV and the country for that matter (Who doesn't support US Made Music?) coming up with more #musiccities coordinators, czars and economic development plans that include music such as Mayor Megan Barry in Nashville with her continuation of the Nashville Music City Council. Theses are all great steps and who knows what could happen if we got the Music Act going.

PS Digital was only 42 percent of total sales for last year.