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The future of education is here! Khan Academy online

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Since I posted about the insightful Ken Robinson talk about how defective the education of our children is, I’ve been thinking, how do I avoid putting my son into this mess? When will a functioning solution exist to address Ken’s excellent suggestions to reform education, given that government institutions are lazy, disinterested and short of funding?

Well as a parent, I was practically jumping up and down with excitement to learn of the non-profit Khan Academy.
Do you think founder Sal Khan is an education major? Of course not. Watch the amazing story about how this developed and how it mushroomed into a serious force in eduction with Bill Gates and Google supporting it:

New royalty for music played online

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

On September 23, 2008, songwriters, publishers, record labels and digital music services announced they had finally reached an agreement on mechanical royalties for songs played on online music services. It only took about 8 years for them to figure it out…

Called a “breakthrough that will facilitate new ways to offer music to consumers online,” the voluntary agreement crafted by the Digital Media Association (DiMA), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the RIAA, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) ended the longstanding dispute about mechanical royalties for interactive streaming and limited downloads.

The agreement must be still be approved by the Copyright Royalty Board to take effect, and states that limited download and interactive streaming services will pay a mechanical royalty of 10.5 percent of revenue, less any amounts owed for performance royalties. In certain instances, royalty-free promotional streaming is allowed.
The agreement tries to solve the dispute about what invokes a mechanical royalty in the digital environment, and permits certain kinds of promotional streams without payment, and agrees that webcasters will not owe mechanical royalties for non-interactive, audio-only streams.

The statutory mechanical royalty rate is currently 9.1¢ per song, unless you negotiate with the publisher directly and come up with a different rate.
With physical product, calculating the mechanical royalty using the statutory rate calculated by: # of songs on CD x # CDs manufactured x 9.1¢. But calculating mechanical royalties in the digital environment is more complicated because of considerations like what type of use (download, live stream, etc.) and how each is determined online.
The agreement states that all parties agreed to a “percentage of revenue” calculation so interactive audio-only webcasters and subscription services will pay 10.5 percent of their revenue to songwriters and publishers, minus any performance royalties already being paid to labels.
If a songwriter has a publishing deal with a publisher who’s a member of Harry Fox, the royalties should go from the music service to the publisher through HFA, then be passed along to the songwriter/composer as per their deal. For self-published musicians the royalties should go from the music service to a digital aggregator, which then would pass them on to either the musicians’ indie label, or directly to the musician.
The agreement primarily affects Rhapsody and Napster, for both their on-demand streaming services and their “to-go” services that allow subscribers to put music on portable players. But it will also affect other major services like MySpace, imeem, iLike and others for their interactive streaming options they want to provide.

However, this agreement is not the answer to the ongoing digital performance royalty fight between SoundExchange and webcasters like Pandora and soma.fm. That’s another issue, related to a different copyright. As i’ve mentioned many times, the music industry is unequaled when it comes to beauracracy… According to the press release, the parties agreed that non-interactive, audio-only streaming services like Pandora and soma.fm do not require a mechanical license. This means webcasters no longer have to worry about paying the publishers both for a performance and again for the cache and buffer copies made to enable that performance.
However, this agreement does not solve the debate between webcasters and sound recording rightsholders, which has to do with the non-interactive public performance of a recording on a digital platform. To keep it simple, I’ll just say that the disagreement about this digital performance royalty rate is ongoing. Hopefully a settlement will be reached soon, before it kills internet radio and brilliant musical innovations like Pandora.com

There are many parts of this agreement, like the acceptance of a percentage of revenue calculation that make a lot of sense. Hopefully it will influence and allow new business models to continue and flourish and allow musicians to benefit from increased access, exposure and revenue, and let music fans discover more music.

The end of the music industry as we know it

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Last year I blogged about how the music industry is changing along with a lot of others…
Recently, A very detailed 18 page report has been published by renowned technology and market research company, Forrester. I don’t have access to the entire article, as that would be expensive, but here is the essence of it:

  • Half of all music sold in the US will be digital in 2011 and sales of digitally downloaded music will surpass physical CD sales in 2012, reaching $4.8 billion in revenue by 2012, but in 2012, CD sales will be reduced to just $3.8 billion.
  • Media executives eager to stay afloat in this receding tide must clear the path of discovery and purchase, but only hardware and software providers can ultimately make listening to music as easy as turning on the radio.
  • The average MP3 player is only 57 percent full, suggesting that the devices are underutilized (correct in my case)
  • DRM(digital rights management copy protection)-free music enables every profile page on MySpace.com or Facebook to immediately become a music store where friends sell friends their favorite tracks
  • Cable TV style subscription music services will show modest growth, reaching just $459 million in revenue in 2012, while experiments in ad-supported downloads will be silenced by the powerful combination of DRM-free music and on-demand music streaming on sites like imeem.com
  • It is now very clear: Digital Ownership IS The Music Model For The Future
  • Forester’s recommendation to the ailing music industry: Solve The ‘Discovery Of New Music’ Problem Consumers Have First, Then Get Out Of The Consumer’s Way!

And the MOST important finding of this whole article in my opinion is:
“The industry has to redefine what its product is, said analyst McQuivey. Music executives have spent years tracking CD sales. But the ARTIST is the product not just the source of it.
New forms of revenue will come from unexpected sources. For example, the industry has failed to capitalize on the growing popularity of video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. In a market where musicians are happy to sell a million copies of a CD, a video game market where titles can sell five million copies is enough to motivate even the most depressed music executive.”
The Forrester report is based in part on a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the US and Canada.

I found it particularly interesting that way back in 2001, Forester did a study that the industry essentially ignored that proved digital music sales to be the future of music.

More here: www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9874319-7.html
Forester document: www.forrester.com/go?docid=43759

Canada proposes new music tax

Monday, February 25th, 2008

In the ongoing fight for the music industry to try and maintain the control they *used* to have, Canada is proposing a new compulsory music tax in addition to the digital download taxes, levy on digital music players, and the levy on blank CD’s. I kid you not, we are talking about billions of dollars collected here, and do you think I will get compensated when my music is downloaded? Nope. But Celine Dion will!

You can read the propaganda that the music industry has sent the media here.

I say propaganda because much of the information in this article comes from the music industry and is very misleading, such as the statement “More than 80% of Canada’s musicians earn less than $15,000 annually.”
This is not because of illegal downloading, but because of things like the lousy music that is released that people won’t pay for, artists who don’t promote themselves, and the fact that most artists go bankrupt because the retail stores, label, and distributors take over 70% of the profits from CD sales. Remove those people from the food chain and you have the new music industry, where the artist is back on top. and THAT is a proven fact.
(I get into this more in this post about the massive changes in the industry)
I’m really getting tired of media being too lazy to research this stuff before publishing, aren’t you?.

The incredible thing is this new tax, much like the levies mentioned above would be charged to everyone who uses the internet in Canada, not just those who download music, creating in total billions in tax and levy revenue for the music industry. How things like this get passed as law in a supposed democracy is beyond me.
What’s interesting is if it does become law, it will essentially make downloading music legal, along with burning music, which is essentially also legal now because we are paying dearly for it.
And that means that everything will change forever in the consumption of music. I only wish it could be done fairly, you know the good old way, where the industry gives the consumer what they want and get compensated for doing so, rather than by force.

12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

A lot of people are using facebook lately. It really has social networking down to a science, and I can’t tell you how many people tell me their addicted. And not just my 15 year old nephew, mom and dad are on their too (well, not mine, but you know what I mean…). That means more and more, facebook is being used professionally, and it has become much more important in your business and career to the point where smart employers are even checking out prospective hires on facebook to see if they are company material.

Here is a link to a useful article:
12 Ways to Use Facebook Professionally:

I’ve added my own facebook link on my blogroll, but I have to limit my time on there… that thing is the ultimate time killer.

Apparently my blog has been blocked…??!!

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Apparently my blog is blocked in China… God only knows why it would be, if you live in China, and your reading this, post and let me know.

This kind of thing seems to be intermittent, depending on where you live there.

My massive page of amazing links

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

I just posted a new massive page of amazing links that I use in my music business 2.0 class and that I often recommend to clients I am working with. Most of these links I have tested and or use myself, and they are some of the best resources I have found. So take advantage of my hours of research and enjoy!

Jarome’s recommended links for Multimedia,Music Business, and Web 2.0 applications

The 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Those of you I work with and who are dedicated to their music have probably heard from me about the essential and free resource, “20 Things You Must Know About Music Online”, an eBook by UK researcher, author and music educator, Andrew Dubber who has an excellent industry blog of his own.
For anyone involved in music in any way, or even small business, this is essential reading to get caught up with the new Music 2.0 movement, and to learn the tools and techniques that can help you make the most of the massive changes that are happening in the music industry. Download a copy right now here: 20 Things You Must Know About Music Online – PDF

People like Andrew that are out there make up for decades of secrecy, exclusivity, and abuse that has gone on in the industry.
There are new DIY stories every day of individuals who are using these techniques to succeed without the need for any corporate interest, or outside funding, and it’s interesting to see the reactions of the big music corporations, dissing these independant artists in one breath, and then all chasing after them in another like little puppy dogs with their tounges wagging. Talk about a massive role reversal!
Case in point: electro pop band Shiny Toy Guns.