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  • Playback, Now Under Corporate Control

    The thread about Apple using a digital headphone jack, and the way streaming services are signing up "exclusives," signals a fundamental shift in how we're supposed to "consume" music (and BTW, what was wrong with using the term "listen" to music?). Or maybe I should say, how we're being directed to "consume" music.

    When recordings first became available, the record label controlled the rights, and you controlled the playback. When you purchased a record, you bought the rights to play it back however you wanted. You didn't need to buy an RCA record player to listen to Elvis, a Decca record player to listen to the Who, and a Motown record player to listen to the Four Tops.

    But that's about to become the new normal. Streaming services will, more and more, sign up "exclusive" artists so the only way to hear a particular artist will be by having a subscription to Spotify, or Apple Music, or whatever. As a la carte purchasing crossfades into "all you can eat" subscriptions, how many people are going to sign up for ten different streaming services at $10 a month to hear their 10 favorite artists?

    I suppose we'll still have internet radio for listening to music on a one-off basis...or will we? Will an artist exclusive to Apple Music have songs on Tunein.com?

    Some people think the music industry is settling into its paradigm for streaming becoming the norm. Okay...maybe so. But I think there are implications to companies controlling not just the rights to the music itself, but the way it can be played back and these implications will make music in general more "closed."

    It's all about corporations gaining control, and consumers losing control. I don't see this having a happy ending.
    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

  • #2
    Maybe, people will prefer to listen to the live music and prominent artists will start touring more?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Anderton View Post
      The thread about Apple using a digital headphone jack, and the way streaming services are signing up "exclusives," signals a fundamental shift in how we're supposed to "consume" music (and BTW, what was wrong with using the term "listen" to music?). Or maybe I should say, how we're being directed to "consume" music.

      When recordings first became available, the record label controlled the rights, and you controlled the playback. When you purchased a record, you bought the rights to play it back however you wanted. You didn't need to buy an RCA record player to listen to Elvis, a Decca record player to listen to the Who, and a Motown record player to listen to the Four Tops.

      But that's about to become the new normal. Streaming services will, more and more, sign up "exclusive" artists so the only way to hear a particular artist will be by having a subscription to Spotify, or Apple Music, or whatever. As a la carte purchasing crossfades into "all you can eat" subscriptions, how many people are going to sign up for ten different streaming services at $10 a month to hear their 10 favorite artists?

      I suppose we'll still have internet radio for listening to music on a one-off basis...or will we? Will an artist exclusive to Apple Music have songs on Tunein.com?

      Some people think the music industry is settling into its paradigm for streaming becoming the norm. Okay...maybe so. But I think there are implications to companies controlling not just the rights to the music itself, but the way it can be played back and these implications will make music in general more "closed."

      It's all about corporations gaining control, and consumers losing control. I don't see this having a happy ending.
      in a situation like you describe, it would pay the BIG's (companies - to sign every indie act out there - to prevent other BIG's from signing them. But whether it would pay to actually promote, record, arrange and distribute those Indies is a different issue entirely.

      It does not pay the Big Recording artists to sign exclsivity agreements, depending on how they're written, of course. They want to be heard on every streaming venue that comes along. Their goals align w/smaller indie acts on that point.

      I don't think I understand how this will work out yet for them, or for those artists lower down the ladder. My bet is we'll witness a technology that renders the exclusivity clauses obsolete.

      Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 09-05-2016, 08:30 AM.
      He has escaped! Youtube , ‚ÄčMurika , France

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Soundwise View Post
        Maybe, people will prefer to listen to the live music and prominent artists will start touring more?
        Well, that certainly wouldn't be a problem And with 360 deals the artists could get a nice push from their exclusive sponsors.

        The big issues with an increase in live performances are a) for smaller acts, having enough venues, b) legal issues (e.g., in some states the owners of dance music clubs can be liable for illegal activities taking place with the club), and c) the sheer expense of touring.

        But even the face of "live music" could change. People are more prone to staying home for entertainment. At least, that's one of theories that's been advanced for why movies have not done well this summer (I think it has more to do with not having a lot of movies worth seeing, but that's another topic). Companies like Netflix might have a venue where bands can come and play live, and then that becomes a "live concert event." That would solve the issues above: You'd have a venue, there wouldn't be people taking drugs, and there's no expense in lugging stuff around from one place to another.

        Who knows? All I know for sure is that we're moving into uncharted territory, and many surprises - some good, some not so good - lie ahead.
        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Etienne Rambert View Post
          My bet is we'll witness a technology that renders the exclusivity clauses obsolete.
          That's a very valid point. Remember how back in the early 80s companies thought no one would copy CDs to DATs digitally because the sampling rates were different?
          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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          • #6
            I don't think exclusivity will last. There are too many ways to come by music illegally now. Sure, piracy has calmed down because it's so easy to listen to music for free; but if that changes, then so will the level of piracy.

            Best,

            Geoff
            Enthusiasm powers the world.

            Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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            • #7
              Then again...as long as there's a Lightning-to-analog converter, you can always record the analog out.
              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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              • #8
                I don't know how it all works, all I know is today I listen to more music for free than I have ever listened to in my life. I can listen on Spotify to a band I like and all I have to do is listen to an ad every half an hour. Or Pandora and listen to a genre or style I like. Or go on YouTube and find just about any video/song I wish. I don't know how that will change in the future with exclusive partnerships but right now I have no need to spend money on music...to be honest I didn't buy it before either. A little bit but not enough to make a library. There is no need to pirate now as it is free and really how much music can I listen to in a day. A little here a little there then its off to the grocery store or play some pickleball or work or golf. Can't consume the amount of music available that there is today. I am just enjoying it today with no worries. If that gets taken away by exclusive rights and subscriptions I guess I won't be listening as much just like back in the day when I was unwilling to spend money on music or couldn't afford to...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                  Then again...as long as there's a Lightning-to-analog converter, you can always record the analog out.
                  Just buy a new iPhone 7 and you get it right in the box. Thing is, that people mostly don't know how to record things any more. Not this bunch here, of course, but the general public. Nobody would play a CD and record the playback - it was just too much trouble. Unfortunately, it wasn't too much trouble to just stick it the CD your computer and press a button to save a copy which you could then share.

                  No safety from piracy, not then, not now.
                  Last edited by MikeRivers; 09-11-2016, 12:14 PM.
                  --
                  "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                  Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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                  • #10
                    The iPhone without a headphone jack is a deal-killer for me. Apple wants to keep people from straying so IMHO they keep doing useless things to make them incompatible with the real world and keep their users tethered to the Apple brand.

                    I wonder if the "air buds" come - pre-lost or pre-misplaced. Or forgotten to re-charge. Or how it will work with the tons of other equipment like the mini-phone jack in my car's radio? Of course you might be able to buy an Apple lightning to phone plug, but as long as Apple owns the lightning patent, it will be overpriced. And as soon as the patent goes PD, Apple will have a new connector.

                    ---------

                    As far as your other point. Streaming services signing exclusive deals with artists is a variation on what went before.

                    I had two day-jobs in my life while testing what it was to be normal. I found out normal is so overrated.

                    One was a Cable TV engineer in the dawn of the era where it went from a strictly rural phenomenon to mainstream. In the early days of HBO and Showtime, both services eventually got all the same movies. So you only had to subscribe to one service. Then they started making deals so that if you wanted to see one particular movie, it might only be on HBO and another only on Showtime. Now you have to subscribe to both. Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhh.

                    Actually it doesn't matter to me, I haven't watched TV since the mid 1980s when I took a gig on the cruise ships. When I got off, I had gotten so used to life without TV that TV started to seem boring. So I never hooked the cable back up, and never bought an antenna (or even a digital converter). A Netflix disk every now and then is the absolute only time the TV goes on.

                    I'm not a big fan of streaming either. I get new music from word of mouth, investigate on YouTube or elsewhere, and if I really like something, I'll see if I can purchase a download. If not, too bad for the artist (sorry).

                    Like many musicians, as I learn and understand more, I still enjoy simpler forms of music, but tend to seek out more and more complicated ways to entertain my ears. So from rock and blues to cool school jazz to bop to more experimental forms of jazz I eventually went on to "classical".

                    I still enjoy playing rock, blues, and other simple forms of music, as well as more complex forms. It's different making the music than it is just listening. And there are some classic gems that I still get a thrill from.

                    I tend mostly to buy symphonies now, especially from the Romantic Era to the Present. I haven't found a good streaming service for that. I even tried Satellite radio, but like my local NPR station, they tend to play light classics (music to relax by). I remember a DJ saying "Here is Beethoven's second symphony, one he wrote before he got too wild." To me, modern music starts with Beethoven's third symphony, and most anything before that bores me like an overplayed top 40 hit of long ago.

                    I like intense symphonies, music to stir my emotions with, Suk, Dvorak, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and so on.

                    If anyone knows a "Heavy Classics" streaming service, I might be interested. But if they start signing exclusive composers to compete with each other, I'm afraid I'll 'jump ship'.

                    Insights and incites by Notes
                    Last edited by Notes_Norton; 09-12-2016, 07:57 PM. Reason: Hit that submit button instead of preview.
                    Bob "Notes" Norton
                    Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                    Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                    The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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