I'm not a fan of the Grammy awards--I think they offer too many awards and give the big ones to too many has-beens or otherwise undeserving acts--but this year's show, scheduled for Sunday, sounds like the best in years. In particular, several blogs are posting rumors that Radiohead will be playing with the University of Southern California marching band, as Outkast did a few years back.
Music forums were abuzz all weekend about Live Nation's inability to handle the millions of simultaneous online requests for Phish tickets. The fabled jam band is reuniting for a summer tour after several years off, and is playing some Live Nation-owned venues, which means that tickets for those shows were available only through Live Nation. Unfortunately, Live Nation (a spin-off of Clear Channel) is relatively new at ticketing and its Web ticketing service couldn't handle the strain. The worst: apparently some would-be purchasers were offered seats, only to have the system break down when they tried to complete … Read more
Update, Thursday 1/30: Today, I received a followup e-mail from Audiolife CEO and co-founder Brandon Hance. Audiolife has changed its cut on digital album downloads from $3.50 to $3.00, and on digital singles from $0.35 to $0.30. The company has also posted a detailed price list, including prices for different configurations of t-shirts. I've modified the original post accordingly.I stumbled across a new service on Wednesday that, at first glance, seems to trump CD Baby for selling CDs online.
Like these forerunners, U2 is kicking off the promotion for its upcoming album, No Line on the Horizon, by offering the first single as a free online stream, and will offer the album in five packages at different price points--from the superfan box format with a CD, DVD, poster, and hardcover book at $66.49 (if you if you preorder from Amazon, otherwise it's close to $100) to the mere … Read more
As I said in my 2008 sum-up, people tend to overestimate the amount of change that will happen in one year--which means my best bet for 2009 would be to simply reiterate my almost-there predictions from 2008, like the death of DRM and the decline of the concert industry.
But that would be boring. Thus, behold my all-new-and-improved predictions for music and technology in 2009:
Zune phone--sort of. 2009 will finally be the year that Microsoft takes the wraps off its mobile-entertainment strategy, and the Zune brand will be prominently featured. Perhaps as early as next week at CES, Microsoft … Read more
Predictions columns are always risky because it's easy to look back a year later and see how wrong you were. For the most part, I was on the right track, but too bold--as a wise prognosticator once said, we tend to … Read more
Yesterday, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote a post suggesting that president-elect Obama needs to do more than throw money at ailing industries, but actually needs to "reboot" America by investing in infrastructure and education. In Newsweek, law professor and intellectual property thinker Lawrence Lessig argued for a more narrowly focused reboot of the FCC, which should be encouraging technical innovation but instead tends to favor big incumbents.
On Saturday, Warner Music pulled all videos involving its music from YouTube after failing to reach a licensing deal with the Google-owned video site. (More accurately, it asked YouTube to pull them, and YouTube was forced by law to comply.)
Now, Silicon Alley Insider reports that Warner and the other three majors--Universal, Sony, and EMI--may be in talks to create their own YouTube competitor.
Before you scoff, recall the lesson of Hulu. First announced in late 2007 by NBC Universal and News Corp, Hulu was originally scorned as the "clown company"--everybody assumed that these old media dinosaurs … Read more
Correction: "He's So Fine" was by The Chiffons, not The Supremes as I originally wrote.
I hate audio plagiarism lawsuits--there are only 12 notes, and only so many ways to combine them--but the law has come down time and time again on the side of the plaintiffs. George Harrison was forced to pay damages for "unintentionally" ripping off "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons. Ironically, Harrison's manager at that time, Allen Klein, later sued The Verve when "Bittersweet Symphony" oversampled an orchestral arrangement of the Rolling Stones' "The … Read more
Coolfer has an interesting post this morning, responding to Peter Kafka's suggestion that it's getting too hard to buy music because fewer retailers are stocking CDs. I think Kafka's confusing cause and effect--if retailers were still making lots of money on Britney and Rihanna, CDs would be sold front and center. But regardless of the chicken-and-egg question, Coolfer makes the very good point that most music purchasers don't seek out music and aren't willing to sift through the racks at their local record stores, but rather pick up a CD as an impulse buy on … Read more