Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
gadgetguru

It's only getting worse

Recommended Posts

It just plain SUCKS ! The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, but as the reality of the business captures the 'music buying' < (misnomer) public preference, the way the music is made available is changing for the MUCH WORSE !

Fuck the iTunes idea of marketing single songs, to hell with how the newer generations are embracing this change, how music isn't good enough anymore, TOO BORING, the kids have to be playing a game or something more to seem to enjoy it. Granted, this isn't the way it is for everyone, but the trends speak for themselves and soon enough, the way music is listened to and the QUALITY of it will go out with the trash. Why should someone have to buy a game to get the best quality of sound and then the music is only part of the experience ?

To hell with multitasking. Just shut up and listen !

PARENTS....teach your children well, don't let them buy into this phenomena that's been happening to music lately. IT SUCKS !!!

BTW, gadgets are great when they don't diminish the quality of a medium as a replacement.

*only excerpts, please read more from the provided link below.

Songs From the Heart of a Marketing Plan

By JON PARELES, The NY Times

Published: December 24, 2008

IN “Creator,” the rawest track on Santogold’s debut and self-titled album, the singer Santi White boasts, “Me I’m a creator/Thrill is to make it up/The rules I break got me a place up on the radar.” It’s a bohemian manifesto in a sound bite, brash and endearing, or at least it was for me until it showed up in a beer commercial. And a hair-gel commercial too.

It turns out that the insurgent, quirky rule breaker is just another shill. Billboard reported that three-quarters of Santogold’s excellent album has already been licensed for commercials, video games and soundtracks, and Ms. White herself appears in advertisements, singing for sneakers. She has clearly decided that linking her music to other, mostly mercenary agendas is her most direct avenue to that “place up on the radar.”

I know — time for me to get over it. After all, this is the reality of the 21st-century music business.

Selling recordings to consumers as inexpensive artworks to be appreciated for their own sake is a much-diminished enterprise now that free copies multiply across the Web.

While people still love music enough to track it down, collect it, argue over it and judge their Facebook friends by it, many see no reason to pay for it. The emerging practical solution is to let music sell something else: a concert, a T-shirt, Web-site pop-up ads or a brand.

Musicians have to eat and want to be heard, and if that means accompanying someone else’s sales pitch or videogame, well, it’s a living. Why wait for album royalties to trickle in, if they ever do, when licensing fees arrive upfront as a lump sum? It’s one part of the system of copyright regulations that hasn’t been ravaged by digital distribution, and there’s little resistance from any quarters; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss croon for J. C. Penney and the avant-rockers Battles are heard accompanying an Australian vodka ad.

The question is: What happens to the music itself when the way to build a career shifts from recording songs that ordinary listeners want to buy to making music that marketers can use? That creates pressure, subtle but genuine, for music to recede: to embrace the element of vacancy that makes a good soundtrack so unobtrusive, to edit a lyric to be less specific or private, to leave blanks for the image or message the music now serves. Perhaps the song will still make that essential, head-turning first impression, but it won’t be as memorable or independent.

Music always had accessory roles: a soundtrack, a jingle, a branding statement, a mating call. But for performers with a public profile, as opposed to composers for hire, the point was to draw attention to the music itself. Once they were noticed, stars could provide their own story arcs of career and music, and songs got a chance to create their own spheres, as sanctuary or spook house or utopia. If enough people cared about the song, payoffs would come from record sales (to performer and songwriter) and radio play (to the songwriter).

When Moby licensed every song on his 1999 album, “Play,” for ads and soundtracks, the move was both startling and cheesy, but it did lead to CD sales; an album that set staticky samples of blues and gospel to dance-floor beats managed to become a million seller. Nearly a decade later, platinum albums are much scarcer.

For all but the biggest names — like AC/DC, which made Wal-Mart the exclusive vendor for CDs of its long-awaited “Black Ice” album, got its own “store within a store” and sold more than a million copies in two weeks — a marketing deal is more likely to be its own reward rather than spawn a career. With telling ambivalence, Brooklyn Vegan, the widely read, indie-loving music blog, recently started a column, “This Week in Music Licensing: It’s Not Selling Out Anymore,” but soon dropped the “selling out” half of the title. There’s no longer a clear dividing line for selling out, if there ever was.

And as music becomes a means to an end — pushing a separate product, whether it’s a concert ticket or a clothing line, a movie scene or a Web ad — a tectonic shift is under way. Record sales channeled the taste of the broad, volatile public into a performer’s paycheck. As music sales dwindle, licensers become a far more influential target audience. Unlike nonprofessional music fans who might immerse themselves in a song or album they love, music licensers want a track that’s attractive but not too distracting — just a tease, not a revelation.

It’s almost enough to make someone miss those former villains of philistinism, the recording companies. Labels had an interest in music that would hold listeners on its own terms; selling it was their meal ticket. Labels, and to some extent radio stations and music television, also had a stake in nurturing stars who would keep fans returning to find out what happened next, allowing their catalogs to be perennially rediscovered. By contrast, licensers have no interest beyond the immediate effect of a certain song, and can save money by dealing with unknowns.

As the influence of major labels erodes, licensers are seizing their chance to be talent scouts. They can be good at it, song by song, turning up little gems like Chairlift’s “Bruises,” heard in an iPod ad. For a band, getting such a break, and being played repeatedly for television viewers, is a windfall, and perhaps an alternate route to radio play or the beginning of a new audience. But how soon will it be before musicians, perhaps unconsciously, start conceiving songs as potential television spots, or energy jolts during video games, or ringtones? Which came first, Madonna’s “Hung Up” or the cell phone ad?

Not wanting to appear too crass, musicians insist that exposure from licensing does build the kind of interest that used to pay off in sales and/or loyalty. Hearing a song on the radio or in a commercial has a psychological component; someone else has already endorsed it. Musicians who don’t expect immediate mass-market radio play — maybe they’re too old, maybe they’re too eccentric — have gotten their music on the air by selling it to advertisers. That can rev up careers, as Apple ads have done for Feist and for this year’s big beneficiary, Yael Naim, whose “New Soul” introduced the MacBook Air. (Sites like findthatsong.net help listeners identify commercial soundtracks.)

The Sri Lankan art-pop-rapper M.I.A. already had all the hipster adoration she could ever want for her song “Paper Planes,” which compares international drug dealing to selling records, and it turns gunshots and a ringing cash register into hooks. But having the song used in the trailer for “Pineapple Express” was probably what propelled the song to a Grammy nomination for record of the year.

(Grammy voters often seize on music from everywhere but the albums they purport to judge; they seem particularly drawn to film soundtracks.) And if the song now conjures images of the movie trailer for many listeners, that’s the tradeoff for recognition.

The old, often legitimate accusation against labels was that they sold entire albums with only one good song or two. Now there’s an incentive for a song to have only 30 seconds of good stuff. It’s already happening: Chris Brown’s hit “Forever” is wrapped around a jingle for chewing gum.

Apparently there’s no going back, structurally, to paying musicians to record music for its own sake. Labels that used to make profits primarily from selling albums have been struggling since the Internet caused them to lose their chokehold on distribution and exposure. Now, in return for investing in recording and promotion, and for supplying their career-building expertise (such as it was), they want a piece of musicians’ whole careers.

Old-fashioned audio recording contracts are increasingly being replaced by so-called 360 deals that also tithe live shows, merchandising, licensing and every other conceivable revenue stream — conceding, in a way, that the labels’ old central role of selling discs for mere listening is obsolescent. Some musicians, like the former record company president Jay-Z, have concurred, but by signing 360 deals not with labels but with the concert-promotion monolith Live Nation.

Maybe such dire thoughts are extreme, since some people are still buying music. The iTunes Music Store has sold more than five billion songs since 2003. But it’s harder and harder to find a song without a tie-in.

As for Guitar Hero,

It took Guns N’ Roses 15 years between albums to complete “Chinese Democracy,” certainly long enough to receive worldwide notice when the album was released this year. But instead of letting the album arrive as an event in itself, the band licensed one of the album’s best songs, “Shackler’s Revenge,” to a video game that came out first. Metallica fans have complained that the band’s new album, “Death Magnetic,” sounds better in the version made for the “Guitar Hero” video game than on the consumer CD, which is compressed to the point of distortion so it will sound louder on the radio. But they take for granted that the music will end up in the game in the first place. Consumers reinforce the licensers almost perversely: they pay for music as a ringtone, or tap along with it on the iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge, but not as a high-fidelity song.

Great, there goes that crappy mp3 embracement ideology. People should be spanked HARD for allowing it.

Perhaps it’s too 20th century to hope that music could stay exempt from multitasking, or that the constant insinuation of marketing into every moment of consciousness would stop when a song begins. But for the moment I’d suggest individual resistance. Put on a song with no commercial attachments. Turn it up. Close your eyes. And listen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/arts/mus...nted=1&_r=1

2u5dhkw.jpg

*full article included because the link didn't work.

Edited by gadgetguru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It just plain SUCKS ! The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, but as the reality of the business captures the 'music buying' < (misnomer) public preference, the way the music is made available is changing for the MUCH WORSE !

Fuck the iTunes idea of marketing single songs, to hell with how the newer generations are embracing this change, how music isn't good enough anymore, TOO BORING, the kids have to be playing a game or something more to seem to enjoy it. Granted, this isn't the way it is for everyone, but the trends speak for themselves and soon enough, the way music is listened to and the QUALITY of it will go out with the trash. Why should someone have to buy a game to get the best quality of sound and then the music is only part of the experience ?

To hell with multitasking. Just shut up and listen !

PARENTS....teach your children well, don't let them buy into this phenomena that's been happening to music lately. IT SUCKS !!!

BTW, gadgets are great when they don't diminish the quality of a medium as a replacement.

*only excerpts, please read more from the provided link below.

Songs From the Heart of a Marketing Plan

By JON PARELES, The NY Times

Published: December 24, 2008

IN “Creator,” the rawest track on Santogold’s debut and self-titled album, the singer Santi White boasts, “Me I’m a creator/Thrill is to make it up/The rules I break got me a place up on the radar.” It’s a bohemian manifesto in a sound bite, brash and endearing, or at least it was for me until it showed up in a beer commercial. And a hair-gel commercial too.

It turns out that the insurgent, quirky rule breaker is just another shill. Billboard reported that three-quarters of Santogold’s excellent album has already been licensed for commercials, video games and soundtracks, and Ms. White herself appears in advertisements, singing for sneakers. She has clearly decided that linking her music to other, mostly mercenary agendas is her most direct avenue to that “place up on the radar.”

I know — time for me to get over it. After all, this is the reality of the 21st-century music business.

Selling recordings to consumers as inexpensive artworks to be appreciated for their own sake is a much-diminished enterprise now that free copies multiply across the Web.

While people still love music enough to track it down, collect it, argue over it and judge their Facebook friends by it, many see no reason to pay for it. The emerging practical solution is to let music sell something else: a concert, a T-shirt, Web-site pop-up ads or a brand.

Musicians have to eat and want to be heard, and if that means accompanying someone else’s sales pitch or videogame, well, it’s a living. Why wait for album royalties to trickle in, if they ever do, when licensing fees arrive upfront as a lump sum? It’s one part of the system of copyright regulations that hasn’t been ravaged by digital distribution, and there’s little resistance from any quarters; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss croon for J. C. Penney and the avant-rockers Battles are heard accompanying an Australian vodka ad.

The question is: What happens to the music itself when the way to build a career shifts from recording songs that ordinary listeners want to buy to making music that marketers can use? That creates pressure, subtle but genuine, for music to recede: to embrace the element of vacancy that makes a good soundtrack so unobtrusive, to edit a lyric to be less specific or private, to leave blanks for the image or message the music now serves. Perhaps the song will still make that essential, head-turning first impression, but it won’t be as memorable or independent.

Music always had accessory roles: a soundtrack, a jingle, a branding statement, a mating call. But for performers with a public profile, as opposed to composers for hire, the point was to draw attention to the music itself. Once they were noticed, stars could provide their own story arcs of career and music, and songs got a chance to create their own spheres, as sanctuary or spook house or utopia. If enough people cared about the song, payoffs would come from record sales (to performer and songwriter) and radio play (to the songwriter).

When Moby licensed every song on his 1999 album, “Play,” for ads and soundtracks, the move was both startling and cheesy, but it did lead to CD sales; an album that set staticky samples of blues and gospel to dance-floor beats managed to become a million seller. Nearly a decade later, platinum albums are much scarcer.

For all but the biggest names — like AC/DC, which made Wal-Mart the exclusive vendor for CDs of its long-awaited “Black Ice” album, got its own “store within a store” and sold more than a million copies in two weeks — a marketing deal is more likely to be its own reward rather than spawn a career. With telling ambivalence, Brooklyn Vegan, the widely read, indie-loving music blog, recently started a column, “This Week in Music Licensing: It’s Not Selling Out Anymore,” but soon dropped the “selling out” half of the title. There’s no longer a clear dividing line for selling out, if there ever was.

And as music becomes a means to an end — pushing a separate product, whether it’s a concert ticket or a clothing line, a movie scene or a Web ad — a tectonic shift is under way. Record sales channeled the taste of the broad, volatile public into a performer’s paycheck. As music sales dwindle, licensers become a far more influential target audience. Unlike nonprofessional music fans who might immerse themselves in a song or album they love, music licensers want a track that’s attractive but not too distracting — just a tease, not a revelation.

It’s almost enough to make someone miss those former villains of philistinism, the recording companies. Labels had an interest in music that would hold listeners on its own terms; selling it was their meal ticket. Labels, and to some extent radio stations and music television, also had a stake in nurturing stars who would keep fans returning to find out what happened next, allowing their catalogs to be perennially rediscovered. By contrast, licensers have no interest beyond the immediate effect of a certain song, and can save money by dealing with unknowns.

As the influence of major labels erodes, licensers are seizing their chance to be talent scouts. They can be good at it, song by song, turning up little gems like Chairlift’s “Bruises,” heard in an iPod ad. For a band, getting such a break, and being played repeatedly for television viewers, is a windfall, and perhaps an alternate route to radio play or the beginning of a new audience. But how soon will it be before musicians, perhaps unconsciously, start conceiving songs as potential television spots, or energy jolts during video games, or ringtones? Which came first, Madonna’s “Hung Up” or the cell phone ad?

Not wanting to appear too crass, musicians insist that exposure from licensing does build the kind of interest that used to pay off in sales and/or loyalty. Hearing a song on the radio or in a commercial has a psychological component; someone else has already endorsed it. Musicians who don’t expect immediate mass-market radio play — maybe they’re too old, maybe they’re too eccentric — have gotten their music on the air by selling it to advertisers. That can rev up careers, as Apple ads have done for Feist and for this year’s big beneficiary, Yael Naim, whose “New Soul” introduced the MacBook Air. (Sites like findthatsong.net help listeners identify commercial soundtracks.)

The Sri Lankan art-pop-rapper M.I.A. already had all the hipster adoration she could ever want for her song “Paper Planes,” which compares international drug dealing to selling records, and it turns gunshots and a ringing cash register into hooks. But having the song used in the trailer for “Pineapple Express” was probably what propelled the song to a Grammy nomination for record of the year.

(Grammy voters often seize on music from everywhere but the albums they purport to judge; they seem particularly drawn to film soundtracks.) And if the song now conjures images of the movie trailer for many listeners, that’s the tradeoff for recognition.

The old, often legitimate accusation against labels was that they sold entire albums with only one good song or two. Now there’s an incentive for a song to have only 30 seconds of good stuff. It’s already happening: Chris Brown’s hit “Forever” is wrapped around a jingle for chewing gum.

Apparently there’s no going back, structurally, to paying musicians to record music for its own sake. Labels that used to make profits primarily from selling albums have been struggling since the Internet caused them to lose their chokehold on distribution and exposure. Now, in return for investing in recording and promotion, and for supplying their career-building expertise (such as it was), they want a piece of musicians’ whole careers.

Old-fashioned audio recording contracts are increasingly being replaced by so-called 360 deals that also tithe live shows, merchandising, licensing and every other conceivable revenue stream — conceding, in a way, that the labels’ old central role of selling discs for mere listening is obsolescent. Some musicians, like the former record company president Jay-Z, have concurred, but by signing 360 deals not with labels but with the concert-promotion monolith Live Nation.

Maybe such dire thoughts are extreme, since some people are still buying music. The iTunes Music Store has sold more than five billion songs since 2003. But it’s harder and harder to find a song without a tie-in.

As for Guitar Hero,

It took Guns N’ Roses 15 years between albums to complete “Chinese Democracy,” certainly long enough to receive worldwide notice when the album was released this year. But instead of letting the album arrive as an event in itself, the band licensed one of the album’s best songs, “Shackler’s Revenge,” to a video game that came out first. Metallica fans have complained that the band’s new album, “Death Magnetic,” sounds better in the version made for the “Guitar Hero” video game than on the consumer CD, which is compressed to the point of distortion so it will sound louder on the radio. But they take for granted that the music will end up in the game in the first place. Consumers reinforce the licensers almost perversely: they pay for music as a ringtone, or tap along with it on the iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge, but not as a high-fidelity song.

Great, there goes that crappy mp3 embracement ideology. People should be spanked HARD for allowing it.

Perhaps it’s too 20th century to hope that music could stay exempt from multitasking, or that the constant insinuation of marketing into every moment of consciousness would stop when a song begins. But for the moment I’d suggest individual resistance. Put on a song with no commercial attachments. Turn it up. Close your eyes. And listen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/arts/mus...nted=1&_r=1

2u5dhkw.jpg

*full article included because the link didn't work.

How's it going "gadgetguru?" WOW, this is some deep deep stuff! What has our world as we know it become? It seems that it is getting harder for kids to grow up as kids. Times have changed so much since I was a kid growing up in the late 1960's and 1970's. ROCK ON!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i must be a one of a kind kid 'cos i'm 10 and i hate this new stuff. I prefer old music better.

you suck madonna :nuke:

excuse me for spelling mistakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, you are my kind of kid.

I own an ipod and I use it, it's good for travelling. However, I'd take a turntable anyday. I love mine and I use it all the time. I think the music quality is much better. I refuse to buy an individual song, I buy the entire album. I boycott itunes. I refuse to use. I will buy the cd if I have to have in on my ipod. Last year I bought maybe two cds. I listen to vinyl, I buy vinyl. For me, it's a much better sound medium.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I could name tons better musicians than the more recent (shitty) ones

Frederic Chopin

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Antonio Vivaldi

Robert Schumann

Johann Sebastian Bach

Igor Stravinsky

Antonin Dvorak

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Vaughan Williams

Bela Bartok

Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Claude Debussy

Richard Wagner

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Jaquén Rodrigo

To name just a few, and yes I'm being sarcastic. Musicians from the Romantic/Classical/Baroque/Post-Modern era would probably think popular music from the 1970s isn't music.

So shut the fuck up about how music from 20/30 years ago is somehow better, please. We are all tired of people coming on here and going off about how it's so much better than current music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, I could name tons better musicians than the more recent (shitty) ones

So shut the fuck up about how music from 20/30 years ago is somehow better, please. We are all tired of people coming on here and going off about how it's so much better than current music.

It's not so much about the 'shitty music' of today as others see it, I personally love a good new release, but the way music is being promoted and consumed. How many young people (and maybe old too) sit around and DO NOTHING but listen to the music anymore? How many put on cd's or vinyl ? It's usually mp3 CRAP or as stated in the article, a video game that may have better fidelity but that may be missed as a player is more interested in the distracting visuals.

For a qualitive listening experience, that outdated style is going by way of the dinosaur. Few take or make the time for such intimacy anymore. It's very sad. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as there is some sort of hard copy to be bought and owned, I have no real problem with sorting through the bullshit to find a gem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure the sound quality of that stuff isnt that great, but you can't fit 2000 records or cds into your pocket, either.

I use my ipod as a travelling record collection. I don't listen to it at home, aside from rare occasions.

Music isn't headed to shit. The great bands are always gonna look forward to creating a complete album, as pushing singles isn't something new. That is the music industry. When the Beatles and Stones were comin up they were releasing singles as soon as they were completed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It just plain SUCKS ! The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, but as the reality of the business captures the 'music buying' < (misnomer) public preference, the way the music is made available is changing for the MUCH WORSE !

Fuck the iTunes idea of marketing single songs, to hell with how the newer generations are embracing this change, how music isn't good enough anymore, TOO BORING, the kids have to be playing a game or something more to seem to enjoy it. Granted, this isn't the way it is for everyone, but the trends speak for themselves and soon enough, the way music is listened to and the QUALITY of it will go out with the trash. Why should someone have to buy a game to get the best quality of sound and then the music is only part of the experience ?

To hell with multitasking. Just shut up and listen !

PARENTS....teach your children well, don't let them buy into this phenomena that's been happening to music lately. IT SUCKS !!!

BTW, gadgets are great when they don't diminish the quality of a medium as a replacement.

*only excerpts, please read more from the provided link below.

Songs From the Heart of a Marketing Plan

By JON PARELES, The NY Times

Published: December 24, 2008

IN “Creator,” the rawest track on Santogold’s debut and self-titled album, the singer Santi White boasts, “Me I’m a creator/Thrill is to make it up/The rules I break got me a place up on the radar.” It’s a bohemian manifesto in a sound bite, brash and endearing, or at least it was for me until it showed up in a beer commercial. And a hair-gel commercial too.

It turns out that the insurgent, quirky rule breaker is just another shill. Billboard reported that three-quarters of Santogold’s excellent album has already been licensed for commercials, video games and soundtracks, and Ms. White herself appears in advertisements, singing for sneakers. She has clearly decided that linking her music to other, mostly mercenary agendas is her most direct avenue to that “place up on the radar.”

I know — time for me to get over it. After all, this is the reality of the 21st-century music business.

Selling recordings to consumers as inexpensive artworks to be appreciated for their own sake is a much-diminished enterprise now that free copies multiply across the Web.

While people still love music enough to track it down, collect it, argue over it and judge their Facebook friends by it, many see no reason to pay for it. The emerging practical solution is to let music sell something else: a concert, a T-shirt, Web-site pop-up ads or a brand.

Musicians have to eat and want to be heard, and if that means accompanying someone else’s sales pitch or videogame, well, it’s a living. Why wait for album royalties to trickle in, if they ever do, when licensing fees arrive upfront as a lump sum? It’s one part of the system of copyright regulations that hasn’t been ravaged by digital distribution, and there’s little resistance from any quarters; Robert Plant and Alison Krauss croon for J. C. Penney and the avant-rockers Battles are heard accompanying an Australian vodka ad.

The question is: What happens to the music itself when the way to build a career shifts from recording songs that ordinary listeners want to buy to making music that marketers can use? That creates pressure, subtle but genuine, for music to recede: to embrace the element of vacancy that makes a good soundtrack so unobtrusive, to edit a lyric to be less specific or private, to leave blanks for the image or message the music now serves. Perhaps the song will still make that essential, head-turning first impression, but it won’t be as memorable or independent.

Music always had accessory roles: a soundtrack, a jingle, a branding statement, a mating call. But for performers with a public profile, as opposed to composers for hire, the point was to draw attention to the music itself. Once they were noticed, stars could provide their own story arcs of career and music, and songs got a chance to create their own spheres, as sanctuary or spook house or utopia. If enough people cared about the song, payoffs would come from record sales (to performer and songwriter) and radio play (to the songwriter).

When Moby licensed every song on his 1999 album, “Play,” for ads and soundtracks, the move was both startling and cheesy, but it did lead to CD sales; an album that set staticky samples of blues and gospel to dance-floor beats managed to become a million seller. Nearly a decade later, platinum albums are much scarcer.

For all but the biggest names — like AC/DC, which made Wal-Mart the exclusive vendor for CDs of its long-awaited “Black Ice” album, got its own “store within a store” and sold more than a million copies in two weeks — a marketing deal is more likely to be its own reward rather than spawn a career. With telling ambivalence, Brooklyn Vegan, the widely read, indie-loving music blog, recently started a column, “This Week in Music Licensing: It’s Not Selling Out Anymore,” but soon dropped the “selling out” half of the title. There’s no longer a clear dividing line for selling out, if there ever was.

And as music becomes a means to an end — pushing a separate product, whether it’s a concert ticket or a clothing line, a movie scene or a Web ad — a tectonic shift is under way. Record sales channeled the taste of the broad, volatile public into a performer’s paycheck. As music sales dwindle, licensers become a far more influential target audience. Unlike nonprofessional music fans who might immerse themselves in a song or album they love, music licensers want a track that’s attractive but not too distracting — just a tease, not a revelation.

It’s almost enough to make someone miss those former villains of philistinism, the recording companies. Labels had an interest in music that would hold listeners on its own terms; selling it was their meal ticket. Labels, and to some extent radio stations and music television, also had a stake in nurturing stars who would keep fans returning to find out what happened next, allowing their catalogs to be perennially rediscovered. By contrast, licensers have no interest beyond the immediate effect of a certain song, and can save money by dealing with unknowns.

As the influence of major labels erodes, licensers are seizing their chance to be talent scouts. They can be good at it, song by song, turning up little gems like Chairlift’s “Bruises,” heard in an iPod ad. For a band, getting such a break, and being played repeatedly for television viewers, is a windfall, and perhaps an alternate route to radio play or the beginning of a new audience. But how soon will it be before musicians, perhaps unconsciously, start conceiving songs as potential television spots, or energy jolts during video games, or ringtones? Which came first, Madonna’s “Hung Up” or the cell phone ad?

Not wanting to appear too crass, musicians insist that exposure from licensing does build the kind of interest that used to pay off in sales and/or loyalty. Hearing a song on the radio or in a commercial has a psychological component; someone else has already endorsed it. Musicians who don’t expect immediate mass-market radio play — maybe they’re too old, maybe they’re too eccentric — have gotten their music on the air by selling it to advertisers. That can rev up careers, as Apple ads have done for Feist and for this year’s big beneficiary, Yael Naim, whose “New Soul” introduced the MacBook Air. (Sites like findthatsong.net help listeners identify commercial soundtracks.)

The Sri Lankan art-pop-rapper M.I.A. already had all the hipster adoration she could ever want for her song “Paper Planes,” which compares international drug dealing to selling records, and it turns gunshots and a ringing cash register into hooks. But having the song used in the trailer for “Pineapple Express” was probably what propelled the song to a Grammy nomination for record of the year.

(Grammy voters often seize on music from everywhere but the albums they purport to judge; they seem particularly drawn to film soundtracks.) And if the song now conjures images of the movie trailer for many listeners, that’s the tradeoff for recognition.

The old, often legitimate accusation against labels was that they sold entire albums with only one good song or two. Now there’s an incentive for a song to have only 30 seconds of good stuff. It’s already happening: Chris Brown’s hit “Forever” is wrapped around a jingle for chewing gum.

Apparently there’s no going back, structurally, to paying musicians to record music for its own sake. Labels that used to make profits primarily from selling albums have been struggling since the Internet caused them to lose their chokehold on distribution and exposure. Now, in return for investing in recording and promotion, and for supplying their career-building expertise (such as it was), they want a piece of musicians’ whole careers.

Old-fashioned audio recording contracts are increasingly being replaced by so-called 360 deals that also tithe live shows, merchandising, licensing and every other conceivable revenue stream — conceding, in a way, that the labels’ old central role of selling discs for mere listening is obsolescent. Some musicians, like the former record company president Jay-Z, have concurred, but by signing 360 deals not with labels but with the concert-promotion monolith Live Nation.

Maybe such dire thoughts are extreme, since some people are still buying music. The iTunes Music Store has sold more than five billion songs since 2003. But it’s harder and harder to find a song without a tie-in.

As for Guitar Hero,

It took Guns N’ Roses 15 years between albums to complete “Chinese Democracy,” certainly long enough to receive worldwide notice when the album was released this year. But instead of letting the album arrive as an event in itself, the band licensed one of the album’s best songs, “Shackler’s Revenge,” to a video game that came out first. Metallica fans have complained that the band’s new album, “Death Magnetic,” sounds better in the version made for the “Guitar Hero” video game than on the consumer CD, which is compressed to the point of distortion so it will sound louder on the radio. But they take for granted that the music will end up in the game in the first place. Consumers reinforce the licensers almost perversely: they pay for music as a ringtone, or tap along with it on the iPhone game Tap Tap Revenge, but not as a high-fidelity song.

Great, there goes that crappy mp3 embracement ideology. People should be spanked HARD for allowing it.

Perhaps it’s too 20th century to hope that music could stay exempt from multitasking, or that the constant insinuation of marketing into every moment of consciousness would stop when a song begins. But for the moment I’d suggest individual resistance. Put on a song with no commercial attachments. Turn it up. Close your eyes. And listen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/arts/mus...nted=1&_r=1

2u5dhkw.jpg

*full article included because the link didn't work.

Being one of this "new" generation, I couldn't have said it better myself new music just sucks.

Edited by pinky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure the sound quality of that stuff isnt that great, but you can't fit 2000 records or cds into your pocket, either.

I use my ipod as a travelling record collection. I don't listen to it at home, aside from rare occasions.

Music isn't headed to shit. The great bands are always gonna look forward to creating a complete album, as pushing singles isn't something new. That is the music industry. When the Beatles and Stones were comin up they were releasing singles as soon as they were completed.

:yesnod: :yesnod: :yesnod:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure the sound quality of that stuff isnt that great, but you can't fit 2000 records or cds into your pocket, either.

I use my ipod as a travelling record collection. I don't listen to it at home, aside from rare occasions.

Music isn't headed to shit. The great bands are always gonna look forward to creating a complete album, as pushing singles isn't something new. That is the music industry. When the Beatles and Stones were comin up they were releasing singles as soon as they were completed.

I have to agree about the singles. When I first heard the Beatles, Stones, Who, Hendrix, Cream, and many many other's, I wanted to hear more. If it's good music, then I think people still want to do that.

Note : I would have included Zeppelin in the above list but my first listen was the whole first album. I'm sure though, if Good Times Bad Times had come out as a single first, I still would have wanted to hear more of where it came from

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope for the sake of the people who care, that music will still be easily available in full quality on a hard copy that someone can listen to on a grand music system and not compromise the listening experience by only having inferior sound production available.

Someone said so long as they can get through the chaf and find the gems they'll be ok. Well what about when the gems are gone are so very rare you can't just find them so easily.

This isn't about the quality of the music itself, but the quality of the presentation.

Who the hell wants nothing but mp3's or video games to get their music from? I don't want the niche audience who want ONLY the best sounding media to be foresaken. And that's what will happen if the mulititudes continue to buy into the new marketing scheme. It's already happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you have to take into account the expense of CDs/DVDs/SACDs. 15 dollars a CD is a lot, personally, I'll buy some on CD and download a lot more that I am taking a huge risk on listening to.

As for high end audio equipment, who can afford to spend 5,000 dollars on a pair of speakers just so they can listen to the closest possible sound that came out of the studio? I'd rather spend the money on concert tickets, or my own musical instruments.

I'll be happy, personally, if there's a minimum of information retained in my music (Say 320 + plus Kbps) and if the dynamics are retained through proper mastering techniques.

Digital music has allowed me access to some insane recordings that I never would have found in any store within 1000 miles.

For the people who DO own hi-fi audio equipment, I don't see good high quality sources going anywhere.

Edited by Jarlaxle 56

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, you have to take into account the expense of CDs/DVDs/SACDs. 15 dollars a CD is a lot, personally, I'll buy some on CD and download a lot more that I am taking a huge risk on listening to.

As for high end audio equipment, who can afford to spend 5,000 dollars on a pair of speakers just so they can listen to the closest possible sound that came out of the studio? I'd rather spend the money on concert tickets, or my own musical instruments.

I'll be happy, personally, if there's a minimum of information retained in my music (Say 320 + plus Kbps) and if the dynamics are retained through proper mastering techniques.

Digital music has allowed me access to some insane recordings that I never would have found in any store within 1000 miles.

True they aren't cheap but I'm still of the mindset I want the hard copy with artwork, liner notes etc. But as you said, digital music has opened up access to music you might not otherwise get in a store. I've mixed feelings on the whole digital music issue. I see pros and cons to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even for those who buy music, cd's etc., it's cheaper than it's ever been !

Many cd's are 60 minutes or more and for anywhere from $10-$15 is a bargain ! You have no idea. Single records were 4, 5, 6, on up to 8 or 9 dollars 30 years ago and they only held about 40 minutes of music. Take inflation into that and today's prices are so much CHEAPER. I just have NO PITY on those who think it's expensive. You've just gotten so used to downloading for free as that article stated, you must feel your entitled.

And it's really sad you'd settle for compression. It's the masses that have that view that will diminish sound quality as a standard for the FIRST TIME in history. Quality in the presentation has always improved till mp3 came along as the standard bearer.

We are DUMBING DOWN in how we listen or should I say, HEAR music. People on music message boards are the minority, so there'll be more here that care about music than the general population. The general population cares EVEN LESS about quality of sound and they're the ones who propel the business. They aren't even acquring much music, hence the decline in music stores and sales.

Sad. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get me wrong, I want to eventually own everything on CD or higher quality, since I have a decent stereo and good headphones. But I don't have the ability to right now, the only music stores are about 20-30 minutes away, and I have no credit card to order stuff from the band's websites. Plus, my money is going towards other things, thus I can't afford to spend much on music. My compromise lately is buying used CDs.

There isn't a massive difference in sound quality from digital files, you still get all the musical ideas and they still sound good.

Edited by Jarlaxle 56

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm.. believe it or not, coming from a young person, most young people today do, in fact, listen to the music on its own. I don't know where you got the idea that we only listen to music through video games...

Although the part about MP3s is true. I myself, only buy CDs - the hard copy. If I can't find the CD in the store, I don't download it, I order it. Although, I'm one of the very few who do that. There are so many kids who illegally download their music, and speak openly about it. It's disgraceful.

To be honest, I think it would have been much better for the music industry, and for music itself, if we never made the change from vinyl to compact disk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm.. believe it or not, coming from a young person, most young people today do, in fact, listen to the music on its own. I don't know where you got the idea that we only listen to music through video games...

Although the part about MP3s is true. I myself, only buy CDs - the hard copy. If I can't find the CD in the store, I don't download it, I order it. Although, I'm one of the very few who do that. There are so many kids who illegally download their music, and speak openly about it. It's disgraceful.

To be honest, I think it would have been much better for the music industry, and for music itself, if we never made the change from vinyl to compact disk.

You're a rare one in your appreciation for vinyl. I certainly know of kids who enjoy it, but it's the vast minority. About the video games...in my experience of being around youth, mainly kids of friends at their house, I notice this. I rarely see them listening to music for just the sake, it's nearly always coming from their PS2 or Xbox while playing their video games. That's where I get my idea. Plus the statistics bear that out, video games have become the biggest sellers in home entertanment whereas in the past it's been records, cassettes, eight-tracks and cd's. There are many citings to validate this. I'm glad your experience is "old school", but I truly believe it's a fading practice. Then again, you're in Australia, maybe it's different there than in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's just me but I think this past year has been a really good year for classic rock bands and classic rock listeners alike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would never purchase a mp3 and I only purchase CD's if vinyl isn't avalible. Luckily for me, almost every new artist I listen to also release their stuff on vinyl, which is great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a study done within the last year or so that determined those that download the most music (both legally and illegally) also purchase the most music. Those are your true, diehard music fans. It's also been shown that in order to reach a larger audience, video games are often the way to go whether it be through Guitar Hero or an XBox game. That's why you also see so many artists allowing their songs to be used in television commercials. It's also the reason behind everyone from Springsteen to G n' R going with Walmart and Best Buy to promote their records through "exclusives". As everyone here is well aware the music industry just isn't what it used to be so that's why we're seeing artists use any means necessary to get their music heard.

I agree that CDs are fairly reasonably priced but on the other hand they're the one medium that hasn't come down in price very significantly since their introduction. When CDs first came out the list price was somewhere around $17.98 which it still is today. That's not to say you won't ever find CDs on sale or older titles for less but the list price is still the same. Meanwhile we've seen DVDs go down as low as $5 for titles that are only a year or two old.

I love vinyl too and kept buying it until it was no longer available back in the 80s. In my lifetime I've seen formats go from vinyl and reel-to-reel to 8-tracks to cassettes to DAT, compact discs, minidiscs, etc. to digital downloads. In some (if not all) cases, I feel these changes were forced on us by the industry. The same thing is happening now with MP3s but only because consumers that don't know any better are driving the market. The more they are educated about the inferior sound quality of compressed formats like MP3 the better off we'll all be but unfortunately it's hard to get them to listen. Everyone from T-Bone Burnett to Lou Reed and Neil Young have tried addressing the industry at large about the dangers MP3s pose to those of us that know the difference but consumers don't seem to be listening.

Back to vinyl for just a sec, it's funny how it is now more expensive than CDs. A new, high quality vinyl record can cost as much as 30 bucks. Thankfully there's enough interest in that format for record companies to still manufacture them. I agree, they should have never stopping making vinyl records to start with but sadly, we, the music fans, aren't the ones calling the shots.

Edited by Jahfin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Excellent and right on the money Jahfin ^

It's ignorance AND indifference about the mp3's that are being embraced by the masses.

Also, back in the 1970s, album prices were rising (up from ~ $3.99-$8.99 in my heyday of collecting, more than doubling). They didn't come down as purchasers of cd's expected those discs would come down. There are however many deals to get on new cd's and I've rarely paid full retail, generally no more than $12.99 and often, when first released $9.99 for new titles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hate CD's. Preferred cassettes and 8 track. I have several new cds. In Through the Outdoor plays fine in my car. All the others wont fucking work except when they want to.

You could always put your music on flash drives and get a player for your car that has a USB input. Get and 8gb drive and that would be about the equivalent of 10-12 regulars cd's of uncompressed WAV files. The drive is smaller than your thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×