Thursday, September 27, 2007

Interesting Article About Album Art

According to Warner Music Group (WMG) senior VP of strategy and product development George White, “…the music industry needs to agree upon technological and operational standards for how to provide this material across multiple services. It's not fair to expect iTunes or others to create different album art features and technology for each label.”



Monday, September 24, 2007

Kids & Teens Online:

Virtual Worlds Open New Universe


“For marketers trying to figure out how to reach kids and teens on social networking sites, there is a new game in town: virtual worlds.

eMarketer estimates that 24% of the 34.3 million child and teen Internet users in the US will use virtual worlds on at least a monthly basis in 2007.

By 2011, 53% of them will be going virtual.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Future of Music Coalition 2007 - PHOTOS

I just posted 25 personal photos to my flicker account HERE of the Pho dinner and the 7th Annual Future of Music Coalition's Policy Summit. A heartfelt "thank you" and another Congratulations go out again to all the Coalition members and sponsors for another extraordinary event. All of the hard work and preparation definitely shows...[And as Brian Z. mentioned, "it's not just the panels that makes it such a great gathering - it's the people you meet!"]  Similar to other worthy events, I also plan to summarize my notes of the best links, new catch-phrases and innovative concepts discussed, so if any of you are interested in receiving a copy, just ping me...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Future of Music Coalition - POLICY SUMMIT 2007

I'm currently on location at the Future of Music Coalition's 7th annual Policy Summit in Washington D.C.
IMHO, it's one of the best conferences in the country with some of the best minds in the industry simply "telling it like it is", but at the same time, it provides multiple opportunities to mingle with entrepreneurs from exciting new startups and make new friends. I will be uploading photos of the event to my flicker account HERE whenever I can find the time...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Get Your September Issue of Harry Fox Soundcheck

FYI - The September issue of the HFA Soundcheck is now available at:  It contains recent information about NMPA's Settlement of the Bertelsmann Class Action Suit and LyricFind licensing updates, etc…

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quote for the Day...

From Radio Business Report:

…Speaking at a conference in the Netherlands, Consumer Electronics Association honcho Gary Shapiro said, "Broadcasters no longer enjoy a monopoly on content delivery. Ears and eyes once devoted exclusively to broadcasters are now being drawn in by new forms of content and new methods of delivery." But those able to anticipate where consumers are headed will do just fine, he said. Shapiro was speaking at the IBC2007 Conference, said to be Europe's largest annual gathering of broadcasters. "The winners over the next 40 years will be those who have the clearest vision," said Shapiro. "They are able to identify potentially disruptive new channels, recognize consumer trends and yet, go out to meet the challenge."  So broadcasters must have vision and must create "new services" for consumers, leveraging our universal presence in listeners' lives and extending radio beyond its traditional definition into a brand new one…

Shapiro's advice is the advice of all competitive strategists: To leverage our inherent advantage, not be limited to it.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Using Watermarking To Track Royalties (instead of statistical sampling)

Great article about watermarked pre-release CD’s...

Reading through it though, just made me want to challenge the industry even more on how to use watermarking to its fullest socio-economic potential - not for tracking individual uploaders of pre-released content - BUT FOR PAYING ROYALTIES ON ACTUAL USE!

Why can't we all collectively push for this non-intrusive technology to be put into all future media creation software as a plugin - that can then semi-permanently attach the original songwriters/musicians to their respective art ( i.e. a digital release signature) ? In the U.S., the The Register of Copyrights (or a similar type of official organization) could be designated to be the master database directory where this information gets stored and modified. Think of it as an additional requirement to filling out your SR and PA forms.....And eventually as the movement takes hold, this organization could fall ultimately under the UN's authority or a global PRO.

But for now, the same way that music subscription services (and internet radio broadcasters) are tracking playcounts based on metadata and server logs, this new form of major and indie "marked music" could automatically ping the PRO's [including SX] when it's played back on any internet connected device...

The desired result moving forward then, would be more accurate royalty payments for all of us long tailers :-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Follow The Money!


Clearly, the Entertainment Industry pays a lot to play in the D.C. game……Listed below are some revealing lobbying totals for selected companies as compiled by the Center for Responsive
(CRP) for the reporting period Jan.1 through Aug. 14.



ASCAP ($431,250)

Belo Corp. ($315,000)

BMI ($620,000)

Clear Channel ($1.2 million)

Comcast ($3.9 million)

Cox ($2 million)
Walt Disney Co. ($2.2 million);

EchoStar ($350,000)

EMI ($190,000)
MPAA ($900,000)

National Association of Broadcasters ($4.28 million)
NBC Universal ($160,000, but General Electric's total is $11.9 million)
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. ($2.1 million);

News Corp. ($1 million);

RIAA ($658,747);

Sirius ($230,000);

Sony/BMG entertainment divisions ($925,000)

Time Warner entertainment divisions ($1.9 million)

Viacom ($775,000)

Univision ($160,000)

UMG ($350,000)

XM ($215,000)

Warner Music Group ($197,500)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Why Not Use Watermarking To FAIRLY Tag & Track Music?

Maybe many of you have already thought about this type of a technological solution to the dilemma of smaller and indie artists never showing up in ASCAP's or BMI's periodic samples for music performance royalties - but wouldn't it be ironic if the growing anti-piracy trend to dynamically filter uploads to YouTube and MySpace (and the recent proliferation of audio watermarking efforts from companies like Activated Content which are quickly becoming the new and improved DRM) became instead - the new standard to accurately and fairly track public performances? Forget bar codes, ISRC codes and acoustic fingerprinting for a minute....


The global music industry could feasibly migrate from piracy to promotion to payments...


Think about it...if suing customers is not the real savior of the floundering music industry that the RIAA hoped it would be...then perhaps a technology that's mostly associated with crackdowns on music and movie pirates could instead be used to help longtail artists actually get paid when their music is played...Sounds crazy, right....? Well, maybe not......


DISCLAIMER: I acknowledge that it would be incredibly cost prohibitive and resource intensive to re-encode the world's library of previously recorded music with watermarks and add additional metadata to all the content closely guarded in the label's vaults, so for simplicity's sake, let's assume that I could wave a magic wand through legislation [or magic] and declare that all new music released from Jan. 1, 2008, ----in the U.S. to start--- would have a unique and inaudible identifier embedded into the actual audio file. It would then be up to the owner of each individual file produced and subsequently released into the market to put his/her tracking information into the file and register with an overseeing entity if he/she wants to get paid for actual usage. Tiered royalty rates could then be paid out for different use cases like streaming, legal and p2p downloading and even analog transmissions, etc....All this with a 1-to-1 ratio with NO SAMPLING.


Hobbyists and professional musicians that use software like Digidesign, Apple, Logic, Cakewalk etc. could all easily access this type of technology as a plug-in and then the traditional studios and mastering houses could also make this a standard part of their "service." Within a year or two, all new music released in the U.S. would easily be identifiable when it was used on the radio, television, cellular networks and the internet - and then ALL artists (big and small) could get paid proportionately. WOW, what a concept!!!!!


Then Congress and major organizations like NARAS, AES, CEA and all the PRO's would quickly endorse it, because it's the law and it's so easy and it makes's completely fair........ :-)


OK, that's my pontification for the day. Anybody want to help me build such a system?


Enjoy your 3 day weekend!!