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Record label execs have taken a page out of the movie/TV book (explained in detail here) and the practice of windowing has been widely accepted by consumers: Few people complain about the difference between a $10 movie-theater ticket (upon release) and $4 VOD rental (at home, six months later).

Harvesting consumer willingness to pay is a great way for the labels to boost revenue and profitability without shrinking the market. This release strategy works particularly well in the context of music subscription services. I expect record labels to increasingly play off the various providers (Spotify, Apple, Google, etc) against each other, and possibly even use their market clout to force a higher-paying tier (say, $20/month) for subscription plans without any holdouts. It’s worth every bit for the avid music buyer; s/he was spending more than $120 a year on CDs and digital downloads, anyway.

Finally, music subscription services lend themselves much better to monetizing the back catalog. Today, I listen to my old albums on Spotify. Essentially, I am paying again for the same music I already purchased years ago, because many streaming pennies do make up for real dollars. As absurd as it may sound, this is akin to people replacing their vinyl collection with CDs in the ’90s.

In addition, streaming services are also much better at (re)monetizing the back catalog of songs and albums that people would otherwise never have bought (yes, even if only penny by penny again). This revenue is pure profit, since the direct costs are nonexistent: No A&R, virtually no distribution, and no marketing expense.

Via Re/Code

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, led by Ph.D. student David Greenberg, may have come up with a way to determine how people think based on their musical preferences, using studies of over 4,000 participants, according to a statement from the university.

The psychologists who oversaw the study published a paper of their findings on Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.

The study sought out music fans through a Facebook personality test app called myPersonality. They gave each participant a questionnaire that measured certain personality traits using an assessment called the Revised NEO Personality Inventory that looks at personalities along with five traits including neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness, according to the study.

Then sometime later, the participants received a second survey about their musical preferences. Each participant rated 15-second song excerpts from 50 different songs that represented 26 different genres and subgenres of music, according to the study.

Researchers compared the results from both studies to determine if they exhibited any patterns across the participant pool. The study says that those with a more empathetic nature enjoy genres of music that are more mellow, such as R&B and soft rock, “unpretentious” such as country and folk, and contemporary such as acid jazz and Euro pop. Those with a more “systematic” way of thinking who focus more on structure and rules in their thought patterns enjoy music that’s more intense.

Via CNET

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“A friend of mine once said, ‘It’s my mouth, I’ll haul coal in it if I want to,’ ” Nelson says. “I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool. I’ll use that.’ I don’t think anybody should tell me or you or anybody what to do. I think the Bible says it’s not what goes into your mouth that counts; it’s what comes out.” – Willie Nelson

Did The Who influence your songwriting? What resonated with you?

You can’t beat that run of ’60s singles. Pete Townshend’s musical, compositional style is particularly unique. Very harmonic. I can understand why Pete liked the Beach Boys so much. Something like Pictures Of Lily is so impressive. An amazing piece of music. It’s a beat group, comes out of the traps really explosively but with these super harmonic verses, which he manages to squeeze so many chords into. And does so on a Rickenbacker 12-string. That takes some doing! Then it jumps to a key change. All the while you have this dreamy vocal melody against this explosive beat group approach. Then he comes at it again with all these chords and changes, the guitars getting louder, the drums riffing like crazy. Then – bang! – you get this proto-punk riff – danga da dang dang! – with a key change. So you’re only a minute in and he’s already written more ideas than most people put in four singles, and that’s before you get to the French horn solo!

There’s ambition in all Townshend’s songs, and not just the obviously ‘big’ ideas like the operas…

It’s so ironic that he started out with a song called I Can’t Explain, because he’s the best person in rock at explaining anything!

Via MOJO Magazine

YouTube is bigger than cable TV. Well, to be more precise, it’s bigger than any single U.S. cable network among the key demographic that includes those ages 18 to 49 – or so said Google during yesterday’s earnings call. The video-sharing network’s heavily engaged user base and its traction with mobile consumers were among the highlights discussed during the company’s better-than-expected second-quarter financial results, which sent Google’s stock spiking.

Google’s Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani noted that visitors to YouTube’s homepage are up over three times year-over-year, and once there, they’re spending more time watching videos on the site than ever before. Growth in “watch time” on YouTube is now up 60 percent year-over-year, the company said – which is the fastest growth rate it has seen in two years. Meanwhile, mobile watch time has more than doubled from a year ago.

On mobile, YouTube is now seeing average session times of over 40 minutes, said Kordestani, which is up more than 50 percent over last year.

Via TechCrunch

People with celiac disease may soon be able to enjoy bread, pasta and other gluten products without suffering headaches, digestion problems and severe intestinal damage.

While not a cure, a pill developed at the University of Alberta may allow those people to join friends for a beer and pizza.

At least that’s the reason Hoon Sunwoo, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, gives for spending the last 10 years of his life to the pill.

“My friend is celiac. We haven’t had any entertaining with beers. So, that’s why I develop this pill — for my friend.”

Sunwoo’s pill uses egg yolk antibodies to coat the gluten and allow it to pass from the body without doing any damage.

Via CBC

Webcast Metrics has released its monthly digital audio Top 20 Ranker for March 2015. The Ranker is a listing of the top-performing digital audio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform.

Webcast Metrics uses a proprietary platform to track audience data and convert it to audience metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers. Audience rankings are done on the basis of “Average Active Sessions”, with “Session Starts” and “Average Time Spent Listening” also displayed. Average Active Sessions (AAS) is defined as “Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by hours in the reported time period.” TLH is defined as the total number of hours that the station/publisher has streamed during sessions with duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period. Session Starts (SS) is defined as “the number of different requests for streams (i.e., stream requests) with a duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period.” Average Time Spent Listening (ATSL) is defined as “the average number of hours for each session with a duration of at least one minute in total within the reported time period. Calculated as total time spent listening divided by active sessions.”

Rankers are divided into “Domestic” and “All Streams.” The “Domestic” Ranker quantifies listening done inside the U.S. based on log-based information provided by the station, this report is not MRC accredited. The “All Streams” Ranker merely verifies the quantity of streams without qualifying where they are being consumed, and is MRC accredited.

 

Via Triton Digital

Have you encountered the ageism that’s doled out to a lot of older female musicians?

When an actress is over 60, the public will accept that she’s a grand dame. But when you’re still singing and writing songs, there isn’t a role in the music business where you play the grandma. We don’t go to see Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen to see a granddad singing granddad songs or to revisit only his past. Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, the Chili Peppers – they aren’t far from me in age, but these guys are still putting out work that’s considered relevant, but there’s an attitude that the women have had their day, so they should give room to the younger ones. But that doesn’t apply to men. It was Tash, my daughter, who came to me and said: “Mom, you go out there and play alone and you kick ass. But some of those [younger female artists] are stealing your moves and it matters to me. You go and remind the children, because they think these twentysomething girls came up with this crap.” And she said: “Go out there!”

There seems to be a vilification of older women – Madonna took a lot of flak when she fell at the Brits.

Let me ask you: was there a lot of meanness about her?

There were a lot of unpleasant comments on Twitter.

Madonna is an entertainer. There are very few people who could’ve gotten up off that floor. It wasn’t because of her that she fell, but it was because of her that the performance carried on. Some of the vilification comes from women as much as men. She’s making choices and she’s able to do things physically that a lot of people 25 years younger can’t; she got up and refused to allow that to shame her. I think people want her to be shamed into a role that they find acceptable for her age. It makes me sad that we can’t embrace Madonna and say, Wow, this is an artist who’s expressing herself in a certain way.

Via The Guardian

“It’s 2015, so our attention span is so short. Most of us kids got A.D.D. these days. You get on the Internet and so-and-so dropped a new video, and then next week it doesn’t matter, because so-and-so has another video. That’s the world we live in right now… So you gotta adapt to it, make some visuals, go out there, make some creative s***.”
– A$AP ROCKY