Friday, October 24, 2014

Why have the biggest artist managers teamed up?



On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss KUVO, a device nightclubs in the US can use to share date with performance rights societies. Adam and Eddie discuss the announcement that not one artist album has reached platinum sales status as well as other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.



On the web: http://freedomradiohour.com
Live Link Fridays 6pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/
Watch the show at: http://youtube.com/freedomradiohour

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.

MORE ABOUT GUY OSEARY'S PLANS:
Written by Andrew Hampp

ACHIEVEMENTS
Oseary started as an independent A&R rep in 1989, at age 17, managing hip-hop performers Hen-Gee and Evil-E, and soon became one of the first employees of Madonna’s Maverick record label in 1992, where he eventually rose to partner (alongside the singer’s former manager Freddy DeMann). His first major signing was Candlebox in early 1994, at the age of 21, followed by Alanis Morissette -- whose Jagged Little Pill ranks as one of the biggest-selling albums of the 1990s, with U.S. sales of more than 16 million, according to SoundScan. The name Maverick “has been part of so much of my life, and it really says it all,” says Oseary. “It didn’t come from some executive somewhere. It came from a manager and an artist.” More than 20 years later, Oseary is still working with Madonna, whose MDNA Tour was the biggest of 2012 (at $305.1 million, according to Billboard Boxscore) and ranks among the top 10 highest-grossing of all time. And last November, he merged with Paul McGuinness’ Principle Management to add U2, whose Songs of Innocence just racked up 26 million free downloads on Apple’s iTunes. Oseary has already asked his new Maverick colleague Gee Roberson for input on Madonna’s 13th studio album, due in 2015. “What’s clear is that this group has huge reach together, and a shared vision. The idea here is for everyone to be better at what they do and for artists to have more opportunities,” says Oseary.

NEW CONNECTIONS
“Bono has always had a vision for a collective of artists who support each other, and I’ve always liked that idea and have been proactive about starting it. With Michael Rapino’s support I began engaging with managers at Artist Nation. Ron Laffitte is one of those managers and he asked me if I still had the name Maverick, and that he’d love to work with me under that brand. It all came together organically.”

WHAT MAVERICK ISN'T
“It’s not a rollup. I consider it a collective under one brand, with the goal of helping the clients reach their potential.”

MAJOR CHALLENGE
“There are a lot of people who operate with an outdated mentality, where even though they’re fully aware that a certain business is dying and in need of innovation, they’re scared of new possibilities. The industry is full of people with a lot of power who don’t engage well with innovation. And I wish they had a support group who could be at the other end of the phone when they’re confused.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES
“No. 1 albums are selling less than 100,000 units a week. That’s not just a change; that’s a wake-up call. If you’re a manager out there that isn’t aware and getting involved in new ways to do things, you’ll be left out. You have to pay attention. There are all sorts of new ways to reach an audience.”

KEY LESSON
“I don’t know what failure is ... it’s the opportunity to get it right the next time. In tech, some of the most successful companies started out by failing. But by pivoting they end up finding their way and are now very successful.”

MAKING THE TECH SCENE
Since 2010, ­Oseary has doubled as an influential tech investor with A-Grade Investments, a fund he started with Ashton Kutcher and billionaire Ron Burkle, and which was valued at $100 million in 2013. Today, an industry source says, that valuation has soared to $150 million. “Not dissimilar to music,” says Oseary, “supporting a startup can at times be like supporting an artist. They have to have a voice and a vision so you can back them. It’s your job, like in A&R at a record company, to identify the voice and to say, ‘That voice speaks to people. Let’s get it out there to as many people as possible.’ ”

GOING ALL-IN
”One day I walked into Ashton’s office and he said, ‘I was just sent this really cool company called Airbnb.’ I didn’t know if they had 10 people using it or thousands -- I just fell in love with the idea immediately. We flew out with Ron Burkle to meet with the guys in San Francisco and I pretty much offered to invest every dollar I had in the company. That was the only time I was willing to put everything into an idea. They didn’t take everything, but they took enough.”

IF I WASN'T A MUSIC MANAGER...
“I would be fully focused on tech. It’s everything I’m excited about: disruption, innovation, working with people who want to change the world. The world of startups has the same excitement as when I first started working for Maverick Records.”

MYSELF, IN FIVE WORDS (OR LESS)
“Curious, focused, father, Maverick.”

Click here to read more.

Friday, October 17, 2014

So what exactly IS music publishing?



On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss music publishing and its sources of income. Adam and Eddie also give an update on U2's free 'Song of Innocence' LP and other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.



On the web: http://freedomradiohour.com
Live Link Fridays 6pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.

Monday, October 13, 2014

'Buy an Album Once a Month,' says Art Blakey!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Music Industry Pushes for NY Tax Credits - good for music?



On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss the music industry push for New York tax credits like film industry's. Adam and Eddie also discuss social media etiquette and other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.



On the web: http://freedomradiohour.com
Live Link Fridays 6pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/
Watch the show at: http://youtube.com/freedomradiohour

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.

MORE FROM THIS ARTICLE:
Written by Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Can a tax subsidy revive New York’s music business?

A group of music industry figures, worried about the flight of music production and related jobs from New York to states like Texas and Tennessee, is encouraging the State Legislature to pass a bill to give $60 million in tax breaks each year to studios, record companies and others involved in the creation of music.

“The epicenter of the global music industry was New York, for as long as anyone can remember, and now that’s slipping away,” said Justin Kalifowitz, chief executive of Downtown Music Publishing and a co-founder of New York Is Music, a new coalition supporting the effort. “That’s something we have to stop.”

The plan was based on New York’s $420 million tax credit program for film and television production, which has been cited as an important factor in the growth of those projects in the state over the last decade. According to a 2012 study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America, in-state spending by film productions that have received the subsidy grew from $600 million in 2004, when the credit was introduced, to $1.5 billion in 2011.

“Because this is New York, we think everybody wants to stay here,” said Joseph R. Lentol, a longtime Democratic assemblyman from Brooklyn, who introduced a draft bill on the music credit to the Legislature in February. “But that’s not what’s happening.”

The bill would give New York businesses a 20 percent credit on expenses related to music production, and is intended to support primarily “below the line” jobs like studio engineers and graphic designers.

“Billy Joel is not going to get a tax credit, nor is Jay Z,” Mr. Lentol said. “It’s going to be the working stiff that gets the credit.”

The efficacy of tax credits for entertainment businesses has been debated, and some states lately have reduced them. Last year, a tax reform panel appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recommended that New York’s film credit — the largest in the nation — be reduced by $50 million because the credit “does not appear to pay for itself in its current form.”

Such subsidies are also often unpopular with economists.

“Industry-specific tax incentives are nonneutral, and cause all of the other types of firms — the ones that aren’t in a politically favorable industry — to foot the bill,” said Liz Malm, an economist at the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.

The struggles of New York’s music businesses over the last decade have mirrored the difficulties in the industry over all. A white-hot real estate market in New York City has added pressure, leading to the closing of numerous nightclubs as well as famous recording studios like the Hit Factory, which shut its doors in 2005.

Oliver Straus, who owns Mission Sound, a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said that an album that might cost $10,000 to make in New York would cost about $7,500 in Nashville and $4,500 elsewhere, leading many bands and record labels to cut their time in city studios short. Mission Sound’s business, Mr. Straus added, is down 15 percent over the last three years.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
“It’s becoming increasingly impossible to remain in New York and make a living,” he said.

At the same time, other states have courted musicians and music companies with tax subsidies and other benefits. Georgia, for example, offers music tax credits of up to 30 percent of costs, and Tennessee trumpets its low taxes and moderate cost of living. This year, New Jersey gave a $1.6 million tax incentive to Sony Music Entertainment, the record company, to move 50 jobs there from New York City.

The New York coalition, whose initial roster of about 75 members includes record companies, musicians and institutions like BMI, the Recording Academy and the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, will host a meeting in Brooklyn on Nov. 12 to discuss the bill and suggest changes, with another round table in Albany also planned for next month.

To make their case, the coalition’s leaders say, they need to compile data about music’s economic impact in New York, as Nashville, Toronto and other areas have already done. The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has begun a study of the industry in Brooklyn.

Mr. Kalifowitz and Mr. Lentol said they expected some opposition from fiscal conservatives. But they said they viewed the results of the state film and TV subsidy over the last decade as proof that a little help from the government can go a long way in supporting major creative industries that offer employment, generate revenue and raise the state’s profile.

“The hope over the long term,” Mr. Kalifowitz said, “is to build a diverse and viable music industry ecosystem across the state.”

Click here to read from this article's source.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Can the 'Windows of Exclusivity' Help the Music Industry?



On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss the founder of Shazam, Philip Inghelbrecht's article about 'Windowing,' a Movie/TV technique that he argues could work in music. Adam and Eddie discuss other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.



On the web: http://freedomradiohour.com
Live Link Fridays 6pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.

MORE ABOUT 'WINDOWING':
Written by Philip Inghelbrecht

Editor’s note: Philip Inghelbrecht is a co-founder of Shazam, investor in 8tracks, and a paying Spotify subscriber.

Of all industry roller coasters, the music industry must be the wildest.

The last 30 years reshaped the business in a way we never could have imagined. Music as a product changed dramatically (e.g. from LPs to MP3s) and the ups and downs in worldwide sales would make the most hardened theme park visitor queasy. Nonetheless, we have yet to experience the biggest switchback on this rollercoaster ride.

The clues for what’s around the next turn lie in a sister industry — movies.

Let’s start by taking a look at the music industry. According to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) revenue peaked at $38bn worldwide in 1999, collapsed down to $16 billion (2011), edged up somewhat the year after, only to fall back down again to $15 billion last year (2013). The transition from analogue to digital played an important role in all of this: it made music piracy easy for the casual music fan. Piracy is real and doesn’t need further explanation. The industry, however, makes it the scapegoat, conveniently forgetting some other (often self-inflicted) wounds.

For starters, the $38 billion peak was artificial, and not a reflection of “steady or ongoing” music purchases. In the run-up to 1999, a lot of people replaced their LPs with CDs, often buying the same album twice. What goes up (higher) must come down (faster/further). Secondly, packaging changed.

We used to buy albums, or a bundle of songs. That means that the casual fan typically ended up paying 3x to 4x more to get the few songs they really wanted. Today, we can buy tracks piecemeal, spending minimal dollars. And thirdly, record labels (still) get it wrong on pricing. Recording executives have the tendency to target diehard fans with steep prices; they misjudge the pricing elasticity of music (as David Pakman explained in a recent blog post).

It’s not inconceivable that Spotify would land 5x more paying subscribers if the price-point were $3/mo (currently set at $10/mo). A lower price point beats the inconvenience of piracy, makes it more appealing to casual fans, and potentially opens up developing countries.

I’m probably missing a few causes — and some that I mentioned could be argued. That’s not the point here. The fact is that the music industry has been suffering for 15 years, and remains fragile as it is today.

Meanwhile, the movie market blossomed from $80bn to $88bn in 2013 (source: PWC). The industry is projecting this figure to reach $100bn in the next few years to come, with growth across countries worldwide. What’s going on? Movies have gone (mostly) digital, too. And piracy is no less of an option through services like XBMC (Xbox Media Center), Popcorn Time and the plethora of Torrent services.

The key difference lies in what’s called “windowing”, i.e. the creation of exclusivities (for the exact same movie or TV show) around format, time, geography, etc., with each sold to the highest paying customer.

For example, when a movie is first released, it’s typically only available in theaters. Avid movie buffs will pay $10-$15, just to see it once. After that it becomes available on DVD (again $10, this time to own and view multiple times), then Video-On-Demand (think $4 to view over 48-hours), then pay-TV (e.g. HBO at $10/mo, with limited scheduling) and streaming (e.g. Neftlix at $8/mo, easy scheduling), eventually ending up for free (e.g. TNT, assuming you forget about the ads). I skipped and rounded a few release windows here, but it gives you the gist.

The same piece of content is sold over and over again, each time maximizing the end-user’s willingness to pay. Windows of exclusivity can last for decades and be cut across anything that allows for differentiation: format, geography, quality, etc.

Movie and TV content owners are masters at this game. In many ways, it’s a superior form of packaging and pricing, the very two things the music industry fumbled on.

But this is about to change, because on-demand music subscription services (such as Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, etc.) will unlock the opportunity for windowing in music.

Today, when a music track or album is released, it’s pretty much available anywhere, at the same time. There have been the occasional exceptions — for the longest time, Kid Rock would not sell on iTunes; instead he (smartly) sold bundled CDs only. In general, however, record labels fail to charge a little (or a lot) more for the artists that fans really care about.

Windowing is where they will start taking a page out of the movie/TV book. Windowing in music has become easy through the inherent streaming nature of subscription services. This means that on-demand services can buy (temporary) exclusive access to a certain artists, tracks or albums.

For example, Beyonce’s next album might be available on Spotify exclusively for the first month (Spotify would pay millions of dollars for this exclusivity). The same first-month exclusivity right can be further sliced and diced by market (for instance, Spotify in the US, Rdio in Europe and Google Play everywhere else), by format (if Deezer has the worldwide exclusive on uncompressed tracks), and so on. As content gets “older,” it becomes more widely available, possibly at a lower cost or completely free.

Continuing with the same example, after the first month, Beyonce’s album could be streamed pretty much anywhere for paying subscribers (only); free on-demand users, however, may have to wait another year or so before they get to stream it, too.

In a world where music is distributed through release windows, casual music fans will find all the music they want in a single on-demand service. They are happy to wait until the music becomes available. Avid music fans, however, may find themselves paying for two (or more) on-demand providers.

For example, while Beyonce might be available on Spotify, Jay-Z could only available on Beats. They have no choice but to pay for Spotify and Beats in order to get immediate access to both.

Ironically enough, windowing in music also plays in the hands of the subscription services, especially as it comes to acquiring customers. For one, they can’t compete on price because labels won’t let them (if you ever want to read a hysterical, albeit exaggerated, story on this, then read this blog post by Michael Robertson). Second, competing around (unique) technical features is pretty short-lived; they are either insufficiently differentiating to the consumer and/or get copied in your competitor’s next release.

Exclusive access to music, however, is the most compelling consumer argument to onboarding a new subscriber. Beats (or Apple) is rumored to have paid a whopping $100 million to be the exclusive first-month distributor of U2’s new Songs of Innocence. It’s Apple’s marketing cost for drumming up more Beats subscribers (or stealing them away from Spotify). Jimmy Iovine, a top recording executive who recently joined the Apple ranks, taught them well.

So windowing seems to be the answer to many. Paying for multiple streaming services at the same time is no more absurd than people paying for both Netflix and HBO (and a few VODs every month, on top of that). It re-establishes something that the Silicon Valley has always found hard to acknowledge: content is king.

That’s great news for the recording industry, potentially good news for the streaming services (i.e. multiple can survive and thrive at the same time), but questionable for the avid music fan. Their number one hobby is possibly getting a whole lot more expensive. However, since people are willing to part from $100+ to attend a concert, it’s probably the least of all issues.

The user experience, however, is more problematic. I simply can’t see myself switching around multiple apps and services to access my entire catalogue or music library. In the same way that Sonos let’s me “mix” multiple music services in a unified playlist, I expect new companies to address this particular issue. Bop.fm is one of those seemingly on the right track.

The only unknown in this for me are the artists themselves. Under the system of windowing, it’s most likely that only the bigger bands will get to partake, and even then, it’s not clear if record labels will share the surplus dollars. Let’s hope for the people who create all these beautiful sounds it’s less gloom and more bloom or boom.

Click here to read Philip Inghelbrecht's article.

Friday, September 26, 2014

FreedomRadioHour.com - S01EP03 - iTunes Song Downloads Will Drop 39% In Five Years #musicbusiness #news


On this episode of the Freedom Radio Hour, co-hosts Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas discuss the recent reports that indicate that iTunes song downloads will drop 39% in five years. Adam and Eddie discuss other music business news and trends, live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.

Live Link Fridays 6pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/freedomradiohour

ABOUT THE FREEDOM RADIO HOUR:
The Freedom Radio Hour is a weekly DJ mix and talk radio program hosted by DJ Adam Cruz and Eddie Nicholas. The show features a fresh DJ mix and a 15-minute informative talk segment, covering music business news and trends from around the globe.

Listen to the show at: http://freedomradiohour.com/

As a DJ, Adam spins an energetic blend of Jazz, Funk, Latin, and soulful Dance music. As a virtuoso, Eddie brings a fantastic spin to the program, based on his experiences as a recording artist, performer and host. When they're not hard at work promoting their partners or their projects, Adam and Eddie continue to build a solid base of loyal listeners, broadcasting their weekly "Freedom Radio Hour" shows live on Capital Radio 91.6FM The Heartbeat of Sudan.

Click here to read the accompanying article.