Monday, August 20, 2007

this IS future of music

This seems to me to be the future of music. DRM-free, easy plug into other sites, very viral distribution, sharing revenues with fans, creating long term relationships between fans/artists, simultaneous releases across all platforms and territories. The revenue sharing piece is especially important to make sure that DRM-Free is profitable for artists. This is also worth a quick caveat, that caveat being that sales of actual tracks will no longer be the most profitable piece of an artist's body of work.

"As part of Universal's growing DRM-free experiment, Musicane has created a widget to coincide with the Interscope release of the Black Eyed Pea founder's solo single "I Got It from My Mama" on August 28th. The Musicane widget acts as a media player on websites, blogs and social networks selling both digital and physical product and can be added with a single line of code.

"Interscope In a somewhat revolutionary move from a major artist, is sharing the monies earned from Musicane product sales with fans that embed the store onto their blogs and social network profiles. Fans who pre-order the album will get a free download of the new single, as well as exclusive remixes. All of the downloads will be DRM-free mp3's.

"Universal will also be one of the first releases on The Universal Music Group roster to be simultaneously released digitally without DRM to all digital business partners worldwide within the same album cycle as its physical release."

Friday, August 10, 2007

bye bye drm. . .

what did i say? way back . . . and not just me, but everyone else. DRM is doomed. Universal is actually doing some real work on sorting out what the future will be, and doing so outside of iTunes, since real experimentation is impossible there. . .

Universal to Test Sale of DRM-Free Tracks Everywhere but iTunes
Submitted by Mark Hefflinger on August 10, 2007 - 10:59am.

New York - Universal Music Group announced on Friday that it plans to experiment with selling a portion of its catalog free of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions from a number of online retailers, including, RealNetworks' Rhapsody, Best Buy and Walmart -- with the notable exception of Apple's iTunes Store.

The songs will be available in 256K MP3 format for the same price as DRM-wrapped tunes -- 99 cents per song -- and be available from later this month through at least January.

Universal Music told the Los Angeles Times the test is being conducted partly to see how sales and piracy rates will be affected if songs are offered without DRM, adding that Apple was excluded so "iTunes could serve as a 'control group' to make sales comparisons easier."

Analysts said the exclusion of Apple by Universal was also aimed at curtailing Steve Jobs' growing influence on its business.

Universal will help drive traffic to the DRM-free downloads using Google ads that link directly to digital retailer gBox; the songs will also be offered from some artist and label websites.

The only other major label to experiment with DRM-free songs thus far has been EMI, which sells high-quality MP3s at a premium price of $1.29 each at iTunes and other retailers.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

the power of music, part 2

and now from my own country -

According to the band's web site, Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza webcast was censored by sponsor/webcaster AT&T:

When asked about the missing performance, AT&T informed Lollapalooza that portions of the show were in fact missing from the webcast, and that their content monitor had made a mistake in cutting them.

During the performance of "Daughter" the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" but were cut from the webcast:

  • "George Bush, leave this world alone." (the second time it was sung); and
  • "George Bush find yourself another home."
so who let anyone at at&t decide what was good for any of us to hear? and mind you - this is in a webcast!!, not just traditional TV broadcasting, where i'd assume to have everything censored.

the power of music

the title of the linked article says it all:

"Music is too subversive for the new South Africa, says apartheid hero"

the article continues:

"One of South Africa’s greatest musicians — a hero of the struggle against apartheid — believes that he is no longer welcome as a performer in his own country.

The virtuoso trumpeter Hugh Masekela claims that many of the talented musicians whose voices became symbols of protest against white domination are finding it hard to get bookings in South Africa because the ruling ANC is “terrified” of music as an agent of change."

and is worth reading the entire thing. hugh is a visionary, and continues to really be involved in social change as well as music. some of the guys i hung with in soweto who are doing hip-hop have told me about hugh meeting with them, passing them music, and giving them free rein to remix, sample, cut it up and more. i think hugh's comments are probably too true for much of the world. certainly us politicians don't love political music, and as you may have seen in our documentary "African Underground: Democracy in Dakar", the politicians in Senegal are actively involved in oppressing musicians that don't tow the line.