Topic: Where is it all going...??  (Read 11523 times)

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frankbriggs

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Where is it all going...??
« on: December 11, 2008, 10:34 PM »
Hey Everyone,
I would love to get some feedback from you regarding where you think the music business is heading and what the changes and new formats will look like.

I will explain in detail the areas that I am thinking about.

Many of you may know already that the biz has seen better days and it has become more and more challenging to make a decent living (at least for me). Don't get me wrong, I have had some great years and experiences and have been lucky to do some really creative projects... no regrets but, I am seriously considering other avenues. My life is a happy one with the exception of the constant hustle for work; ex.sessions, students, sale of product (DVD, CD, Books etc). and now there is piracy on a global level.

I in no way want to discourage anyone but, things are changing and if you have been reading and researching (I have had meetings with publishers, retail distributors, equipment distributors and manufacturers, music labels and distributors, managers, other musicians etc.). I am doing some home work. It seems the Music Business 2.0 is coming and no one is quite sure what it is going to look like. This is scary and exciting at the same time. I am interested in ideas and perspectives.

Things are down. Granted there is a recession but the music industry has seen better days. I have some friends that are doing well because the gigs they have haven't been affected too much but, most of us I think are feeling the transformation of the industry.

Here are some issues to ponder.

1) CD sales (including legal downloads)
are pretty dismal for most. One manager I talked with recently pointed out that in the prior week to our conversation the top 50 jazz artists on Billboard sold less than 20,000 units worldwide. Many people feel that music should be free and to a large number it seems that it actually is.

Even "I" have had to ask that my album be taken down from some blogging sites that were giving it away (full length, high quality, with art work and liner notes) and I am in no way a name anyone is going to know. I was careful because essentially this person is a misguided "fan" who thinks he was doing me a favor... maybe he was... your thoughts?

This group that I discovered were Jazz/Rock fans and are posting at least 50 albums a month. I know a couple of people (artists and labels) that had their work posted by these guys and were concerned and felt helpless.

SIDE NOTE; It is not "Sharing" it is "Copying"

-I can't see how music can survive without financial support,..any ideas?
How do we get people to pay for music? What do you think of subscriptions? DRM? New formats?
Is it over? Is music free now?

2) Educational Books/DVDs;
Bill Bay (president of Mel Bay publications) informed me that they are filing out copyright infringement papers and asking sites to take down books that have been scanned and made into pdfs....weekly. We had a meeting about what format we might be delivering future product in... obviously pdf has some draw backs as far as getting compensated properly..or at all. BTW Mel Bay Publications has cut production 75% (maybe not a bad thing...read on)

-when you put years into a project and it gets ripped off, it is discouraging to say the least.

What format would protect an author and publisher's work?

Could this be an area for subscriptions?


Publishers and authors need some hope that you can get compensated (as little as it usually is) to write and publish new books, DVDs etc.
Some of you know that Warner Bros Publications was put up for auction a couple of years ago. That doesn't usually happen to a company that is in the black. Personally I think way to many books have been published and I see some of this as a backlash from flooding the market. What do you think?

3) Magazines/News Papers; In trouble. Any ideas for a future model?
I think they will look like the Cafe here to some degree.

4) Radio/Television; again... in trouble also. Any ideas for a future model?

My 2 cents.....
I think most media will be online and available via subscriptions and that the Drummer Cafe is a look into the future. ...a magazine that is interactive with sprinkles of TV, instructional video, articles and a store (interactive classifieds) etc.
When I discovered this site I immediately went "yeah" and "wow"...bravo Bart.

All books will be "on demand" (if you want a printed copy) and available for download into a proprietary reader..(kindle or something)

The computer will be in the living room in place of the TV and all the content will be on demand. No more having to be home to watch "Dancing With The Stars" at 8:00 on thursday. Not only your TV shows and movies but all your music, newspapers, magazines and probably your phone (iChat, Skype) will be in one device...plus you can take it anywhere you go.

I also see live performance and bands coming back as that experience can't be downloaded, unfortunately it isn't happening yet. We really need healthy local scenes again imo. that is where it all starts.

In a nutshell.
1. How will we get our Music, News, Movies, Books etc in the future? and how do you think you will pay for it?


2. What should we do in the meantime?

>I know there is a lot here to digest but, after reading some of the posts here, I feel the Cafe is up for the challenge. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond..
Looking Forward

Peace
Frank







Offline Todd Norris

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 10:55 PM »
Wow Frank!  You're literally asking the multi-million dollar question.  Let me see if I can attempt to give my 2 cents on a few of these:

I don't think the physical CD/DVD is going to go away anytime soon.  I for one prefer to have a physical CD with liner notes etc.  Unless downloads bump up the quality AND include full liner notes/cover art, then CD's won't go away.  Same with DVD's. 

I am starting to see more of the "on demand" stuff happening on my cable provider.  But it will take time for the amount of content to increase enough to make it worthwhile. 

I can see some value in putting a track from an album for free somewhere, but definitely not the whole album - and especially without the artist's permission!  How to stop pirating?  We can make it more difficult, but it will always happen.  Some @$$hole will find a way. 

I think newspapers will go the way of the buggy whip.  I haven't touched a paper in years.  I get my news on the 'net.  However, I prefer a physical magazine to carry around and take to the "library" (toilet). 

Radio/TV:  I won't even go into how bad the content is for both radio and TV.  I scarcely watch TV because it's all crap to me.  Airwave radio is a joke.  I do Sirius.  THAT's the way to go.  As a side-thought about "on demand", even satellite radio isn't all that necessary with sites like Pandora.  But even then, as I type this, I have over 6000 songs set to random play on my computer...

In short, I still see the need for real movie theaters with the ginormous screen, killer sound system, and big buckets of popcorn.  I still see the need for real CDs and DVD's.  I still see the need for live music.  I wish I had some answers on how to make live music more commonplace and affordable.  I haven't seen a big name act in years.  Too darn expensive to sit a thousand rows back and not see anything.  I'll buy the DVD that I can watch over and over and be up close for third of the cost.  Sad.  I do try to see local bands, but with my crazy schedule, that rarely happens either.   ???

BTW:  Love China Ranch.  Great stuff!

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2008, 11:36 PM »
As above....
This is the 64,000 dollar question.
I've been looking into it, and reading, and researching for at least five years.
I think the short answer is no one really knows.
The next generation of consumers think a lot of content should be free (IMO), and they aren't that concerned about physically holding a CD or DVD.
I don't think it's the end of the world as we know it exactly, but I think things are changing in a big way.
The only partial solution I have is to diversify like crazy.
Keep drumming, teach, write music, get into film and tv, keep abreast of all new technologies and web innovations (MySpace, E-sessions, Drummercafe style forums etc).
My only comfort is that other creative people are struggling too, sometimes more.
Newspaper sales (and revenue) has seriously slumped.
Online bloggers are treated with the same regard as high ranked journalists who have to quote sources and check their facts to a high degree.
Some amazing writers/journalists are looking down the barrel, as are some of us in the music business. So something has got to be worked out.  ;)

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 07:56 AM »
No answers from me - just a coupla comments:

> in the prior week to our conversation the top 50 jazz artists on Billboard sold less than 20,000 units worldwide

That makes me very sad.  Do we know this to be absolutely true?
In that top 50, would the name artists like Diana Krall have been included?

As far as all the illegal downloads: I really think more money has to be invested in ad campaigns explaining that it is *stealing*.   There are people who are going to do it even after knowing it is wrong, but I have to believe there are many people out there who don't actually realize it's wrong.  They  need to be educated.

Final comment: I'm amazed at how often I encounter musicians who steal music.  People who aspire to to a career in music should know better.  They're actually contributing to destroying their own future livelihood.

There - I said it.
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Frank
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 08:17 AM »
I've watched what's happening in the music industry since I was a kid. People thought music was going down the tubes with Elvis, the Beatles, Doors, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc....It has always went in circles as a trend. Only time will tell, the more people get into depression the more they will quit listening to the news and throw on the songs they love. Because they're looking for something again. Sales may plumet, gigs go down because of economy. But it won't disappear completely. Seen this happen other times in history. What did they do? They built drums out of logs. ;D
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felix

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 08:53 AM »
Call me crazy but I'm seeing and hoping for a resurgence in live music.

If gas prices can stay down and the economy keeps stinking people go out and DRINK.  I'm very surprised how the bars whom have bands in our depressed part of the country are doing much better than the summer and even the past couple of years.

Granted the pay is terrible but if the scene ever got where live music was playing 5 nights a week at any particular place in town- hey, that's a gig!

 

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 08:58 AM »
Call me crazy but I'm seeing and hoping for a resurgence in live music.

I'm always hoping for this.  It's dead in my region, but, I do believe it's possible
it could change.                Would make for some fun times.
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Frank
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2008, 09:25 AM »
Granted the pay is terrible but if the scene ever got where live music was playing 5 nights a week at any particular place in town- hey, that's a gig!
Can't get lower than playing for free....I've known of many musicians to do that just to get exposure. Problem is, they're only getting exposed in that bar/joint. What good is it to haul out all your gear, set-up, tear down, pay for gear, and expect to make your dream. Plus doing a day-in, day-out job in a factory. Might as well be self employed. There's no guarantee the President will even make it. Whether a musician or as a businessman, it all comes back to what do "you" want. Is your part of the world treating you right? Only you can answer that.  ;)
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Offline Lou

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2008, 10:02 AM »
It has always went in circles as a trend.
I'm not sure if the current trend has a circular motion. I expect a weak(er) economic situation having an effect on people going to concerts and clubs, but when it comes to the sale of music (or movies or games) I think the Internet is what makes the current situation fundamentally different from 'the old days'. The Internet making it easy to find and download music ... and I also think the 'music companies will make enough without me paying for the latest album' attitude is a major factor too.

The general public (I belong to) has no idea about the financial struggle of the majority of the musicians. 'We' see the R&B artists on MTV in their million dollar cribs or read about the Rolling Stones, making half a billion dollars from their latest tour.

I have no advice for you guys (and girls) on how to improve your situation ... all I can say is that - seeing myself as an average consumer - the last three albums I acquired (Frank's 'China Ranch' and Poogie Bell's 'Get on the kit' and 'Thinking outside the box') I bought on line as MP3-files. The sound quality might not meet the demands of the audiophile, to me the quality is better than good.

My 2 Euro cents ...

Lou

Offline Peppe

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 11:12 AM »
I honestly think that the issue with illegal file-sharing will never be solved. There is just no way around it, technology-wise. The big file-sharing sites will offer protection to the users, making it easy for everybody to stay anonymous and eliminating the risk of getting sued by the record companies.

To be clear: I don't think that it's right to share copyrighted material, and I do know how much time and money it takes to get records out there. But to try and "correct" the behavior of internet users worldwide (like the record companies are trying to do) is naive and counter-productive. People will only be more opposed to the music industry. They never get to see the struggling musicians, they only see MTV Cribs.

On the more positive side, it has never been easier or cheaper to produce records in your own home, and you can do your own marketing on the internet. It will probably not generate a lot of money, but it can help you to sell audio-files and CD's. An impossibility only 10 years ago.
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Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 03:25 PM »
I agree with everything said so far, particularly Peppe's last post.

Record sales are down (not just with jazz artists) and that has a trickle down (negative) effect. I wouldn't blame it all on illegal downloads though.
I think the internet has changed everything.
Less people are watching TV too.
Instead of going out, listening to records, watching tv, people are logging on to places like this and arguing about Neil Peart.  :(
 ;D

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 04:25 PM »
I agree with everything as well.

To answer one part of this very big topic, I'm personally changing the way I'm doing things in the music business. I agree there are just too many drum books on the market. For the most part all they do is rehash the same old thing; there's nothing new. I personally have several educational books and CDs in the work that I've totally stopped working on because I think the market is flooded ... AND ... I don't want my hard work being made available to people who haven't paid for it. There are too many avenues that can allow this to happen, so I don't need to list them.

The Drummer Cafe itself is making some changes as well. With the addition of the Premium Resources, I'm slowly making what I have to offer via subscriptions. This way I can hold on to and protect what is mine, or at least make it harder for people to snag it and throw it up on YouTube, etc. This is another reason I'm changing the way this forum is used. People will now need to support this website in a financial way before they will be able to post on the forum. Any registered member can read the forum, but only past supporters, VIP members and/or current Premium Resource subscribers will be able to post and respond to threads on this forum. This change will be taking place January 1, 2009. You can read more about all of this  http://www.drummercafe.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,2/topic,18228.msg277758/#msg277758]HERE .

Offline Matt Self (Gaddabout)

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 05:48 PM »
I think I'm in a unique position to answer this question, Frank. I've worked at newspapers and in broadcast as an online editor, producer, and columnist since 1995. I was an original staffer on the first profitable newspaper website in the country.

Oh, I'm also a musician with musician friends in LA, Nashville, New York, and all over the world.

All media is under siege by technology and a bubble-bursted economy. If you are in the media business at all -- print, broadcast, publishing, music, whatever -- you are no longer REALLY in the medium business. You are in the information business. You sell information, whether it be news, music, or data. And the dominating business model for the Internet is INFORMATION IS FREE. So whatever you produce has no value once its produced.

We've discussed at length on this message board that the hey day for session musicians was in the 70s and it's slowly become an archane phrase. The real studio stars these days are the Pro Tools experts who can turn crappy performances into radio-friendly performances on a computer that costs much less than a two-hour session with a musician and an engineer in an expensive studio. There's no real need for session musicians anymore, especially since today's music consumers have been brought up without hearing a professionally tuned acoustic kit recorded straight to tape. By that, I mean compressed sounds are the norm to young ears.

It's a little ironic. We all thought drum machines were going to replace us. We had the wrong post-production technology in our sights. Now, guys like Lars Ulrich don't need to be replaced on the studio tracks. His tracks just need to be adjusted.

So what's a session musician to do?

I think Randy Walker is probably the model for the future. He's a pro drummer with corporate gigs, but he's branched out: He owns his own studio, has a live video production company, and seems to have a knack for selling his session clients to let him simply produce the whole kit and kaboodle. He's in the position he's in because he understood back in the 90s that the future of the music business has nothing to do with location and everything to do with expertise and access to technology. It also helps to have built-in connections, but you still have to earn those wherever you're at.

I don't see the rest of the music world undergoing a major transformation in the short term. The corporate takeover of the music business happened a long time ago, and they still know how to wrangle a buck from young, naive up-and-coming acts.

As for a live music revival, that's a misplaced hope, I think. It's still dying a slow death, IMO. In the U.S., drunk driving laws and smoking bans -- as just and necessary as they are -- have had more to do with killing live music as anything in the music industry. Now we have ASCAP beginning to really crack down on fees, and bars aren't seeing the benefit of paying four or five guys for a night of mediocre covers. It's easier just to put in a juke box or hire a DJ. People really don't see a difference. They just want to dance.

I do think indie music on the Internet is the long-term future. Right now the industry is comparable to 16th and 17th century British Empire trying to patrol millions of acres of ocean for small, mobile, desperate and determined bands of pirates. I do think of the pirates as quasi-good guys in this scenario. I'm not refering to copyright piracy. I'm simply referring to otherwise savvy businessmen looking to get out from under the weight (girth?) of an industry bloated from a century of heavy-handed conquest -- and they're willing to take much less in the short-term to be in control of whatever it is they want to control down the road (musical vision, finances, whatever).

How that plays out is likely going to be further desegregation of musical genres and people as a whole. The Internet is a cultural fracture device. People gather in very small cliques and develop their relationships from there. That's how all information will be passed in the future. Something like this:

- If you are a Republican, you will get your news from Republic news sites and bloggers
- If you are a sewing fanatic, your entire world view will be filtered through message boards and sewing blogs
- If you're a drummer, your musical tastes will be shaped by the drummer communities at which you gather, as opposed to some uniform, wide-area radio broadcast trying to program you towards cultural conformity.

Eventually, the laws of competition will dwindle the number of players and information will have a value again because we'll approach oligopoly-like conditions. The closer you get to zero in a zero-sum game, the players are more likely to develop relationships with competitors rather than play the game out to its most extreme conclusion. The timeline for that is not a short one, though.

So I think the short answer to your question (too late!) is niche information providers will win with niche audiences. Find your niche and beat that drum loudly.
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frankbriggs

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2008, 06:21 PM »
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frankbriggs

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2008, 07:44 PM »
I agree with everything said so far, particularly Peppe's last post.

Record sales are down (not just with jazz artists) and that has a trickle down (negative) effect. I wouldn't blame it all on illegal downloads though.
I think the internet has changed everything.
Less people are watching TV too.
Instead of going out, listening to records, watching tv, people are logging on to places like this and arguing about Neil Peart.  :(
 ;D



That is true Chris. This (right here) is another form of news, education and entertainment. The music business may be changed for good.

Quote
I honestly think that the issue with illegal file-sharing will never be solved. There is just no way around it, technology-wise. The big file-sharing sites will offer protection to the users, making it easy for everybody to stay anonymous and eliminating the risk of getting sued by the record companies.

To be clear: I don't think that it's right to share copyrighted material, and I do know how much time and money it takes to get records out there. But to try and "correct" the behavior of internet users worldwide (like the record companies are trying to do) is naive and counter-productive. People will only be more opposed to the music industry. They never get to see the struggling musicians, they only see MTV Cribs.

On the more positive side, it has never been easier or cheaper to produce records in your own home, and you can do your own marketing on the internet. It will probably not generate a lot of money, but it can help you to sell audio-files and CD's. An impossibility only 10 years ago.

I agree that piracy can't be stopped and it is cheaper but not exactly "cheap" to record an album.

I know people (not my friends) who take it as a personal challenge to crack a program, plugin, sample library, download an album, movies etc and get anything they can for free, or upload live recordings without consent from the artist. They don't see it for what it is .. "criminal behavior" .. which is a fairly recent phenomenon imo (I have heard "that is just the way it is now") and due largely to the fact that it doesn't "feel" like stealing or infringing on another's rights.

It is anti-social behavior and points to a personality disorder or at the very least flawed thinking. Most of the same people engaging in this activity would not walk out of a restaurant without paying the bill or Ameoba records with a pile of CDs.

Is it because they feel it is wrong or is it the fear of getting caught? The internet and the formats have eliminated the fear. Moving a mp3 from one window to another doesn't hold the same weight as getting pass a security guard because no one is looking. Musicians that engage in it are pounding nails in their own coffin I think.

)Side Note, I used a transcription program called Encore to write all my books. It was so easy to use I don't think I ever opened the manual. I was the only person I knew in Los Angeles that bought it though...serious. It was cheap too. I ordered an update in the late 90's that didn't arrive and when I called they told me they were closing shop due to piracy. They never had the high end copyright protection required today ...my first copy was on a floppy disc. They were bought by another company who doesn't update it very well and I was forced to buy Finale last year which is great but no where near as easy to use and it is expensive.)

It is an interesting and disturbing study of human nature. The question is what will some people do when they they feel they can get away with it? The answer is not exactly uplifting.

Thanks to the guys who picked up a copy of my album (Todd, Loubuntu etc.). This post is in no way about me trying to get people to buy it. If anyone wants to check it out the whole album is on Last.fm and it won't cost you anything to listen to it.

That being said; even though it is cheaper to record an album these days it still "costs". I have been reluctant to look at what I spent but I know it was at least 20k ...which is cheap. I have my own studio and many of the guys played for 0/barter or the buddy rate. 10 tracks x 4-5 players still adds up and that doesn't factor time (writing, recording etc). Mixing, mastering and duplication was probably 1/2 the budget. I don't care because it was my baby and I knew exactly what I was getting into. Would it be nice to break even?...absolutely.

This is all for education as I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. Experiences can be different. I am way upfront with my students without being negative about the business. At it's core it is "art" and historically "artists" don't usually get rich. I have a hard time watching some of my students and friends beating themselves up because they think it is "them" when the reality is, business as usual in the arts.

The current internet trend is another thing altogether. It could end up as being good but it isn't right now. No one knows for sure where it is going. which is why I thought it would be good subject matter for this forum.

That makes me very sad.  Do we know this to be absolutely true?
The figures I gave came from a very reliable source. A manager of some top smooth jazz artists. The figures were for all jazz (top 50) combined for a one week period in Billboard. He also said that none of his artists were selling albums and were doing ok touring. The current trend is to get a handful of names with one single back up band for touring. That in itself is not unusual and makes sense for many reasons. It does reduce the amount of gigs for sidemen however.

ok here is an article I found on the future of the "album"

http://tunecore.typepad.com/tunecorner/

I am putting a new band together and we have been talking about how to approach the album thing. We may only release a couple tunes at a time, no CD, digital only.

What is sad at this point is this; as an independent artist with the capability I could offer 24bit 96k audiophile audio as a direct download from my site or offer DVD quality instructional/concert videos and digital books. I could cut out the distributors and be my own publisher. This could reduce the price significantly... If it weren't for piracy I would be doing it today.

I am waiting for a solution to come to me. Right now I think part of the answer is in creating a community and family of like minds, which is a positive aspect of the internet.

Here is another thought provoking article by David Byrne in case you haven't read it.

http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_byrne?currentPage=1

OK Live performance.. when I first moved to LA I was shocked to find out that my band was going to have to "guarantee" a certain amount of ticket sales...pay to play.

 I played in central NY from the time I was 12 and always got paid and supported myself playing clubs (that scene is nearly gone also). It isn't the financial part of that that bothers me as much as the fact that "bands" and strong local scenes drive the industry (art) imo.

You have to start somewhere. A 25 minute set with 9 other bands isn't going to help you build a following. It is back to building a community .. your fans need a little time to get to know each other and you need more time to play.

 I had the chance to play every weekend as a teenager. Strong local scenes help the bands that are on the radio and young musicians get to hone their skills in front of an audience. I hope I don't sound like an old fart longing for the days of old, I really do think strong local scenes are an important part of the advancement of music. I haven't heard a decent rock song or band that I thought would be around next year, in quite awhile... maybe I am an old fart...lemeno and point me to your favorites.

Magazines, News Papers and Radio will be on the net for sure...probably TV also.
I was in the "first" digital issue of Modern Drummer last month.

http://www.moderndrummer.com/updatefull/200001710/Frank%20Briggs

If this seems like self promotion sorry...I am proud to be in there after being a reader since the first issue. The New Yorker, Sound on Sound and others are following suit.

I like the model Last.fm has and it looks like the future of radio to me. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Last and Pandora keep it up and honest.... again "content on demand" you are the DJ with nearly limitless possibilities. The artist gets paid (we'll see) a win/win... could be perfect.

So I think the short answer to your question (too late!) is niche information providers will win with niche audiences. Find your niche and beat that drum loudly.

I agree... a couple final questions.

How are the local scenes where you are?
What do you think can be done to improve them?
Any innovative ideas for delivering teaching material? (Bart is doing it already btw)


thanks for the space and the feedback..

Frank

PS I tried to post this all day... sorry if it seems scattered,

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2008, 08:38 PM »
One thing that bugs me about the entertainment industry is that they can't get together and agree a few things across international borders.
I was subscribed to Pandora for a while.
I guess the idea is that you create your own radio stations, and the software offers up new and interesting music you've never come across. It's a great marketing tool.
Then one day I received an email from the site saying I wasn't a US citizen and therefore copyright laws dictated I could no longer use the service.
Likewise, I have movies, tv shows and music films on DVD that I bought in one country or another because they aren't available in my home country.
The media companies make it as hard as they can, and very difficult, to then view these DVD's. I know international DVD players exist..... I have one..... but even so, some DVD's are difficult to view.
I would purchase the right DVD if it was available.
Finally on the downloading thing.
One aspect that annoys me is the reasoning most downloaders use.
Let's face it, there are illegal downloaders posting on most forums, including this one.
You're right, they don't typically shop lift, nor do they walk out of restaurants without paying, but they don't value the effort put into a music production. As Bart even says (above), they don't understand the time and effort put into a place like this.
They think being a musician is about sleeping late, partying, being paid several hundred thousand dollars for doing a tour or album. Money For Nothing as Mark Knopfler famously sang. So they don't think it hurts anyone if they take some music off a website and don't pay for it.
 :-\

frankbriggs

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 09:09 PM »
I heard Pandora was not able to work out a royalty agreement or something in Europe and is now only available in the US. I am not sure what the details are. What is interesting about that is Last.fm which is based in GB isn't having the same issues and they are providing a similar product. I actually like Pandora better except Last allows an independent artist to upload their copyrighted music and I will need to send Pandora a CD and wait to see if it gets added.

I have heard every argument of people downloading media or uploading for others... "sharing".
It is all pretty lame.

There is this opinion that if you have an album or have toured and published books etc. that you have enough and it is ok.

Honestly I don't see where anyone has the right to say who has enough. For some their royalties are part of their retirement plan and you should be able to leave something to your heirs... No one has a right to say that you or your publisher/label has enough...and besides they are usually wrong.

I think the formats will get worked out as the world gets smaller. When I authored my instructional DVD I made sure it would play in all countries (except for China)...

You guys rock..thanks



Offline Brett Tanner

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2008, 10:36 PM »
This is a post from a fellow on another message board.  He use to be an independent retail music shop owner and has taken his business to the internet and ebay. 

My CD and vinyl sales on Ebay took a dip along with everything else, though they seem to be coming back a bit. I think there was a two- or three-week span there when the media first starting yelling "the sky is falling!" and everyone collectively @$%# their pants and started planning to live on bouillon cubes and mud puddle water.

I also don't want to start the tiresome download-or-not argument, but I will point out the one big reason why I'd never sell new CDs again -- they devalue so fast it makes your head spin. Post-internet, it's really hard to keep anything on a retail shelf, even at a reasonable price by retail standards, because of the 'race to the bottom' online. Within a day of a CD's release, every unwanted promo copy is on Ebay or Amazon, alongside whatever copies have been stolen from every warehouse and distribution point in the chain. Add in everyone liquidating the stock of defunct stores, like I'm doing now, and it drives the prices still lower.

Anyone who wants a back catalog CD, new, can go buy it on half.com or Amazon for $5-7, if not less, so there's no point keeping a deep catalog of anything from a retail standpoint. It almost seems like the only good business model for physical product any more would be to make your run of CDs a limited-edition, just like the vinyl. Hand-number 'em, hype 'em, and when they're gone, people can download it from the usual channels.


This was a response to record sales and the economy but I think it's relevant to this topic.

 
Zildjians to the left of me, Paistes to the right.

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 11:20 PM »
Add to that musician prices have been driven consistently lower.
My peak wage (in whatever band and capacity) was around 1992.
Since then all my session fees, tour wages and tv score writing fees have been aggressively negotiated down by employers.
I'm sure if you compared early 90's prices (living expenses etc) to 2008, my earnings have taken an even bigger hit.


frankbriggs

  • Guest
Re: Where is it all going...??
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2008, 11:21 AM »
Add to that musician prices have been driven consistently lower.
My peak wage (in whatever band and capacity) was around 1992.
Since then all my session fees, tour wages and tv score writing fees have been aggressively negotiated down by employers.
I'm sure if you compared early 90's prices (living expenses etc) to 2008, my earnings have taken an even bigger hit.

I think a lot of people's situations have changed since 92. A lot has changed in the industry.

BTW Chris I think we met in 1992 at namm at the Noble & Cooley booth??
I was touring with a band called Atlantic Starr at the time and I believe you were on tour with Dire Straits?

One thing that has changed is the studio scene.

I used to do a session here and there and got a chance to record in some very nice recording studios. Now I have a studio here at my house and do mostly indie projects. We are sending files back and forth via the internet. My web site has an ftp uplaod/download drop box for files, charts etc.

I have done some TV, albums, demos, instructional stuff and even did a "porn' awards show theme:) One of the studios I used to work at a bit was called Master Control here in Burbank. I became good friends with those guys and got to see how the technology changed very fast and led to them closing the doors in 04-05.

When I first recorded there it was a couple of Studer 24 track (2" tape), a 500k SSL, tons of vintage gear. When ADATS came out their business dropped because bands were coming in with tracks they recorded at home. Instead of a 3 week booking for an album it was now more like a week..mostly to mix. They would transfer the ADAT or DA88 tracks to the Studers and mix or just plug in to the SSL and mix. Madonna, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Disney and many others recorded and/or mixed there.

They had accounts with various labels (many defunct now) and I remember that it was getting increasingly harder to get paid in a timely fashion or at all.

Then ProTools happened. They bought the best ProTools rig you could get and set up a room for it and tied it to the SSL. They had a beautiful setup, The mix room was great.

Business dropped even more and they were doing virtual no tracking any more and the mix sessions and budgets were reduced as well. No one felt a need for the SSL with flying faders because you could "automate" a mix at home on your own Protools rig. IMO the quality of a home setup verses recording through a $500,000 Neve or SSL ..well there is no contest. Cost and convenience win out every time.

That being said I saw them slowly go into hock trying to keep it afloat until they closed the doors and sold everything off. At that time you couldn't give the SSL or especially the Studers away.

I think he sold the gazillion channel SSL for 40k and was happy he got that.

This change maybe took less than 5 or 6 years... for them.

So much has changed since 92, There wasn't digital (or digital that was accessible and affordable to average consumers) and there wasn't the internet. There also wasn't this huge glut of freaking drum sample libraries and loops..and they keep coming.

The mix engineer on China Ranch mixed it in his home studio (his garage). I think it sounds really good. BTW he mixes the YelloJackets, Lyle Mays, Vinnie Colaiuta, Disney projects and Peter Erskine in the same space....things are way different all the way around. Peter does a lot of recording at home and I am pretty sure Vinnie did his track on the last John McLaughlin album at his home studio.

Having your own studio it seems has become a necessity. I am not an ultimate authority so if you have another experience please chime in

I have been building my sample library for Stylus RMX it is ridiculous what you can do with this one instrument. I could do TV and probably some film scores right here by myself and I think that is part of what happened to sessions for drummers...correct me if I am wrong.

Read some interviews with Hal Blaine. He was a huge session drummer before the drum machine was introduced in the early 80's. I only got to play cymbal overdubs for Atlantic Starr because they liked the drum machine vibe. Samples, Loops etc have replaced a lot of drummers in the studio.

You can argue that the quality isn't the same. Of course it isn't. Real drums played by a good drummer, recorded on high end pro gear verses samples?? it is a joke in comparison but... it seems the convenience and the cost tips the scales for many. Plus I don't think the average person knows the difference...so the consumer isn't complaining.

I have lost composing gigs to non musicians with SoundTrack Pro or GarageBand. Royalty free loops of all instruments. Quick, easy, cheap....what now?

We all know (or should) that CDs sound better than mp3. I read recently that many felt the LP wouldn't catch on because it didn't sound as good as the the previous version where you needed a stack of discs to play Beethoven's 5th. Now you could get it on one disc and convenience won out over quality.

I remember so many people thought CD was inferior to vinyl and that digital is harsh sounding etc.... but now you can have the whole Symphony on one side!. Personally I embraced the fact that you also had dynamics which wasn't possible to a large degree with vinyl.

Sorry this is so long.

To sum it up and my whole reason for this post.

Things change, technology changes, business models change. Everyone saw the CD coming and we all see the MP3 etc. coming.
What I think many people didn't see coming is the economic ramifications of all this new and awesome technology. Music will never die. People will continue to make music always. It seems the importance of it is changing or diminishing along with the way we deliver it and the way we get compensated as creators of it. The drummers dilemma started nearly 30 years ago with the introduction of the drum machine.

I would love to hear David Crigger's point of view. Is the master in the house?

Anyway.. this is all filtered through my experience mostly so I welcome feedback.
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