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21khz: The Art of Money In Music
57 minutes | Dec 6, 2021
Why Are Comedy Albums Being Taken Down From Spotify and other streaming services
Right before Thanksgiving, 2021 Spotify took down a large number of comedy albums. The question is why. The answer has to do with the fact that just because a comedian like Robin Williams says the words "Reality, what a concept" as opposed to sings them doesn't mean he does not have a copyright that needs to be licensed and a royalty paid when it streams. What happens if a streaming service like Spotify streams comedy albums without the needed licenses. The answer is not funny at all.
63 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
You Know What’s Not Funny- One Trillion Streams and One Billion Dollars In Unpaid Royalties For Comedians
Comedians' works are streamed and broadcast across Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more. However, unlike music where royalties are paid for two copyrights (composition and master recording), Comedians have only ever been paid royalties on the recording of their performance, not on the underlying literary work (equivalent of a composition). Jeff Price, founder of Word Collections and previous founder of Tunecore, Audiam, and more is setting out to fix that by helping comedians license and collect royalties owed to them for their unlicensed literary works.
32 minutes | Feb 27, 2019
The Full Brain Workout
Season 2/ Episode 7 Rachel Francine/ Co-Founder and CEO, SingFit Andy Tubman/ Co-Founder and Chief of Therapeutics and Music, SingFit If there is one that I have learned doing this podcast for the past two years, it’s that music contains value beyond the cost of a CD, an iTunes download or a Pandora stream. This show proves that music has a value beyond money. Rachel Francine and Andy Tubman are a brother and sister pair of entrepreneurs who have taken the best from each of their careers and combined them into a new company with a mission. Andy Spent years working as a music therapist, working with patients with brain trauma or dementia utilizing difference musical processes to help retrain the brain and to attain clinical goals. Rachel spent years working in the worlds of technology, media, and entertainment. This particular set of skilled gave her the perfect background to deal with the ins and outs of music publishing and copyright. A few years back the two realized that both of those parts make the perfect whole. Andy, with a background in music therapy, and Rachel with a background in music publishing. They formed, SingFit, a company with the goal of bringing music therapy to the largest audience possible. From the Singfit.com… SingFit™ PRIME is a turnkey solution that allows even those with no musical experience to facilitate group activities, tailored specifically for their participants’ age and musical tastes as well as cognitive and physical health. An award-winning therapeutic music solution, SingFit™ PRIME is created specifically for older adults in senior living communities, adult day programs, and skilled-nursing facilities. The unique Lyric Coach means even those with dementia can joyfully take part in the turnkey SingFit PRIME sessions. It’s an interview that meanders from music cues for forgetful opera divas, Gabby Giffords love of Tom Petty, and finally ends up on BlueBerry Hill.
31 minutes | Feb 11, 2019
A Black Rubber Juice Bar
Gregory Roach Season 2/ Episode 8 Sometimes, you just want to sit back, have a cup of coffee and listen to war stories from a bygone era. This is that kind of Podcast.. Gregory Roach has had an eclectic career. He worked at "Grendel's Lair", the storied nightclub in Philadelphia, worked as the lighting guy for a comedy club in New York City, went on the road with Billy Joel and Pat Benatar, he even designed a "Rubber Juice Bar" for Studio 54. It's a conversation that proves that sometimes it's the guys behind the scenes that have all the fun.
20 minutes | Jan 28, 2019
A Whole Series of Music Events
Judith Finell - Judith Finell, Music Service Season 2/ Episode 8 You probably didn't watch, but on a Saturday night in April of 1983, "The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair," aired on NBC. Trust me on this; it was a classic of 1980s television - paunchy middle-aged heroes, central casting villains, backlot sets, stock footage explosions - The 12-year-old me could not get enough. Our intrepid heroes even cross paths with a fellow spy - a suave Brit, wearing a dashing tux, driving an Aston Martin (complete with the license plate, "JB"). His car featured cool gadgets, he had a starlet on his arm, and there was that memorable James Bond theme. "James Bond!!! They got James Bond - Cool" The 12 year old me was - again - thrilled out of his mind. The thing is, "they" didn't, "get" James Bond. They got an actor (admittedly, the actor happened to be George Lazenby, reprising his role as James Bond, so there wasn't much question), they got an Aston Martin, they even got the James Bond theme (sort of). All the clues were there, I was supposed to think it was James Bond, but they never once uttered the words, "James" or "Bond." The music was the giveaway, it sounded "Bondian," it was almost the famous Monty Norman theme from the 1960s, but it just wasn't. The ersatz, "NBC Saturday Night Movie" music came right up to the edge of being James Bond but was afraid to jump. That's the subject of this podcast. A few weeks back we pushed our podcast with Judith Finell, Judith was the lead musicologist in the "Blurred Lines" case involving Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and the Marvin Gaye State Estate. This episode is part of 2 of that interview. When we finished discussing the subtler points of copyright and plagiarism we ended delving into another area of Judith's expertise. "Sound-Alikes." Frankly, since that Saturday Night in 1983, I've always been fascinated by these, "almost" songs. TV throughout the 1980s and 1990s were full of them. Songs where it was clear the producers wanted a top 10 hit but also apparently didn't want to pay top ten prices. So what does it take to come right up to the edge in music? How can you evoke the James Bond theme, without paying James Bond Prices? We also discuss Stairway to Heaven, the sound the Transporter makes in Star Trek, the Mission Impossible theme, and a little 45 record McDonald's gave away in the 1990s.
28 minutes | Dec 16, 2018
Judith Has Perfect Pitch
Judith Finell, Musicologist, president of Judith Finell Music Services Season 2, Episode 6 Ever started explaining something to a friend, and you can tell, usually, immediately, this person has no idea what you're talking about (you can see it in the eyes). When that happens, I always make up a little story... “It’s like trying to describe the idea of fusion to a clueless platypus.” Or... “It’s like explaining the theory of general relativity to a stupid rabbit.” Or... “It’s like discussing the concepts of thermodynamics with a slow turtle. ” With that in mind, the best way to describe this podcast would be, "Trying to describe Music Theory to a Dimwitted Penguin." And, in this case, the "Dimwitted Penguin" happens to be me. That's mainly because this episode covers the ideas of plagiarism, music, copyright, and the law. Three things I can't always wrap my brain around. The background for this episode revolves around the "Blurred Lines" court case from a few years back. It started back in 2013 when the Marvin Gaye Estate sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their single, "Blurred Lines". The Gaye Family claimed that Thick and Williams didn't so much write a song as they just stole the music from Marvin Gay's 1977 song, "Give it up." To me, it seemed like a pretty straightforward case - they did steal it, or they didn't? But nothing is ever easy. How do you prove, prove to a jury that something is a copy? Two songs may sound the same - but are they the same? How can you prove plagiarism and how can you prove it in a court of law. Can you even copyright a sound? So, in the case of, "Blurred Lines," the Marvin Gaye Estate turned to Judith Finell. Judith is a musicologist, and she happens to understand music, the law, plagiarism and copyright better than anyone... From her website... She has testified in disputes for Michael Jackson, Sony/CBS, Warner-Chappell, the estates of Igor Stravinsky and Bob Marley and before the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington on behalf of the National Music Publishers Assn. in a dispute with the RIAA. Ms. Finell’s firm regularly advises entertainment company clients on licensing and risk avoidance in copyright matters, including HBO, Sony Pictures, Disney, Grey Advertising, Lionsgate, LucasFilms, CBS, and others. It's an insightful conversation. We discuss the definition of, "musicologist," how Judith, "sees" music in her head, How copyright law forced her to play the piano in court, and how she was able to convince a jury that two songs are indeed the same. Plus, Judith tells us what exactly is, "Perfect Pitch."
64 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
"Blurred Lines" was it Plagiarism?
Paul Resnikoff - Founder, Digital Music News Season 2/ Episode 5 The second season finale of the original Star Trek back in 1969 was an odd episode. You will see where I am going with this in a moment..... Yes, Kirk and Spock are in the top of the show, Kirk and Spock are at the close of the show, but the meat of the show, the entire episode, is taken up with the story of some guy named - "Gary Seven." Gary Seven is a human who, as it turns out, was kidnapped by aliens and sent back to earth to protect us from... whatever, that's not the point... The point is (and was), Gene Roddenberry was using one show - Star Trek, to promote another show, in this case, a show about some guy named - Gary Seven. (In the end the show, something of a Doctor Who Ripoff, never got picked up and the whole affair is now nothing more than a fantastic bit of a Star Trek Trivia... but, again, that's not the point.) So with all that in mind you will notice that Jeff and I are in the top of today's show, we are in the close of the close of today's show, but the meat of the episode, most of this show is taken up by a guy named Paul Resnikoff. Paul Resnikoff is no Gary Seven. Paul created and runs - Digital Music News (www.digitalmusicnews.com), the most comprehensive and up to date site on the current state of Digital Music. "Digital Music News is the information authority for music industry and technology executives." We’re a highly influential source of news and industry analysis for millions of readers worldwide. Our audience is comprised of highly-targeted decision-makers from every segment of the business, including recordings, publishing, streaming, live concerts, talent development, venture capital, and broader tech. Digital Music News Gary Seven Paul also happens to run a podcast of the same name, and if you like 21Khz, you'll love the Digital Music News podcast. This particular episode we're sharing focuses on the lawsuit surrounding, "Blurred Lines." That was the 2013 Robin Thicke/ Pharrell Williams song that, because of accusations of copyright infringement by the Marvin Gaye Estate, ended up in some five years of litigation. The central issue in that case, Who wrote the song? Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams or Marvin Gaye? It's one of those stories that hits the sweet spot for music, and business and copyright. PLUS... Come back in a few weeks; we'll have our take on the "Blurred Lines" case, we'll have an interview with Judith Finell. Judith was the world-renowned musicologist with the unenviable assignment of having to convince a jury that, the music they were hearing, didn't just sound like something Marvin Gaye might have written. It was a piece of music indeed written by Marvin Gaye.
19 minutes | Nov 7, 2018
Really Cool Uncorrelated assets
What a piece of the Merrie Melodies? How about Bette Midler? Etta James? Santana? Well, they have all been for sale. One of the goals of this podcast has been to figure out all the ways music can generate money. We know about album sales, we've talked endlessly about streaming rights, we've discussed those "big fat juicy contracts" (that don't exist anymore). But what about music futures? Ever wanted to be modern versions of Randolph and Mortimer Duke? (Go ahead look it up, I'll wait). What if you could buy the rights to a piece of music that already exists, and is already generating an income? Well, Royalty Exchange, a company based out of Denver, Colorado allows you to do just that. But buying a song is different than buying Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice futures. Music brings along its own set of regulations and mechanisms for reporting and tracking sales and distribution. The ASCAP's and BMI's of the world see to it that music is monitored and reported with the idea of eventually paying the owner any particular piece of music. So in the case of a song, past performance may be a predictor of future earnings (with, of course, all the usual caveats). It's a conversation that fascinated me from the beginning.
38 minutes | Aug 27, 2018
Monetizing a mood
Danny Turner - Monetizing Moods. Global Senior Vice President for Creative Programming at Mood Media Season 2/ Episode 3 I've never been able to get the final scene from the "Blues Brothers," out of my head. Jake and Elwood spend the entirety of the (in my opinion fantastic) movie racing to the Cook County Assessors office, desperate to pay the back taxes on the orphanage. The final few moments of their quest (chased by thousands of members of Illinois law Enforcement) spent waiting in the elevator, staring at the blank walls, while the dulcet tones of "The Girl from Ipanema,"plays over the loudspeakers. The scene doesn't need words, and we've all been there. Staring at elevator walls, avoiding any eye contact, canned elevator Muzak playing over the elevator speakers to fill the silence. Just say the word, "Muzak," and "The Girl From Ipanema" jumps immediately to mind. But here's the thing, Muzak, as we thought we knew it, no longer exists. Muzak hasn't been a company since 2011 when it was acquired, for $345 million by a company called, Mood Media*. Why would anyone pay $345 million for the company behind, "The Girl from Ipanema"? Well - according to Danny Turner, Global Senior Vice President for Creative Programming at Mood Media - it was money well spent. Mood Media is an Austin, Texas-based company, which will create the perfect mood for their clients. From their website... Mood Media is the world’s leading in-store media solutions company dedicated to elevating the Customer Experience. We create greater emotional connections between brands and consumers through the right combination of sight, sound, scent, social mobile, and systems solutions. Music, sight, sounds, smells. Everything you would need to create the perfect mood for your shopping mall, high-end hotel or corporate lobby. Mood Media yanked the "The Girl from Ipanema," kicking and screaming away from the relaxing beaches of Rio de Janeiro and dropped her right into the middle of the edgy world of modern consumer culture. It's a great interview, Danny explains a little about the history behind Muzak, about the power of music to create a mood, what is the difference between a playlist and true curation, and how artists can make a living off composing music for Mood Media. * OK, sorry, we messed up a bit. A few times (actually, like 8) in the interview we mistakenly called the company, "Mood Music"... it's called Mood Media, and we were wrong (very wrong.)
35 minutes | Jul 20, 2018
So ... What is Music Publishing Administration?
"Wait … You were in a Christian Rock Band? And you had to talk with Mr. Potty mouth - Me?" "It's OK Jeff, I've been in the music business a long time" Season 2/ Episode 2 - John Barker, and Everything you ever wanted to know about licensing - but (of course) were afraid to ask. I like to quote Donald Rumsfeld (Sorry, but I do) ... "There are things that we know we DON'T know, and there are things we didn't even know we needed to know." This is one of the episodes where we ask the questions you didn't know needed to be asked. We talk with John about music publishing, administration, songwriters, copyrights, licensing, collection, why it's crucial to do so, and what happens if you don't. John Barker knows these things, for nearly 20 years John has run his company, Clearbox Global out of Nashville to help songwriters and music publishers deal with exactly these kinds of questions. Plus, he regales us with stories of Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris.
36 minutes | Jun 29, 2018
"It's Carin - Like Car in the Garage"
Season 2/ Episode 1: Carin Gilfry – “Carin – Like Car in the Garage” Three things you need to know about today’s podcast… First, “yes” we have been away for a little while. Life, work, family – all the things that get in the way of a successful podcast, managed to get in the way of our successful podcast. But we’re back, and we have close to a dozen podcasts lined up and ready to go. Second, Carin pronounces her name, “car-in” as in, “the car is in the garage.” Third, you might have already heard of Carin because she’s kind of famous for being locked in a closet and you can listen to that part of her interview down below. So why Carin? I like deep dives into particular professions because they invariably have great stories. So I figured, “Let’s talk to someone who does voice-overs,” see what we can find. Starting her career as an opera singer (I liked to picture her belting out an aria wearing Viking horns while grasping a spear), Carin didn’t disappoint. Despite singing at some of the world’s most famous venues, a love of Opera wasn’t paying her bills. So Carin did what many successful artists do, leveraged her strengths, her fantastic voice, and pivoted. She tried her hand at voice-over work and quickly realized in today’s fractured media landscape, dulcet tones could pay the bills. Corporate videos, audiobooks, PA systems, even answering machines, everyone is looking for the perfect voice. And now it’s more than just voice-overs, Carin now produces children shows, writes music, she’ll even write the theme music for your audiobook. And it all started with opera. Looking for more on Carin… https://www.caringilfry.com AND… she was nice enough to record us a new open.
28 minutes | Aug 23, 2016
The Dead Kennedys: Safe Harbors, Cheap Cotton & when Google bought YouTube
“People need to look at the Internet as a plantation sharecropper system - Yeah, you got your cotton really cheap but is that how you want society to go forward?” Episode 012: East Bay Ray - Safe Harbors and Cheap Cotton. From its infancy in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970s to today, the enduring legacy of the Dead Kennedys, is due in no small part to its founding member, East Bay Ray. Ray’s Music, The Oakland Tribune cited ray as penning, “some of the most recognizable and memorable guitar riffs to emerge from the initial West Coast punk movement”, and Ray’s drive have kept the band alive and relevant for more than three decades. So how does a self described, “middle class band”, one who managed to survive, Napster, The PMRC, and the wrath of local sheriffs survive in age of the internet? It’s not easy. As someone who considers himself a modern, “Renaissance Man… someone who thinks with both sides of his brain”, Ray is worried about the future of music. Since Google purchased YouTube, Ray argues, he has seen local artists in the Bay area’s, “income cut by half.” He’s seen the Dead Kennedy’s music, - music he wrote, owns and preformed - misused and abused on YouTube; ”Our song, ‘holiday in Cambodia,’ there, a video of just our DK logo and our song playing, and it has I think 14 million “views and that's money for Google is not money for dead Kennedy’s.” As for the future? He doesn’t see much hope for another band like the Dead Kennedy’s to break through the noise, “There will be music, but it will be blander - because you need an audience 11 times bigger.” And thanks to the fact that some of the internet giants of the world hide behind the nation’s “Safe Harbor” laws, there isn’t much money there for the musicians in any case. “People need to look at the Internet as a plantation sharecropper system - Yeah, you got your cotton really cheap but is that how you want society to go forward?” Its a fascinating look at the past, present and future of Music, through the eyes of one of the music industry giants.
26 minutes | Jun 26, 2016
Punk Rock - By Way of Capitalism
Shawn Stern didn’t set out to become a Punk Rock Icon. When he - along with his two brothers - created the (now) seminal band Youth Brigade back in 1980, all they really wanted to do was play music and hang with friends. Punk Rock, he quickly realized, was the perfect venue for that lifestyle, “We (could) play music, we don’t have to be really good,… and you could talk about the problems - that really still exist - that (pop music) won’t talk about.” But Punk Rockers need to eat. So, when the major labels couldn’t care less about distributing BYO’s albums, when club owners didn’t want to book the band, and when promoters wouldn’t return his phone calls - Shawn went DIY. Again with his brother, “This is a family affair,” Shawn cashed in his Bar Mitzvah Bonds (in the process screwing Bank of America) and started his own label - BYO Records. “It’s not rocket science, We learned early on how businesses work without ever taking a business class, I don't know to me it's just logical.” Suddenly, Shawn was more than Youth Brigades lead singer, he was an entrepreneur, de-facto CEO, and both President and CFO of his own company. In this episode of 21KHZ, How Shawn Stern managed to run a punk rock label and still keep his soul.
25 minutes | Feb 24, 2016
Hey! Let’s Not Pay the Americans!
“This is a labyrinth of rules…. “ Gino Olivieri, President Premier Muzik. Are American Performers getting the money owed to them? In many cases – no, and it’s all perfectly legal. Back on October 26, 1961, representatives from 26 countries signed the, “Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations”. Among other agreements, the treaty’s signers agreed that Broadcasters must pay performers (think singers and band members) for the use of their music – your song gets played on the radio - You get paid. Seems simple? Yeah, Right. The United Kingdom signed the treaty, Ecuador signed the treaty, Congo signed the treaty. The United States of America, however, did not sign the treaty and never has. So for the past 55 years, while performers from Moldova, Fiji and Togo (all signatories) have seen money when their music is played on the radio. For Americans… nothing. This is real money, over the years some billions (yes – “Billions”) of dollars have been left on the table. That is money going into everyone else’s pockets, everyone except the American performers who are owed that money. Today we talk with Gino Olivieri, the President of Premier Muzik, a Canadian company who has made it their mission to see that all artists - especially Americans - get all the money, owed to them. It’s a complicated, fascinating and lucrative listen.
24 minutes | Dec 21, 2015
So what happens AFTER you disrupt an entire industry?
So what happens AFTER you disrupt an entire industry? When last we saw him, Michael Robertson and MP3.com managed to uproot the business model of the entire music industry. Physical media, he realized, didn’t matter. People weren’t interested in CDs, cassettes or vinyl; they wanted music, and they wanted to it digitally. For Michael Robertson, the man who took a chance and spent $1000 on “Two letters and a number,” the world was never the same. Suddenly, Wall Street players, who wouldn’t return his calls came knocking. Soon after that, there were IPOs, and truckloads of money. Then came the Lawyers, those big labels, the ones who refused to play ball, dragged Michael into Court. Even the US Government, was breathing down his neck.
30 minutes | Dec 2, 2015
How, “two letters and a number" disrupted the music industry, had a multi-billion dollar IPO and then got sued
“So, I told my wife, I bought this new domain and she said, ‘what did you pay?’” I told her, ’a thousand dollars’. She was dumbfounded, ’That’s just two letters and a number!” So, I said, ‘no no no… trust me… it’s going to be big!’” - Michael Robertson, Founder, mp3.com Today’s episode isn’t so much about the music industry as it is about the life of an entrepreneur. It isn’t so much about being lucky, as it is about making your own luck. Let's go back to the early days of the internet when even with a, “Blazing fast,” 96k modem, it took more than 45 minutes to download one song - 45 minutes that is, if you could even find any music to download. Fresh out of college, newly minted, “computer consultant”, Michael Robertson was looking for his edge. As the founder of “FILEZ.com” an early software search engine, Michael began noticing odd search trends. Sure, people were searching for files with the terms, “spreadsheet” or “word processor,” but they were also looking for files with terms like, “sex” or “game”, and they were looking for music, music files with the strange extension - “.MP3”. After some detective work, and a little research, Michael took a leap of faith: For the - at that time astronomical - sum of $1,000 he bought - “mp3.com”. A few years later after being a catalyst for a global music revolution, his company had an IPO putting the value of his company in the billions. Then all the major label sued him and the SEC changed US IPO regulations. Today’s episode is about Michael Robertson, and how, “two letters and a number,” ignited the internet music revolution.
31 minutes | Oct 1, 2015
Will Musicians Survive in the Age of Free When the "Bottle" is worth more than the wine:
Episode: 007 Will Musicians Survive in the Age of Free When the "Bottle" is worth more than the wine? Interview Subject: Count "I think we can all agree, if somebody has millions of streams and they are popular enough to be a household name they should be able to pay their rent…" - Count (Producer: Radiohead, Rolling Stones, New Order, Frank Sinatra, Blackalicious) They say we are living the, "Golden Age" of media: endless streams of music, more television then hours in the day, enough books to read in twenty lifetimes. The buzzword for this amazing content, - "free." For the consumer, it's a golden age. But music producer and filmaker Mikael "Count" Eldridge sees a dark side for, the artists, creators and writers that might bring the entire golden age to an end. For the past twenty years, Count has been working, "on the other side of the glass " as as an A-list music producer working with some of the top artists in the world, from Radiohead to Frank Sinatra to DJ Shadow to the Rolling Stones and more, Count knows that great music comes from a collaborative effort between the artist and the producer. But, in an unexpected twist as music creation and consumption has exploded, Count, other music producers and now artists can no longer count on their profession to pay them enough to live. The business models which powered the industry for 50 years have been uprooted and tossed aside. The economics which allowed emerging artists a chance to claw their way into the middle class, and middle level bands to reach for the gold ring, all but dried up. Count saw his own job, and an entire class of music producers, mixers and engineers, become, first a costly necessarily, then a extravagant luxury, and today, he admits, his job of music producer is nothing more than a, "glorified hobby." He isn't alone. An entire generation of creatives: writers, editors, musicians, artists, just about anyone looking to make a living in the creative fields has been affected. The middle and upper class of artists is vanishing. You can no longer equate being a popular artist with making money from your music. So Count, pivoted. He turned from a music producer, to a movie director, and for the past five years has has been documenting the plight of, "middle class" artists for an upcoming documentary. In, "UnSound: How Musicians and Creators Survive in the Age of Free," he argues, there are still fortunes being made in music, but it's no longer the creators, rather the distributors: the Pandora's and Spotify's of the world who are seeing the benefit at the expense of the artists and creators. In the end he laments, "the bottle is worth more then the wine." There's a lot more at, unsoundthemovie.com...
25 minutes | Aug 17, 2015
Intent, Licenses and “Sweat of the Brow”
“Musicians say they want to be in the business of music and yet they don’t understand the very basic concepts - it’s very strange to me.” Everyone wants to be a musician but according to George Howard nobody understands the business. George Howard, understands the music business. He’s worked with big stars (Carly Simon), he’s been a label executive (President of Rykodisk), he’s an MBA, h’s a Lawyer - he’s literally written the book on how make money in the music industry, “An Insider's Guide to the Record Industry and Music Publishing 101.” George knows what he’s talking about. So what’s an artist to do? Not as much as you think.
24 minutes | Aug 6, 2015
so... Why does Liza Minnelli get paid when the Sex Pistols Stream?
Why are artists so angry about their royalties from streaming music services like Spotify? Is there really no money or is there money but a crazy math formula that calculates who gets what is, well, just wrong. Could the problem really be a bad math equation? Meet Sharky Laguana. Front man and founder of the band Creeper Lagoon and founder of a band van rental service Bandago. Now construct a venn diagram of the music industry and rental services, Sharky sits right in the sweet spot. As the founder and lead singer of the seminal 1990s alternative rock band, “Creeper Lagoon” Sharky knows the music industry. As the founder and CEO of the van rental company Bandago, Sharky understands the economics of rentals. With the launch of Apple Music and Spotify, the emerging trend of renting music, as opposed to buying or downloading a track, is hitting the mainstream. So when Sharky sat down, took a look at how the current music services - Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Apple Music… etc, calculated how artists are paid, he quickly realized the numbers just don’t add up. None of it made sense. Where does your monthly fee go? Who gets the most? Who gets the least? Why were bands like the Rolling Stone, and other monsters of rock still raking in millions, while new artists are left with pennies? Is the system even rigged? And why the heck does Liza Minnelli get paid when someone listens to a Sex Pistols song? What’s an artist to do? Sharky is a passionate voice for new and emerging artist, and with just one small change to the current system, he argues, everyone can be paid fairly. Heads up, lots of swears in this episode....
22 minutes | Jul 9, 2015
Don't Even Try To Get Signed
“Our function is to create new acts. Our function is to make famous. That is what we do, that is our unique skill set. We take artists, we develop them, we promote them, we make them the biggest most popular artists in the world.” - Avery Lipman, President, Republic Records The age of the sunglass wearing, leisure suit clad, cigar chomping, deal making music mogul may have gone the way of the dinosaur. But Avery Lipman still walks the earth, still makes million dollar deals, doesn’t smoke and is a much snappier dresser. In the era of youtube, iTunes, and Spotify, Avery has found the secret sauce to staying relevant, finding the right acts at the right time, and still making a profit. Since 1995, as the co-founder and President of Republic Records he (along with his brother Monte) figured out the magic formula to breaking some of the biggest names in the music industry. Republic Records is today home to (among others), Colbie Caillat, Amy Winehouse, Akon, Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nelly, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Lorde, Drake, Nickelback, Lil Wayne, Weezer, Austin Mahone, Enrique Iglesias and others… Hoping to join the Republic Catalog? Avery has just one piece of advice, “Don’t try to get signed.” 21Khz: The Art Of Money In Music Jeff Price (Founder TuneCore, spinART Records and Audiam) and Ted Gerstein (Journalist, Former Producer ABC News Nightline, author Bomb Squad) explore the behind the scenes mechanisms of the music industry allowing artists, producers, record labels, songwriters and technology innovators to make money off music.
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