You can’t tell me that this isn’t in direct response to Apple’s new streaming service. It appears that a lot of streaming companies are now offering incentives. I just got a message from Rhapsody on a new yearly subscription. Basically my monthly services are now reduced to $7.99 a month. This is a phenomenal deal in my opinion. I think GooglePlay did something like this when they first kicked their streaming service off. There is really no excuse to hack music now, I would be extremely surprised to find a service that is giving as much as Rhapsody is for $7.99. Low monthly membership; download as much music your device can handle; international music; old school music; 34 million+ songs and growing; and the artists get paid each and every time you press play! Finally, true music fans can start saving more of their money for other things.
I want to say off the bat, although I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for several years, this post is not an advertisement; I am simply passing along information. T-Mobile has something called a “Freedom Plan.” The “freedom plan” is included in any one of the “smart choice” data plans (if I remember correctly, please check to make sure you’re on the “freedom plan”). Simply put, the freedom plan allows you to stream music from selected services UNLIMITED! More online services are being added all the time, which also includes Rhapsody. This T-Mobile link shows you just some of the vendors that qualify for unlimited streaming. The “freedom plan” only applies to radio streams NOT downloads. So if you listen to radio on Rhapsody, you can listen to it all you want and the streaming will not go against your monthly bandwidth allowance. This is huge, since some radio channels transmit at a high bitrate, data can add up if it were actual downloads. If you’re not sure whether or not the radio application you’re using qualifies for free streaming, give T-Mobile a call. Keep in mind that the freedom plan only applies to your cellphone, not your tables. I am so hoping they have something like this for video one day.
The Blu-ray optical disc format, once a bastion of hope for reviving the home entertainment industry, is struggling to survive under the assault of video-on-demand and downloads.
Honestly, this should be of no surprise to both movie goers and the movie business in general. I think the movie industry found themselves in the same predicament that the music industry is currently in. Which is, not moving towards technology, and thinking that records would be forever “the true business model.” I think the music industry is not just scared because of the drop in revenue as a result of piracy; but it is my opinion that the music industry still didn’t take the internet seriously, despite the billions, and billions of dollars generated from iTunes. It was almost as though the mentality was “those are the people that like apple,” our primary focus is on CDs; and I think the industry paid for that mentality (or at least it was part of the reason). I could be wrong, but it is just an opinion as a collector of music. I think the film industry is going through that same hurdle. But there is hope, as I’m sure they’ll pull themselves out of it, as the music industry is doing with “On Demand” streaming. Unfortunately, the companies that produce physical CDs for the record labels will suffer tremendously.
I also think (like the music industry) that because of the shift in technology, and the convenience of “On Demand” viewing, they will need to start concentrating on the following:
- Making new Blu-ray movies affordable.
- Make Blu-rays more valuable, by offering more extras, and behind the scenes.
- If a Blu-ray is 3D, don’t charge us 3D money, when in reality it is a cheap 3D conversion. This is not how you treat loyal fans.
- Concentrate their marketing in the poorer neighborhoods.
- Making licensing cheaper for providers, so that they can offer more movies, and be more competitive.
- Don’t try to charge us full Blu-ray price, for a Standard-Definition movie. This is not how you treat fans.
- Remembering that if you have a movie of quality, people will buy it! But unfortunately, there are just way to many movies that are crap!
- Consider the reality that the new business model for the music industry really works!
The above are just a few things that I can think of right now that could revitalize the movie industry. But unfortunately, my honest opinion is that Blu-rays will eventually die out in the same way vinyl did. Despite the recent spike in vinyl sales, it is evident that the rise was because of the scare a few elite die hard fans of vinyl had, when they thought it would be gone forever as a result of music streaming. I’m also sure it was about the nostalgia; as well as not being able to find their desired music on any streaming service.
To be honest, movie quality via streaming services has improved tremendously over the decades. I only keep the CD portion of my Netflix only because they have movies that are not available on streaming. Even “On Demand” movies through cable are damn near superior to Blu-ray. The movie industry simply needs to focus there attention on the internet, and give customers the high quality we demand; fantastic visuals, a good storyline that makes sense, and great actors (at a price we can afford, not what you want to milk out of the fans). Subscriptions are the way of the future. Here is a link the article I’m referring to here.
US revenue from streaming services like Pandora, Spotify and Apple’s Beats eclipsed sales of CDs last year, according to data from the music industry’s trade group.
I found an article that has a quick break down of profits made by streaming services. This is great news, if the revenues continue to rise, it will save the music culture! Hopefully, it will also bring many more classics out of retirement. Here is the link here.
Beginning next year, New York City residents may no longer have to search for a hotspot. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week plans to replace the city’s phone booths with new Wi-Fi-enabled kiosks complete with keypads to make calls on, charging stations and tablets.
You know, I’m old enough to remember using rotary phones. Having said that, I am in awe of today’s telecommunication technologies. Despite whatever challenges you may be going through, it’s a great time to live in NY (at least technologically wise). I actually read this story in a local paper. This is indeed a huge story! In essence, all the 5 boroughs in NYC will soon have hotspots all over! Our Mayor de Blasio of NYC made it possible that all old phone booths would be converted to hotspots. I am so thrilled to read this, because not only is this a serious upgrade for NYC, but it also has created more jobs. To my understanding, each booth would be replaced with a Wi-Fi KIOSK that will allow you to make free calls anywhere in the U.S. Now, I’m not sure if this mean we will be able to connect our phones to its Wi-Fi, but if it does, I hope my readers understand how significant this is. If so, please don’t take this the wrong way, because my readers should know that I love everyone regardless of where you come from, but I need to be blunt. All of blog fans needs to share this with non-English speaking family and friends (Spanish speaking in particular); they better not procrastinate and learn technology, ’cause now is the time to do so!
I knew so many friends, especially friends from the Dominican Republic that would spend tons, and tons, and tons of money on those bullshit phone cards. This cards cheated a lot of people out of their money; if you bought a $5 dollar card, the company would charge you $2 dollar fee just for using the card. So, if your calling your loved one overseas, and it costs 10 cents a minute (just to round it off), they’ve taken 20 minutes away on the first minute. Honestly, I don’t understand why people from other countries living in the states don’t use Skype? It’s incredibly cheaper, and they don’t charge you outrageous fees. In fact, if we could connect to the Wi-Fi via KIOSK, you can install Skype on your phone and call it a day! It’s so exciting to see technology like this emerging in our life time! I am very curious, I can’t wait! Read article here.
It’s almost a rite of passage every artist goes through in the modern music industry. The moment he accepts that he will not be able to rely on music sales to sustain his career. That people are not buying music like they used to. And never will again.
This particular article I found is almost a year old; but the subject matter has started since the internet was made available to the public; which is the music industry’s claims that they are loosing substantial money due to the digital age. I have ALWAYS disagreed with this, and I will forever call bullshit. As I’ve said before, the reality is that the music industry is simply shitting a brick because they don’t have the same control and monopoly as they’ve once did before. The days of walking in to a live radio station, and paying the DJ 6 figures to push a new artist’s album are over. The days of charging $18.99 for a 25¢ CD is over. The industry comes down on the very fans that has made their artists popular; yet they still refuse to address the fact that music is too expensive in our current economy. Organizations such as the RIAA, DMCA, and so on, thought that they were teaching fans a lesson, by taking children to court and making their parents responsible for music downloads they most likely didn’t even know existed on their child’s computer. For what? To make examples out of the fans? But guess what? It didn’t slow down piracy back then! Why? It wasn’t because fans are bad people, it’s because they couldn’t afford $80 in CDs every week on a minimum wage salary. Even families considered middle class would have difficulties affording that! What reduced piracy was in fact the streaming. Why? Because it is affordable. Most people can afford the very reasonable $10 bucks a month; for unlimited, high quality legal downloads. Not only were you gaining revenue, you also got free advertizing be allowing streaming services to allow tools for sharing music to subscribers.
Now the music industry is still bitching! Bitching that they are not making enough money. When will the industry realize that the game has changed, and you can’t work as though the old structure still exists. First off, even before streaming…. Wait, before even cassette tapes, artists has NEVER relied solely on record sales. Truth be told, their money came from things like, commercial endorsements, performances, TV appearances, collaborations, etc. None of these things have changed. Why does the music industry still think they’re entitled more (other than pure greed)? Kind of makes you understand torrent users doesn’t it? The music labels better figure out a way to give the fans more, then and only then will they make money. If they are smart, they would see to it that they do not stop the production of vinyl entirely. What I love about the new streaming technology, is that now big names are now forced to share the same platform as lesser artists, which means they now have to work harder. I think as fans of a particular artist, we have the right to expect that they would work harder for our money; as well as give us more than just “here’s my album, now buy me.” You can read the article I’m referring to here.
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are looking closely into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming music streaming service, according to multiple sources. The Verge has learned that Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering. DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits, but it appears the FTC has taken the lead in recent weeks.
I’ve read quite a bit of articles concerning Apple’s secret plans to literally shut down Spotify’s popular free services. This is in efforts to try and cut the competition. However, in my research I’ve found that other companies are trying to offer free services as well, in response to Apple’s new streaming services. Quite frankly, I don’t understand this, simply because Apple is the leading online music and movie retailer! What the hell does Apple have anything to Worry about? Then it dawned on me! There isn’t much more these streaming services can offer for the same price! Everybody pretty much has the same shit! That’s when I realized that, that’s what Apple is afraid of! No one is going to just jump up and leave their current service; after saving years worth of playlists, if the next service is basically doing the same thing! Having realized this, what the streaming services are doing now is offering exclusive content; striking exclusive contract deals with various artists, hoping that would help bring more business.
I’ve been following music steaming for quite a number of years; and what I’ve realized is that, it is not easy starting a music streaming business. One of the main reasons is that, there isn’t a lot of money to be made in music streaming “as a business.” The reason being is that most of the revenue made, is used to pay royalty fees, pay the labels themselves, Pay organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and SoundExchange that police the copyright holders music. After you finished paying everybody, there is very little pocket profit that is made for the business itself.
In all honesty, I really do think that Spotify went too extreme with the free accounts. Because in the long run it created a shit war amongst the major labels; and none of these company can offer us anything more than what their doing now? A significant portion of those free leachers on Spotify don’t even appreciate what goes on in the back ground to make that “free account” a reality. Let’s just hope that Apple is not successful in getting rid of the “free” portion of Spotify’s service; because right now, the music you’re listening to is a privilege not a right. Just remember, no artist will work for free, just as you would not work for free! Always keep that in your head the next time you’re listening to music. If you’d like to read more on the article click here.
Hi guys, Spotify sent out an offer I could not refuse! Via Android/mobile application, they offered members a special deal, 3 months for $0.99! Hmmm, could this be in direct response to Apple’s new streaming service, which will offer 3 months free at the end of this month? Well I got to tell you, after playing with Spotify for the first 15 minutes, I still don’t like it (I’m sorry to say). Not enough to be willing to drop Rhapsody. I know a lot of users love Spotify because of it offers free accounts; but “free” should not be your only criteria for declaring a company to be “the best streaming service.” Second, you should know that you’re not getting it free because the Spotify guys are nice people; you’re getting free service because the subscribers and ad revenue is offsetting your leeching/freeloading!!!! So everything has a cost, be it seen or unseen! By the way, If Apple has anything to do with it, the free accounts could possibly go away inevitably (tonight’s article).
Spotify’s mobile application still needs a lot of work. I figured, what the hell, I’ll try Spotify for the last time and see if I can come up with more good things to say about it (other than it’s free accounts). Unfortunately, I could not find many. It is unfortunate that Spotify has 15 million PAID subscribers (and about 40 million active users) to Rhapsody’s only 4 million (not sure if this is only U.S. numbers). Free users of Spotify should be thanking paid subscribers, cause they carry most of the royalty costs. However, Spotify’s application is still shit in my opinion. Goes to show you what good marketing team, and a good contract between labels can do. But I also think that Rhapsody is focusing their marketing efforts overseas (at least for a while); in countries where mobile technology is booming.
I’ll be honest, the only reason I’ve used Spotify, is because I couldn’t ignore that a significant more people use the service over Rhapsody. However, I also know that’s due to the fact that more than half are free account freeloaders/users. At the time, it didn’t make much sense to tweet/blog with Rhapsody, if Spotify is way more popular 🙁 . Before I ever consider changing over from Rhapsody to Spotify, some significant changes need to happen. The biggest change that needs to take place is that, I need an option to save to SD. You can’t give users the option to download 320k files and only save on a phone with limited storage capacity (even a 32GB tablet is too small). Second, they must bump up the “save” limit to no greater than 10,000 songs, and 3,333 downloads! Believe it or not, this limit includes paying customers! With my Rhapsody account I have unlimited saves, playlists and downloads. Anybody who can’t see that as an issue, is not a real die hard music lover. I’m sorry, but real music lovers are always looking for space and download ability to satisfy their constant hunger for more music and diversity! Period. My musical tastes are way to eclectic and diverse to be limited to only 10,000; my iTunes alone is over 25,000 (and mind you, I deleted a lot of albums too). Unfortunately, I am 99% sure that this has to do with licensing; because as far as I can see, thousands of members had complained about it for quite a while. This does make sense, as it’s free users are triple it’s actual paid subscribers.
They also need to clean up their queue feature, it’s very sloppy, and it automatically deletes after a song is played. If I want to hear it again, I have to go back and add it (especially with a large queue. You’re better off creating a play list instead. I don’t like the fact that it automatically saves a radio station once you create one; assuming I’d like every station I create? When I subscribed and switched to pay, Spotify kept that stupid annoying “Shuffle Play” button in the middle of my search results. It felt like I was still in the free version. And the worst problem of all, when songs had expired from my old saved list, there was nothing to tell me that the license expired for that song. I had to keep trying to play the song before I figured it out, before I was just forced to delete it. I don’t have that issue with Rhapsody. Rhapsody removes expired songs from the mobile/web application. For the desk top, Rhapsody grays the song out, so that I know that the license expired. Lastly you have no idea whether a song is downloaded or not, there is no real indication, unless you have no signal and your off-line. Rhapsody changes the file’s color to easily let me know when a song is downloaded or not. So, sorry guys, Spotify still sucks ass in my opinion. In the end, I didn’t feel that Spotify was particularly intuitive either. Sorry.
I’m not saying that I would stick with Rhapsody forever, but for right now, it is the best for me, and far exceeds my expectations, and ease of use. To be honest, my only reason I wanted to try Spotify again, was because it made blogging incredibly easier for me. I was able to save some steps when Tweeting and Facebooking. However, after my second (paid) time around with Spotify, the extra steps doesn’t seem so bad after all. I’ll be cancelling it after my three months is up. I’ll continue to blog using the free version, just for you guys…. For my tweeted Rhapsody and Shazam links, it will not kill you to manually type the name of the artist in your Spotify to search for my tweeted songs. Sorry, but I get so much more the same price with Rhapsody.
Eighty-four percent of all online content consumed in Spain is pirated, according to a study of 2013 Internet trends commissioned by a coalition of music, movie, publishing and videogame companies. The April 9 report, which concluded that more than half of all Internet users in Spain download content illegally, is the latest fuel in the fiery debate over intellectual property legislation in the piracy-plagued country.
This article was kind of shocking to me, because Spaniards are very big on connecting with their culture; especially in regards to their music and dance. However, I am sure that the economic issues has a lot to do with the high numbers of illegal downloads; particularly speaking of their high tax rates. At the same time, I still kind of find this extremely baffling, and I have quite a few unanswered questions. There are soooo many free sites you can go to get free music legally; why would anybody still want to illegally download? Is it that they have become accustomed to old habits of illegally downloading music? How are poor Spaniards able to get this music if they cannot afford internet access? Are they sharing internet access, and if so how do these percentages reflect that? More and more American streaming services now have music of many cultures in their libraries, is the U.S. blocking other countries form accessing this music? I know that Rhapsody has invested a lot of money to bring streaming music to other countries like Spain. So in other words, this may be a greater problem than just the people of Spain desiring to stealing music just for the hell of it. I still truly think that for the most part, if people can afford it, they much prefer to purchase music legally (most of us desire the highest possible digital quality). Although I think movies are of a different matter though. Read more of the article here.
Will music from the likes of Adele, Arctic Monkeys and The Prodigy be available on Apple Music when it launches on June 30?
Wow! I didn’t ever expect to find this article about apple! Well, in essence the article states that Apple is not going to pay artists during 3 month free trials of iTune’s new streaming service. Say word? I would have never expected Apple to pull a bullshit stunt like this. Apple is not a fly by night company that no one knows about; this is an online vendor that is literally the driving force of the music industry. I can’t see any smart music artist wanting to sign up for a contract like this. Could you? Could you imagine how much revenue would be lost if Beyoncé were to come out with a new album right now, and NOT be paid for those first 3 months? iTunes would kiss Beyoncé goodbye, along with every other major artist! This is some bullshit right here, Apple has lost their fucking mind! Read more of the article right here.
“If Apple wants to make a dent, it can by its sheer heft. It can simply throw gazillions of dollars at the problem/opportunity. There is nothing else like it,” he says.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the leading digital retailer would try their hand on music subscriptions. According to USA Today, apple will be competing with a similar business scheme/marketing to Spotify. They better come up with something that blows our mind! Then again, if they do have something awesome waiting for us, chances are it is for apple specific devices I would guess. This will be interesting, because in my opinion (at least in terms of new music), everybody is selling the same thing; so what more can they offer? I don’t know. I guess I should have realized this earlier when they stopped offering DRM free upgrades. I got to tell you, apple REALLY pissed me off with that. they were on my shit list for quite a while. Some of you die hard apple users may not understand where I am coming from. Apple makes outstanding products, I’m not saying they’re bad; however, I refuse to allow a company take me hostage against my will with their product. I lost a LOT of money when they took that DRM free option away, and I was forced to circumvent the issue by extracting my music through other means; otherwise, I would have been shit out of luck. iTunes has been on my shit list for a long time for that reason. Apple is said to announce this big news sometime next week at a conference. If you’d like to read the rest of this article, and watch a short video, click here.
Streaming music services like Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify are largely credited with helping steer the music industry away from the piracy path. The current model is sustainable (and legal) but for the largest music group of them all, it’s still not generating enough revenue.
Last month, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge voiced his concerns regarding the freemium business model that’s popular among the top streaming providers. The executive said ad-funded on-demand is not going to sustain the entire ecosystem including creators and investors.
Now it looks like they’re going to try and do something about it.
A recent report from the Financial Times claims Universal Music Group is using ongoing contract negotiations to try and strong arm Spotify into enforcing additional restrictions on its free listening service. The idea is that limiting access would convince more free users to sign up for the $9.99 per month premium service which would in turn put more money in the hands of labels.
I’m not sure how I feel about this new article. It seems as though the recording industry is always trying to find reasons to cry about not making any money. You’re not going to make the same amount of money you did 20 years ago! First of all, the economy is different today; second, the internet has forced the industry to create a business model that everyone can afford; thirdly, artists are now competing with lesser known talents on the same platforms! The music industry has finally gotten to a point were illegal music sharing has cut down significantly because of sites like Spotify, yet the recording industry is still bitching? The recording industry had better be careful, otherwise we’ll start seeing a surge in illegal album sharing again. If you want to read the rest of this article, click here.
As many of you had probably noticed already, since my blog’s inception it has gone through numerous transformations. Some of it was due to new creative directions; and other changes were made to make things easier for me. It was long journey trying to figure out what I felt worked for me. By now, I hope my blog fans can finally see and understand what I’m trying to accomplish with my blog. I also do hope you’re enjoying the new format and the diverse content I have shared, and I hope my visitors continue to enjoy the culture and assortment of genres shared in the future. If you are new to my blog, and if you haven’t already, please click on about to get the general idea of the goal I have for my site.
As far as my youtube channel. There are a lot of issues that exist with youtube, that make it difficult for youtubers to freely create content without dealing with a whole bunch of crap. Some of it is youtube’s consistent unpredictable and unapologetic changes to it’s site; others times it’s the tons and tons of copyright red tape that youtubers have to go through to keep our channel legal. In the end, I decided that movie reviews for even semi classic movies was more trouble than what it is worth. People may not realize, the successful movie reviewers often times have staff helping them in the background (editors, writers, producers, etc). It’s quite difficult when you’re the sole youtuber doing everything, then have to fill out tons of copyright forms, it gets annoying. I’ve carefully researched other youtubers, and sadly, if you’re not a gamer reviewing games, or reviewing the latest new movies (which would pull in 6 digits worth of subscribers each and every single month), there just isn’t a whole lot of views for classic movie reviews older than 1980s (this is for most channels other than my own).
However, I have noticed that there are many views for full public domain movies. I have a funny feeling that this has a lot to do with youtube integrating more and more with television technologies. People can now watch public domain movies, as well as newly purchased movies on just about any TV with youtube capabilities. Having said this, I will now use my youtube channel to post full public domain movies. I will not include these videos on my iTunes channel, to prevent my host from being taxed as a result of high volumes of bandwidth. Thank you for following me, and if you have any friends that love the classics, don’t forget to tell about my blog!