Friday, March 7, 2008

This Week In News

Trent Reznor’s Experiment, One Day Later

Following up a story we posted about a few days ago, Andrew Orlowski reports that Trent Reznor’s new Nine Inch Nails album is being downloaded furiously over BitTorrent, despite the low cost. Orlowski calculates that Reznor lost $160,000 in the first day from people refusing to pay $5 for the full album. He blames “freetards” who actively want to hurt the music business. But perhaps the problem is simply download speed: Reznor’s overloaded website downloads at 10 kb/s, while BitTorrent can be as fast as 500 kb/s. Perhaps that’s why many people are downloading the free version from BitTorrent instead of Reznor’s site?
The Register, March 4th, 2008

But apparently not all fans are unwilling to pay. Digital Music News reports that the $300 premium package sold out overnight, all 2500 copies. So Reznor has made $750,000, at least.
Digital Music News, March 4th, 2008

Study Confirms: Piracy Is Better Than The Real Thing
A British study shows that pirated content is actually easier to use and of higher quality than paid content. Some highlights: 70% of users claim that “legal d/l sites don’t have the range of illegal ones;” 68% claim that with piracy they “can get what they want a lot faster compared to legal sites;” but (they “would pay for legal d/ls if they had what they wanted.”
Mashable, March 5th, 2008

Musicians still waiting on a YouTube payday
Clients of the four largest record labels haven’t seen any money from partnerships the labels signed with YouTube over the past 18 months. Some managers blame YouTube’s poor accounting system, which apparently struggles to determine how many times each artist’s videos are played. YouTube, which is owned by Google, counters that it has acted in good faith and the videos haven’t generated much revenue. One record label, Warner Music Group, claims that it has paid its artists, but music attorney Chris Castle says the he hasn’t heard of any artist getting paid.
CNet, March 6th, 2008

Clive Davis urges singers to stop writing songs
Clive Davis, a mogul who has worked with stars from Whitney Houston to Kelly Clarkson, says that singers shouldn’t feel that they have to write their own songs. Clarkson, for example, sold 11 million copies of her second album, made up of songs written by professional hitmakers; her third album, on which she co-wrote all of the songs, has sold just over 750,000 copies. Davis says that talented singers may not be the best songwriters, and shouldn’t be afraid to sing the best songs they can find, regardless of who wrote them.
Yahoo, March 6th, 2008

RIAA plays both sides of the street in music royalty debate
Nate Anderson writes that the RIAA is taking an inconsistent stand on music royalty rates. The organization is pushing for flat rates for royalty fees from webcasters and for consistency in radio royalties. But the RIAA wants to pay artists a percentage rate instead of the current flat rate.
Ars Technica, March 2nd, 2008

Millennial malaise
This week is Canadian Music Week, and Canadian music industry experts met to discuss the changing music market. The hot topic was how to reach the internet-saturated generation they call “Millenials,” people born from 1982 through 2000 (man, I hope that label doesn’t stick).

For relatively dry coverage, check out The Canadian Press’ take at Jam! Music.

For snarkier but more detailed coverage, head over to Eye Weekly.

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