Untitled Document Untitled Document Get smart!
Message Boards
Home > Communities > Message Boards
 

Email This Page to Someone!
  MP3.com BulletinBoard
  Michael's Minute
  Plums Don't Bounce

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Author Topic:   Plums Don't Bounce
michael
Administrator
posted 09-27-99 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for michael   Click Here to Email michael     Edit Message
As I came through the door from a long day at work, my 2-year-old greeted me with a stern look and the declaration, "Plums don't bounce, Dad." It turns out that he had grabbed a plum and promptly smashed it on the kitchen tile, expecting it to bounce. He's been surrounded by an abundance of balls since he was a tiny baby, so it probably seemed like a reasonable assumption to expect a round, purple thing to bounce.

Unfortunately, knowledge learned in one domain doesn't always translate to another domain--the same is true about the Internet and the music industry.

Today's recorded music business is built largely around selling CDs and singles. The first reaction of many to the advent of the net is to apply this existing knowledge and approach to the digital domain. This explains the rash of CD retailers that sprung up in the early years. Many have merged and/or been bought, and all have yet to figure out a way to turn a profit.

The next wave of music capitalists found flaws with the physical CD sellers and declared that selling singles and albums digitally is the wave of the future. Efforts such as the Madison Project (a.k.a. AlbumDirect), companies like EMusic and Mjuice, and technologies such as Liquid Audio are advancing the download sales model. Other companies, including ARTISTdirect, maintain that selling artist merchandise on the net is the key.

However, just as "plums don't bounce," the problem with selling CDs, singles (even digitally), T-shirts or other music products on the net is that it simply extends the current business without understanding and embracing the new consumer behaviors found in cyberspace.

Although digital efficiencies may make traditional offline businesses operate more profitably on the net, the challenge with music is that the underlying way in which consumers find, share and interact with their music is changing. Music listeners on the net taste and acquire their music in ways that have moved beyond the "hear it on radio and buy it at a CD store" recipe. They want instant accessibility, they want versatility, they want the ability to share their experience with others and learn from others' experiences.

The opportunity music companies and artists have on the net is to embrace these net tendencies and to do so in such a way that they gain knowledge about what consumers want. The key to unlocking the value of that knowledge is through effective marketing to each and every unique listener.

Selling music will be replaced by selling consumers. Instead of valuing music companies by the size of their catalog, they will be valued by the size of their customer base, and catalog will move to where it can be best monetized.

Today on MP3.com, we have more than 6 million registered users and they all have their own music catalog, music newsletter and recommendations waiting for them at my.mp3.com. See the tabs within my.mp3.com titled "my news," "recommendations" and "my music" for all the good stuff. This data is the foundation behind the concept of an MSP (music service provider).

Learning about consumers and adapting marketing and sales to net strategies is the key to expanding the business. The reach of the net is growing dramatically each day. It's now possible to do massive personalized marketing campaigns to the most likely buyers in an extraordinarily efficient manner.

Together with next-generation music hardware and software, this will spur an explosion in the consumption of music. As UCLA professor George Geis recently said, "Music is a $100 billion industry trapped inside a $40 billion body." Growth like that will buy a whole lot of plums.

-MR

Michael Robertson
MP3.com
Freedom to Discover

[This message has been edited by michael (edited 09-28-99).]

canzonieri
posted 09-27-99 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canzonieri   Click Here to Email canzonieri     Edit Message
I think you are totally right about the misguided transitioning that people are doing from the retail and radio "plugging" of music to make sales to that of the internet, which calls for marketing models that are not traditional to the music biz, but which can indeed have applications from other real world business.

I see the nature of music on the net also in terms of how many people it can reach instead of how many units were sold. This puts a musical artistic release in the same type of market that a tv show is in. These types of artistic releases are produced, sold, marketed, and distributed to reach number of people in a different way than records are sold to people. People don't directly pay to watch a tv show, it comes into the home via a device. For this "pleasure", they experience Advertisements. This is where I see things going.

And, as there are "free" tv shows, there are also very profitable "pay for view" shows and very successful monthly paid for cable tv shows. This too will be the way some music is marketed in the future of the internet.

Even further in the future will be the intersecting (in the internet) of visuals, sound, and multi-media to create not records but musical magazines, not label rosters but subscribable internet music providers. Also, as there are high brow magazines that surive by subscription only, there will be low brow magazines that survive by target advertizing to their customer demographics.

This will be the freeing of artists from the slavery of the present major label system to a more equitable system where the artist partners with a magazine-like or tv show-like music provider to create an experience that will entice both the types of customers that are being targeted and the types of advertizing these custumers would appreciate.
Why do companies advertize in magazines or on tv shows? because the people targeted by the mag or show is the type of person that would buy the advertized product. The customer just needed a central place to find what to get and where to get it.

This might be scary to some, but to the smart, this is the perfect scenario where musical artists can finally get there full worth - like actors are paid to draw people in, and like good writers and editors are paid to maintain journalistic integrity and attract readers.

Sal Canzonieri - Electric Frankenstein

CheRivera
posted 09-27-99 11:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CheRivera   Click Here to Email CheRivera     Edit Message
Sal wrote:

_And, as there are "free" tv shows, there are also very profitable "pay for view" shows and very successful monthly paid for cable tv shows. This too will be the way some music is marketed in the future of the internet._

So true, so true. But what is missing in this "plums don't bounce" discussion is the plums.

Jerry Seinfeld had and still has the most successful show on "free" tv. Now, if Jerry only got paid half of the sale of recordings (in his case Video Tapes) he wouldn't have made or wouldn't be making very many plums, would he.

But Jerry got a paid a tremendous amount of plums when his "free" tv show aired from advertising revenue and stock options. And he gets a lot of plums every time his reruns air. He also gets plums when people buy Video Tapes of his program, but a lot of people just download, uh, I mean record his program from the "free" tv broadcast on their own video tapes. Depriving Jerry of a lot of plums.

MP3.COM is on the right track here with understanding the direction of music on the internet. And, Michael is correct that "plums don't bounce". But they do taste mighty good when you're hungry and they do have a value and you can trade 'em for stuff like a house and a car if you have enough of 'em.. And I and other artists would sure like the same kind of "free tv" deal that Jerry Seinfeld and other "free tv" artists have... where you get plums from advertising revenue and stock value as well as the plums from selling recordings.

I guess I am plum frustrated about it.

KENNY LEE and the BBQ BLUES BAND
www.mp3.com/KennyLee

"plum good blues,y'all"

[This message has been edited by CheRivera (edited 09-28-99).]

[This message has been edited by CheRivera (edited 09-28-99).]

[This message has been edited by CheRivera (edited 10-05-99).]

[This message has been edited by CheRivera (edited 10-05-99).]

Vandeervecken
posted 09-28-99 12:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vandeervecken   Click Here to Email Vandeervecken     Edit Message
Every new technology is said to be bringing the destruction of the music business. The LP, the casstte deck, all were going to kill music. All have instead expanded it. MP3's will cause an explosion of new music fo consumers, and new opertunities for artists. The only people who MP3's will hurt are the grey suits who for far to long have controlled what we get to hear. Vandeervecken

[This message has been edited by Vandeervecken (edited 09-28-99).]

canzonieri
posted 09-28-99 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canzonieri   Click Here to Email canzonieri     Edit Message
The suits controlling what we get to hear is the whole crux of the matter. What's popular in the music business is an artificial construct, because the major labels control just who gets out there to the people. BUT, a lot of people's tastes are not represented by what's made available by the majors. There are loads of people are all ages that like "easy Listening"for example, and I reckon that there can be charting acts in this style (corny as it is) and since the major have deemed it "uncool", then a huge segment of the population doesn't get what it wants. The internet will allow all niches in the marketplace to have satifaction. SO, indeed, a $40 billion industry can finally, once unrestrained, become the $100 billion industry it has the potential to be. Isn't it funny (a real joke) how by "forcing" the industry to do things to make money for the majors, they instead have strangled it to the point that sales are way down for majors and that consumer satisfaction is way down and that the majors barely can make a profit (with huge overhead on top), Wall Street projections in Barron's showing that the majors will be in the red by 2001. That's what controlling the market gets you!

LarryBLee
posted 09-28-99 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Vandeervecken:
canzonieri:

Excellent points!

Mainstream media dictates what the masses "want to hear," and since the masses are not exposed to anything else, they are not aware that there are "other options."

The renaissance of music and other arts will occur when the internet and high bandwidth make all other options available to the mass of people; and it is the people, and only the people, that will decide what they want to hear or enjoy. The suits will not influence or control the artistic tastes of the masses when the arts are removed from the sphere of hyperbole and hype.

I have discovered many artists and genres here that I enjoy and appreciate simply because I have been exposed to these "other options."

Michael Robertson wrote:

quote:
"Although digital efficiencies may make traditional offline businesses operate more profitably on the net, the challenge with music is that the underlying way in which consumers find, share, and interact with their music is changing. Music listeners on the net taste and acquire their music in ways that have moved beyond the "hear it on radio and buy it at a CD store" recipe. They want instant accessibility, they want versatility, they want the ability to share their experience with others and learn from others' experiences."

Kenny Lee:

"The change, it had to come. We knew it all along.....I tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution.....[excerpted from "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who].

The mass of people out there are not aware of the availability of 'unfettered' music.

Hell, the mass of people are not even connected to the internet as yet.

The people involved in these discussions represent the vanguard of the leading edge of an entirely new and untested concept; "free music."

I have faith the mass of people will understand the importance of supporting the arts.

The change will come. We've known it all along.

There You Have It ;
Time For Change !

www.mp3.com/RonnieCollins

"Free Music" cannot stay "free"
If you don't buy a D.A.M. CD !

www.musicians-united.org

If anyone would like to support some kick-ass blues bands;

www.mp3.com/KennyLee

www.mp3.com/BadNewsBlues

[This message has been edited by LarryBLee (edited 09-28-99).]

Rambo
posted 09-28-99 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rambo   Click Here to Email Rambo     Edit Message
1. This is really an attempt to promote "MYMP3".

2. That tells me its' not working out as well as you suspected.

3. I -HATE- "MYMP3". Why? How dare you try to tell me what I like. I TEST a lot of the music here, from various categories, yet based on that you assume that because I download it, I like it all. That is NOT the case. I like some of it... So, you telling me what -MY- mp3's should be irks me.

The old school industry has been doing that for too long. I'll find my own mp3's, thank you. I'll ask other artists what THEY like. I'll listen and determine for myself what I like. I think it was a mistake to call it -MY- mp3. All it is is similar artists (in your opinion) to the ones I've already downloaded. I don't look for similarity, I look for uniqueness.

Your "featured artists" has already proven to me you have no idea what I like. Just because, say, Tom Greene is the #1 song, you assume that lots of people "like" it? Its' the HYPE they like, not the music.

Good hype dies... good music lives.

Stop telling me what I like. Those are NOT "MY" mp3's. They are yours.

p.s. Eggs don't bounce either.

LarryBLee
posted 09-29-99 05:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Rambo said:

quote:
I don't look for similarity, I look for uniqueness.

That silly thing on the artist's page that says "Similar Artists" makes me laugh.

Why would anyone want to sound similar to anyone else, and why should that matter to me as a listener or music fan?

If you are a singer and you sound like Bob Dylan, what do we need you for, we've already got a "Bob Dylan."

The bands and artists I like do not sound similar to anyone else, and I never look at the My MP3 page because I do not want somebody telling me what I should like.

DustyS
posted 09-29-99 05:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DustyS   Click Here to Email DustyS     Edit Message
Regarding Michael's remark about CD stores on the Net : "...all have yet to figure out a way to turn a profit."

I think historically we're still in the "struggling for market share" phase, as it regards Internet sales of music. Companies are working at creating recognition of their name with the buying public, and building market share. Examples are CDNow and Amazon. Businesses that are vying for market share are not expected to turn a profit. They run at a loss for as long as it takes to kill or out-distance their competitors.

That's Marketing 101, isn't it?

While I agree with points Michael has made, I don't think the profitability of online CD stores can be held up as proof of these points.


Cheers
Tom Dowad
http://www.mp3.com/soroka

Monkey in the Middle
posted 09-29-99 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Monkey in the Middle   Click Here to Email Monkey in the Middle     Edit Message
Yeah, it definitely struck me that the "not turning a profit" bit was a fine example of the pot calling the kettle black. All of these companies, including mp3c are hemoragging money at a tremendous rate.

It's great that all this money and attention is being focused on music, but the sad part is that all of the real money is being made now (and for the foreseeable future) is being made in the IPOs, not in the marketplace. In the traditional music business, it is extremely difficult to become a millionaire. In the new internet music business, people are becoming multimillionaires way before their business is any where near turning a positive cash flow, much less a profit.

While I agree with many of the sentiments that the "new breed" of companies espouse, I believe that these sentiments are only incidental to the real purpose of the companies, which is to make a killing on the market. Call me cynical, but no one would have started any of these companies otherwise.

Read the 10-Qs, do the math & tell me that this isn't all smoke & mirrors.

Speaking of Who songs, anyone remember "Won't Get Fooled Again?"

LarryBLee
posted 09-29-99 05:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Michael Robertson said:

quote:
Learning about consumers and adapting marketing and sales to net strategies is the key to expanding the business. The reach of the net is growing dramatically each day. It's now possible to do massive personalized marketing campaigns to the most likely buyers in an extraordinarily efficient manner.

Reinventing the Music Biz, it seems to me, would involve adopting strategies that are entirely different from the old paradigm.

The charts at mp3c mimic the BillBoard charts; with the bullets and everything; but mp3c charts are based on some sort of proprietary formula involving the number of downloads, D.A.M. CD sales, and who knows what else.

Featured artists are chosen by committee, I presume, or perhaps by someone who functions much like the Program Director at a radio station.

The number of downloads an artist enjoys are irrelevant to me as a music fan. Popularity, to me, is a good indication of mediocrity, because that is very much a part of the old paradigm.

Perhaps I am an unusual music fan, but I look for music that pushes the envelope, that breaks the mold, that is stylistically unique or experimental.

Perhaps I am much too discriminating in my musical tastes, or perhaps I demand too much from artists.

My music collection reflects a history of purchasing the works of artists that were outside of the mainstream....Joni Mitchell, the early Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green), Leo Kottke, Tom Waite, Neil Young, John Prine, to name only a few.

Many of those artists became popular over time simply because they were not mainstream; rather, they were unique.

Rambo makes a good point.

For example, Gracie & the Slipcovers are a unique band here on mp3.com, but their tune "Country Songs" is not my favorite, although it resides near the top of the charts. There are other tunes on their D.A.M. CD that deserve more attention, in my humble opinion.

The chart paradigm is flawed within the context of cyberspace, in my view.

You are right, Michael, plums don't bounce; and it was you who said:

quote:
Unfortunately, knowledge learned in one domain doesn't always translate to another domain--the same is true about the Internet and the music industry.

Reinvent the Music Biz, starting from scratch. Throw out the old paradigm, and create a new paradigm that is suitable for the quirky universe of cyberspace, where all of us discriminating music fans reside.

There You Have It ;
Time For Change !

www.mp3.com/RonnieCollins

www.musicians-united.org

Herbivore
posted 09-29-99 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Herbivore   Click Here to Email Herbivore     Edit Message
quote:
"Music is a $100 billion industry trapped inside a $40 billion body."

Is this like champagne taste and beer income? I understand the analogy. I also understand that there are plenty of artists getting plenty of plums still all of it does not amount to a whole lot of anything. Years ago there was a great article in Option magazine where Mike D from the Beastie Boys talked about getting free stuff and how great and abundant it was before he got signed. The free stuff is what I would consider plums. They are a lot of fun but at the end of the day you can't pay your rent with a couple of dozen tee shirts a few CDs and a handful of other schwag. I think that not too many people get it. Even the people that are connected and are online don't really get it. Yes, the money made up to now is through IPOs and the like. Up to now all that the Internet has done is make traditional businesses more efficient and reach a lot more people. While this is only a step, albeit an important one, some businesses, labels, bands etc, see it as the end all of the Internet music industry. That is what the race has been. That is extremely shortsighted. I can't wait to see what is coming. We are on the brink of some really far out Jetson's type stuff. I can feel it. So for now, complain about how 'My Mp3s' are intrusive and unwelcome and how the company that was started here is not working out. I will be strapping myself in for the ride I have waited for since I was a kid. Hats off to the pioneers like Mp3.com and if you don't like it don't buy into it. More for the rest of us.

Rambo
posted 09-29-99 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rambo   Click Here to Email Rambo     Edit Message
More what?

wellwisher
posted 09-29-99 06:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wellwisher   Click Here to Email wellwisher     Edit Message
So for the cynical point of view:

I go to a site (mp3.com) with a 'Featured Artist' like TLC and I'm supposed to believe they're not telling me who to like? I'm supposed to believe the squeaky dollar doesn't get the grease?

1. If I have more money and less talent than my fellow artist then I can buy more banner ads on this site.

2. If I have bigger hooters and more cleavage and/or upload songs with 'sex' in the title, I'll get a lot more attention than the most original, unique mp3er on the site.

So now, do tell, what has changed again? Same ol' biz wrapped in a new browser interface.

I also enjoyed the irony in the comment about online CD retailers not making a profit as this site and it's business model continue to bleed huge amounts of red ink.

With all due respect, of course...

Ranter
posted 09-30-99 05:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ranter   Click Here to Email Ranter     Edit Message
Dang Larry this is maybe the most intelligent statement I have ever read on these messageboards. This one sentence is the nutshell I've been looking for. You hit the nail.
"Popularity, to me, is a good indication of mediocrity, because that is very much a part of the old paradigm."-Larry Blee

And Michael,
" Growth like that will buy a whole lot of plums."
Just send me a case of "plums" anytime :-)

mp3.com/DonCampbell

YourDad
posted 09-30-99 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YourDad   Click Here to Email YourDad     Edit Message
Rambo sez-

1. This is really an attempt to promote "MYMP3".
2. That tells me its' not working out as well as you suspected.

and I agree. The MP3.com crew has this new animal at their disposal, but they have no idea how to make it work. They fall back on tired ideas, charts, "personalizing" things for us. That's like asking, do you want the "custom" sports option on your new Camero?

Even if the majority of people aren't looking for something unique like LarryBLee, they are still going to want to make up their own minds about their music, considering the wealth of options available.

What is needed is an entirely new interface. Too bad they got the songs and the bucks, and all I've got are these silly ideas...

Jeff Coleman
www.stormloader.com/compkid/

tiffany barsotti
posted 09-30-99 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tiffany barsotti   Click Here to Email tiffany barsotti     Edit Message
If technology broke it, technology can fix it.
For those who think that technology has broken the music business in half, is true to some extent, however people have gotten wiser. I have another saying: Each generation is augumented and edited. Thank whatever source you want to thank (God, Buddha, etc).

LarryBLee
posted 09-30-99 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
I read in an article somewhere that Michael Robertson mentioned mp3.com artists or bands that utilize scripts to download multiple copies of their tunes in order to force them up the charts. I think the title of the article was "Your Band Is Not Popular."

I am trying to understand why an artist/band would want to cheat. There is not any monetary incentive, since the highest selling artist/band on this site is reported to have sold around 600 D.A.M. CDs; nothing to write home about.

Is "popularity" the brass ring that artists aspire to? Is popularity so important that "cheating the system" becomes a viable option? I think that artists who utilize download scripts are the same kind of people who commit crimes so they can see their name in the headlines.

Having a tune at number 9 on the charts "with a bullet" is merely a contrived manner of "keeping score" as if it really matters who "wins".

Music and the arts are not a competitive sport like football, where "winning" is the primary goal.

The primary goal should be communicating to the listener.

The old paradigm demands score-keeping, the new paradigm should not.

Most of the tunes I have enjoyed and bought reside all over the charts. What matters to me is what goes in my ears and affects my brain and my emotions. The charts are irrelevant to me. In other words, "that plum don't bounce."

If an artist believes popularity is the primary empetus for creating music, they should go sign a "six-figure record deal" and be happy with the old paradigm and all of its implications.

Will the new paradigm look anything like the old paradigm? I don't think so.

But then again, only time will tell....

www.mp3.com/RonnieCollins

[This message has been edited by LarryBLee (edited 09-30-99).]

tdn
posted 09-30-99 04:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tdn     Edit Message
<< It's now possible to do massive personalized marketing campaigns to the most likely buyers in an extraordinarily efficient manner. >>

Note that the MP3.com prospectus listed as a "risk to the business" the prospect that laws would be passed to limit or even stop unsolicited commercial email, a.k.a. SPAM.

Is this what MP3.com wants to be known for? Especially when they could set up much more friendly "opt-in" mailing lists instead?

Monkey in the Middle
posted 09-30-99 05:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Monkey in the Middle   Click Here to Email Monkey in the Middle     Edit Message
People are people and that's not gonna change any time soon.

The people who created the traditional music business were once as idealistic as the people trying to create the "new" music business. The traditional music business really started when the Beatles hit (before that, the "traditional" music business meant Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como et al and had a much different ethic). There was a huge surge of new people and money in the business all fueled with revolutionary zeal and comraderie, and quickly that was co-opted by major corporations and the revolution was packaged and resold to the revolutionaries, and bit by bit the original message was diluted and twisted until it became utterly buried by the mundane.

Grace Slick (in the early days, when the Jefferson Airplane was cool) once wondered aloud why it was that RCA would put their records out, even though their parent company was a major, major defense contractor and the Airplane was intensely and loudly anti-war. Her answer was that they just didn't care cause RCA was making a ton of money of them. Revolutionary zeal will get you deftly manipulated every time.

There is a saying that revolutions are always lost after they're won. I don't know how the digital revolution will really affect the music business, I have my guesses but, like Socrates, the only thing that I'm sure of is that I don't know for sure. It's a pretty safe bet though that big money will end up controlling the primary means of distribution and promotion and figure out how to keep the little guy down, and artists who are looking for someone else to make them into stars will get screwed left and right.

Don't be fooled by people who espouse nice ideals. This is a business as much as any business is a business. If these guys can't make a buck off you, either they will shut their doors in failure or they won't pay any attention and will instead focus on those who they can make a buck from. It's nothing personal, it's business and it's the way business has to work.

As Chuck D. once said (who, as an aside, is perhaps one of the great success stories of the internet, since before he jumped on the digital music bandwagon he couldn't get arrested and now any old rag will print his rants, and is also probably one of the very few people out there who could actually make Billy Idol look ahead of his time):

"Don't believe the hype."

If you want to change the world, start with yourself (and stop there too).

This all is only another tool for people who are talented, smart, lucky and work REALLY hard. Those people can make it with or without any of this.

LarryBLee
posted 09-30-99 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
More on download scripts:

If listeners were required to pay for downloads, or at least required to register and login before downloading, then download scripts would be eliminated.

Also, download info could be provided to the artist indicating the geographical area where the downloads occur.

That also ties-in to "opt-in" mailing lists, where the registered downloader could opt to have their e-mail address forwarded to the artist in order to recieve tour schedules and other promo material.

Just a few thoughts about the new paradigm.

LarryBLee
posted 09-30-99 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Monkey in the Middle said:

quote:
Don't be fooled by people who espouse nice ideals. This is a business as much as any business is a business. If these guys can't make a buck off you, either they will shut their doors in failure or they won't pay any attention and will instead focus on those who they can make a buck from. It's nothing personal, it's business and it's the way business has to work.

It is more than just a business, it is a corporation. Thomas Jefferson wanted to outlaw corporations in the constitution because he percieved corporations to be inherently "evil" due to the fact they have no conscience.

Michael Robertson can be replaced in a heartbeat if his ideals are not in line with the major stockholders; it is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to seperate the "music" from the "biz."

Some plums for thought.

Captain Hook
posted 09-30-99 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Hook     Edit Message
Michael wrote:
>Selling music will be replaced by selling consumers. Instead of valuing music companies by the size of their catalog, they will be valued by the size of their customer base, and catalog will move to where it can be best monetized.


This is an interesting and provocative observation, if a little self-serving. So, let's consider it.

You don't need to think about it too much to see some simple logic. If this premise is true, then the concept of "catalogue" is dead. Why would a large audience of music fans need a catalogue?

A catalogue is something static put together by a middle-man. Isn't it?

A catalogue is an aggregation of artists and their work by some third party. Michael's premise is that a new-wave middle-man (him) will add value by routing traffic in the right direction between artists and fans. He and his technology will become your personal buyer of music, making sensible recommendations tailored to your inner you.

But of course, we're not talking about a lot of human intervention here. We're talking about the kind of software made by Net Perceptions and others that is available at declining prices to anyone with a few nickels.

My question to Michael is: Isn't it the natural evolution of the Net that this black box will be owned and operated by artists, not middlemen? Isn't a model's chance of long-term success in direct proportion to the friction-less communication it can flow between artists and consumers?

In other words, when you break apart the classic record label system and begin to facilitate more direct communication between artists and fans, isn't this model Michael is proposing just a brief way station? Why wouldn't the train keep rolling toward more efficiency, less middle-man.

Why would it even stop at his way station at all?

Captain

LarryBLee
posted 09-30-99 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Good point, Captain.

drummer
posted 10-01-99 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drummer   Click Here to Email drummer     Edit Message
Larryblee wrote:
I am trying to understand why an artist/band would want to cheat. There is not any monetary incentive, since the highest selling artist/band on this site is reported to have sold around 600 D.A.M. CDs; nothing to write home about.

We have seen a lot of cheating on our site. However it seems to be something that the artists do to begin with.After a while they either get tired of it or realise their possibility to evaluate their own situation is ruined by this activity. We feel that this kind of thing is thoughtless because what they are doing can be compared to coming by my house every time one wants to make an overseas call to borrow the phone.
It is a megawaste of bandwidth and proves nothing for the artist.

Still some of the artists look at this as a contest often in direct competition with some other band. They give each other bad reviews etc... So much for solidarity amongst musicians

LarryBLee
posted 10-01-99 04:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
drummer:

Apparently, some stars are not so bright.

Monkey in the Middle
posted 10-01-99 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Monkey in the Middle   Click Here to Email Monkey in the Middle     Edit Message
It is interesting to me that the new paradigm suggested is measuring companies by their consumer base. Isn't that what radio does now? This in conjunction with the major rise in popularity of TV and film soundtracks suggests to me that the trend is to marginalize music and musicians (i.e., music is too often viewed as a marketing tool for a larger vehicle and not valuable in and of itself). As someone said above, popularity is likely a better indicator of mediocrity that genius.

The paradigm that allows musicians to make money from selling records does help those bands out there that don't fit into the mainstream pop market and won't ever fit on the radio.

If success on the net means attracting the most hits and downloads, then nothing at all has changed. To me, the most useful part of this all for artists is that it allows them to cheaply and efficiently nurture and maintain their fan base. It better allows the artist and the fan to engage in a dialogue in ways that was very difficult prior to these developments.

LarryBLee
posted 10-01-99 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Michael said:
quote:
The opportunity music companies and artists have on the net is to embrace these net tendencies and to do so in such a way that they gain knowledge about what consumers want. The key to unlocking the value of that knowledge is through effective marketing to each and every unique listener.

I surmise Michael is speaking of a new paradigm that does not resemble the old paradigm - then I see mp3c emulating the old paradigm with charts and featured artists and compilation CDs that seem like the same old thing you find at a CD store.

I guess we must sit back and see what happens....

Dj Pewi
posted 10-02-99 05:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dj Pewi   Click Here to Email Dj Pewi     Edit Message

It seems to me that mp3.com has yet to fulfill it's true potential.

How many people out there are connecting using a modem? quite a lot I imagine. Who do they connect with? AOL, MSN, Freeserve, Prodigy, Compuserve etc.

There's been something of an isp explosion in the UK over the past few years. It's a shame that mp3.com hasn't got in on the act. When you host large files like mp3's, it translates to a lot of connection time and I'd prefer the cost of that to be used for promoting the artists on here (and maybe even $0.01 a download for the artists?)

Something worth considering maybe...

Pew.
www.mp3.com/DjPewi/

DenisMFarley
posted 10-02-99 11:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DenisMFarley   Click Here to Email DenisMFarley     Edit Message
Monkey in the Middle said,
". . . The traditional music business really started when the Beatles hit (before that, the "traditional" music business meant Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como et al and had a much different ethic). "

There's an excellent book, "The Sound of the City, The Rise of Rock n' Roll" by Steve Gillette. It covers the early years. The Independent labels slowly gained ground until 1963, when they finally achived a majority of the market share. With the Beatles release on Capitol, the majors won in back.

Whether or not a majority of those indie artists received their fair share of the pie would be interesting research in itself.

There's oppotunity here on MP3.com. One of the guys on my recordings made about 10k on the IPO. Like Captain Hook says, it wasn't a smooth transaction. You had to persevere and have a plan.

Perhaps as roster artists we should form a kind of net union and negotiate a wage based on air time like AFTRA or SAG or even the AFM. Certainly there are performance royaltys easily tracked. We could perhaps negotiate with BMI, ASCAP or SESAC or charter our own since the wheels of tradition move slowly. Anything is possible.

This is something that Michael could help us out with - the legal stuff and a meeting place and forum. We are in this together, no? Lets work together . . . as the song goes. Hats off to Frank Frost, who couldn't make the Sunflower Fest this year but whose song will remain.

denis
http://www.mp3.com/artists/16/uncle_mennus.html
www.pourinrain.com/

canzonieri
posted 10-04-99 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for canzonieri   Click Here to Email canzonieri     Edit Message
MP3.com DOES have a deal with ASCAP to pay a fee. My band, Electric Frankenstein, is a member of ASCAP, and we were told last month in the ASCAP newsletter that they made a deal with MP3.com to charge a set fee.

Also, in response to a few posts back from people, my band has paid MP3.com NOT one cent and we were the featured artist 3 times so far. AND, I never was aksed for any money by them to further promote us, so, in my case, I don't see them "getting Greased" to pick featured artists. A lot of other featured artists that I know have also never paid anything for it.

AND, EF has been number one (as we are as of this date) in our genre for over 6 months (on and off)without any so-called "scripts", at least I know that it is new fans that are downloading. So, whatever MP3.com is supposed to do, it is working for my band. Since we've had songs on MP3.com our live show audiences have doubled and tripled and so has magazine coverage, we are now featured in almost every major magazine on the newstands. AND, I doubt we are getting "popular' because we are mediocre, but rather because we are getting our music more direct exposure to our potential fans (who use MP3.com like a listening booth" in a record store).

Some of the anti posts on here seem strange. Are you saying that a band should't seek to grow its audience as much as possible? The more people that are turned on to your band, the more number of peeople you have changed, so to speak. There are lot of people that are willing to like something, once they have had to exposure to it. What if everyone in the world would like for example, a genre like "Punk Rock" and since they were kept from it, it was considered a niche thing, a cult thing, but once it got access to ALL people, a huge percentage decided they liked it?

That's what has to happen, "niche" genre reaching a braod audience to see what it's real number would be without major lable chart tampering and fake promotions. let the people decide what they like. But give them a chance to hear it to decide if they like it.
The internet finally has the potential to give all artists that chance to reach people that might nver have realized that they like that artist's songs.

Rambo
posted 10-04-99 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rambo   Click Here to Email Rambo     Edit Message
quote:
More what?

I'll tell you more what. More of the same crap we've been getting from
record companies. The 'ideal' is gone.

MP3 wants to be the MTV of the 2000's. They've slipped
under the record company door just like MTV did way back when.

I recall the first years of MTV. It WAS cool. Now its arguably crap. MP3.com? Keep in mind that Internet time is much faster. Its like that disease where children grow old before their time.

How could they prevent this? By catering to the true innovative
artists that built this site instead of putting on the kneepads for the
existing industry.

Its like being at Woodstock and they throw an occassional cup of water over the heads of the massively sweating crowds below, while dining on Perrier in skyboxes above.

Don't think I'm all hippie idealist with no solutions. They should
have spun off this site. MP3.com should have remained the artists haven it
was, and they should have spun off a Cream-Of-The-Crop type site where they
could "go commercial" and sell-out.

There is still time for this leopard to get its spots back. If they want
it. They may not. They may want all of us crappy indie artists to SLOWLY go
away (as we are gradually replaced by the record-company Ricky Martins).

Here is how I envision the front page at mp3.com......


NEVER forget this: The internet is about empowering THE USER.

Let the user decide for themselves.

Let -ME- decide what MP3's -I- want to hear.

Empower the user.

---------
-Rambo( The same thing is true for your BB. Install a user customizable filter, one that lets ME determine what I don't want my children to accidentally see. Let ME put the word SH*T in the left column of the filter, and the word POOP in the right column, so that every time the word SH*T comes up, -I- (and my kids) see the word POOP. Let ME be my OWN censor.)

http://www.breakingartists.com

[This message has been edited by Rambo (edited 10-04-99).]

LarryBLee
posted 10-05-99 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
Rambo suggests the User could drive the new paradigm.

Suppose the User entered mp3c as a portal like a registered User would at myYahoo.com; with a personalized home page and all the other goodies.

Demographic data contained in a cookie would accompany transactions on mp3c for free downloads, CD purchases, and the like.

Detailed data would inform the artist of hot demographic areas to include in tentative tour schedules, and the User could opt to have an e-mail notification of upcoming tours, new album releases, press releases, and radio-play info.

Captain Hook
posted 10-06-99 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Hook     Edit Message
Rambo, you're a true inspiration.

I'll give you the proof of how Michael has sold out.

Remember about six months ago when Michael was trying to recruit "spies" to participate in the Madison Project and report back to MP3.com. Didn't he promise that MP3.com would have the hottest news about this made-to-order abortion?

Didn't Michael say that since the Madison Project was going on right in their backyard, San Diego, they could surely get some spies? I swear he did. Maybe it's in the archives?

Well, where's the beef? Why aren't we reading about what a face-saving PR farce Madison was, and how it has bombed, and how it will quietly be pushed under the rug?

Oh.....you know.

The money is in the bank.

The shareholders have to be taken care of.

And it's a whole NEW BALLGAME!

Michael never really understood why so many music fans came to his site. They weren't looking for MP3s. They were looking for change. Now, they're looking elsewhere.

Captain

sm449
posted 10-07-99 05:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sm449   Click Here to Email sm449     Edit Message
MyMP3 - recommendations

This scheme is flawed because it's based on a collaborative filtering system; but unlike other collaborative filtering systems, it filters based on whether you download music, not whether (or how much) you like it.

If I like one track by a particular band, I tend to download everything by them at once, and listen to it later... it might be rubbish. Sometimes I'll download tracks without knowing at all what they sound like (usually I go through a bunch of artists I think I might like, e.g. the top few in a category), then check them out later.

There needs to be some way to (having downloaded a track) come back afterwards and give it marks-out-of-five. Perhaps mymp3 could list all the tracks you've downloaded and allow you to rate them all there.

I'm not necessarily suggesting this review system should be used to rank tracks for "popularity" as download currently works, but it would be a big improvement in their "similarity" algorithms for suggesting new music.

As for the non-automated "sounds like..." field in the band description, this is IMO the most important thing in the site. Genre is far too confused to be seriously useful - different people have completely different opinions about which genre is which. But pretty much every band in existence sounds "vaguely like" some other (well-known, successful) band. I can only think of a few that initially sounded different from almost everything else around (e.g. Massive Attack) but evevn in those cases, shortly afterwards there were bands that sounded like them too (e.g. Portishead).

This would work even better if bands made a serious attempt to fill in that field properly, based on a "people who like [well-known band X] are likely to like our music" style - instead of making pretentious claims that "our music is different to everything else around". It isn't. I've not heard anything good and unique on mp3.com - there's a lot of stuff which is fairly original, but none that couldn't be said to "likely appeal to" fans of a particular well-known band.

Perhaps this could even be automated - for example, via my mp3 people could input "real life", popular bands that they like. Then this could be combined with their ratings of tracks they download, to obtain statistics like: "people who like Aphex Twin are more likely to like tracks by [this unknown group]". Of course, this information could also help the suggestions process.

Technically this would probably work, at least to an extent (I know a bit about statistical AI) and might dramatically increase the quality of search results etc. I'd like to see a "choose the bands you like, then we'll tell you who to listen to on mp3.com" search message becoming the *primary* method of finding bands [who actually cares about all this regional crap anyway?]

--sam

Akonyte
posted 10-08-99 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Akonyte   Click Here to Email Akonyte     Edit Message
Once again others choose for us, and it has come from a place I would have never expected. First MP3 wants us to list popular bands we sound like, we know of none, so that are is blank. Then they decide what genre to put us under without our permission. Is MP3 going the way of the Big Monopolies?
Now we have two things MP3.COM is forcing on us, what is next?

Akonyte
posted 10-08-99 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Akonyte   Click Here to Email Akonyte     Edit Message
Once again others choose for us, and it has come from a place I would have never expected. First MP3 wants us to list popular bands we sound like, we know of none, so that part is blank. Then they decide what genre to put us under without our permission. Is MP3 going the way of the Big Monopolies?
Now we have two things MP3.COM is forcing on us, what is next?

rossh
posted 10-10-99 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rossh   Click Here to Email rossh     Edit Message
captain hook -
Michael never really understood why so many music fans came to his site. They weren't looking for MP3s. They were looking for change. Now, they're looking elsewhere.

This is so true. I came to this site a while ago and thought now was an oppurtunity to get some good things going, like... oh I don't know perhaps a sense of community and respect.

But it becomes more and more obvious now that this place is is a dumping ground for record companies testing the MP3 waters... with their TLC and ICECUBE singles, sitting at the front and good low-budget good music hiding off the "charts".

And because of this it's obvious that MP3.COM is not about nurturing young, up-and-coming artists, not even for profit!

Essentially MP3.COM is the short sighted prostitute selling itself to the big boys. And they are ruining it for themselves for not actively seeking out talent on this site and offering single and perhaps EP deals.. Surely if MP3.COM did this and had a MP3.COM Sponsered single it would downloaded just as well as the crap that gets listed on the charts, I mean the same masses that consume No 1. will surely d/l *whatever* MP3.COM tell them too?

And just how long will it be before a big band breaks on the physical scene with a record deal with one of the five.. and they will say how it all started in MP3.COM, but they didn't get on the charts or didn't get noticed and didn't sell on DAM CD, but they continued sending out demos... and won't micheal be a bit upset knowing he let them slip through his fingers.

All MP3.COM is for me is a large storage space for my mp3's. I once had some passion for this place but now I visit it less and less and I care less and less about my song positions. So MP3.COM you store my MP3's for me. I don't lose anything... other sites dl from here for me and I get publicity there without having to do anything...now who is being used?

for "elsewhere" try

http://www.lowfidelity.com - harsh reviews... truth.. and good music.

Captain Hook
posted 10-11-99 05:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Hook     Edit Message
Rossh, you have hit the nail on the head. From the perspective of a year ago, MP3.com looked like a great idea launched by committed, passionate people.

But now, looking back, it all looks like a fraud. Artists and fans alike were used to launch a successful IPO that put mega-millions into the pockets of Mike Robertson and his Wall Street cronies. Most artists got nothing. And will get nothing.

Now, with an opportunity to invest some of those millions to help artists and fans get change and a better deal, they sell out and go corporate. Who do they think will buy all their corporate shit after the artists and fans leave?

Last month, MP3.com lost 300,000 unique users, according to PCdataonline. Just like I said, I get the data ahead of time, and fans are leaving here in droves. In two years, this site will be a ghost town. But Michael will still have all that money to count. That's really what it was all about.

CBH3
posted 10-12-99 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CBH3   Click Here to Email CBH3     Edit Message

Thanks to PlatosForms for the logo. His brilliant site is here: sites.netscape.net/oblixer/mp3bay.htm

Sure! Let's put MP3.com on EBAY and see how much it gets! Let's sell some old servers and hard disks on ebay!

Let's put ALL of the mp3c ad space on EBAY and let Intel, GM, Gateway and "Fight Club" see who can bid the most!!!!

As Aaron said on another board, "If I bid on 3000 beanie babies, can I get a featured spot, too?" *LOL*

At least change the word "Sponsored". That is so misleading, it's not funny. So many wandering cattle will think that mp3c sponsored the winners of the auctions. CHANGE THE VERBAGE, PLEASE?

WooHoo!!! The MP3.com world is on fire and I'm toasting marshmellows watching it burn!


The devil (i.e. the root of all evil) lives here:
www.mp3.com/auction/


CBH3
"music to listen to while toasting"
www.mp3.com/cbh3

[This message has been edited by CBH3 (edited 10-12-99).]

PlatosForms
posted 10-13-99 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PlatosForms   Click Here to Email PlatosForms     Edit Message
Hey man, thanks for the support.

CBH3
posted 10-13-99 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CBH3   Click Here to Email CBH3     Edit Message
no problemo...

Zeeza
posted 10-13-99 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Zeeza   Click Here to Email Zeeza     Edit Message
I remember one of my kids throwing something on the floor to check if it would bounce...it was an egg..I was pregnant and baking muffins..while sweetly dreaming abouth the day when I could finally play my guitar with having to strech a mile away to reach the chords..

life is hard..

but I understand you point michael..There is something wize in a man..that has become a father..
Growth like that will buy a whole lot of plums...I will be back in here often..I need to learn alot about the music business...
peace

zeeza
www.mp3.com/zeeza

LarryBLee
posted 10-14-99 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
rossh said:

quote:
captain hook -

Michael never really understood why so many music fans came to his site. They weren't
looking for MP3s. They were looking for change. Now, they're looking elsewhere.

This is so true. I came to this site a while ago and thought now was an oppurtunity to get
some good things going, like... oh I don't know perhaps a sense of community and respect.

But it becomes more and more obvious now that this place is is a dumping ground for record companies testing the MP3 waters... with their TLC and ICECUBE singles, sitting at the front and good low-budget good music hiding off the "charts".

And because of this it's obvious that MP3.COM is not about nurturing young, up-and-coming
artists, not even for profit!


Mp3.com is still using the old music industry model of selling your music, "with a browser interface," as someone else said.

The "middle-class musician" has not become a reality as yet. Until revenue streams of $30,000 - $100,000 per artist are realized from this site, it serves no other purpose than promotion of unknown artists to the labels.

www.mp3.com/RonnieCollins

[This message has been edited by LarryBLee (edited 10-14-99).]

PlatosForms
posted 10-14-99 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PlatosForms   Click Here to Email PlatosForms     Edit Message
I think they see a site whose primary goal is to get fatter and fatter. Forget the protein chicken breast, we would rather have 15 slices of bologna. Dilution has come upon us.

And the things which keep regular users are the ones that don't change around here. The charts are utterly stagnant. The new music they haven't heard is on the 223rd page. You'll never get them to go there.

[This message has been edited by PlatosForms (edited 10-14-99).]

Rambo
posted 10-15-99 06:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rambo   Click Here to Email Rambo     Edit Message
quote:
Want to be heard? Are you ready to shamelessly promote your band? The new MP3.com song auction will allow MP3.com artists the opportunity to promote their music by bidding for placement in one of the new "Sponsored Songs" sections, located on the Main Music page and 12 top level genre pages. Each listing is different and will have 10 available slots for songs, which are all up for bid. The top 10 bidders every week are added to the Sponsored Songs section. Bidding starts at $1.00. Shameless Promotion? Yeah... But also an excellent way to be heard! Click here to learn more

..........and yet once again, MP3.com proves its about the money, not the music. Sigh.

-Rambo
http://www.breakingartists.com/

CBH3
posted 10-15-99 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CBH3   Click Here to Email CBH3     Edit Message
Bravo MP3! "Sponsored Songs" is now called "Payola"!!!!

I'm glad you took all of our "crybaby" opinions into account and called it what it really is although the word "Advertisements" would work just as well and not be so offensive to the people who thought they were buying a spot called "Sponsored Songs" and found out at the 11th hour that they are listed under "Payola". *LOL*

For being such a big corporation you guys sure know how to piss EVERYBODY off! You have the anti-auction people mad and now you have the pro-auction people mad! (At least the anti-auction people are quite a bit happier now)

Hurray for the "community"! Hurray for MP3c calling a turd a turd instead of a rose!

WooHoo!!!!

CBH3
"music to toast marshmellows too..."
www.mp3.com/cbh3

drummer
posted 10-20-99 12:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drummer   Click Here to Email drummer     Edit Message
I cannot believe that these idiots are trying to introduce the scourge of the music industry "Payola" as a legit business model.
This must really be the bottom of their intellectuall cesspool. Of course anyone with a brain can see that what they are actually telling us is that the artist at Mp3.com is invisible, just like I have said all along. Sitting here is like trying to get noticed in a traffic jam. This story is over.

LarryBLee
posted 11-03-99 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LarryBLee   Click Here to Email LarryBLee     Edit Message
So far, the management at mp3.com have recieved free music from artists which generates revenue for them, then they recieve free ideas from these discussion boards which serves to improve thier business.

Then they auction "featured artist" spots which generates more revenue for mp3.com than
it does for the artist. (Unless somone can prove otherwise.)

I see a real one-way street developing here.

Mp3.com gets everything for free, and the artists pay for production and advertising.

A very nice arrangement.....for them.


www.mp3.com/RonnieCollins

All times are PT (US)next newest topic | next oldest topic

Thread ClosedTo close this thread, click here (moderator or admin only).

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:
Untitled Document Get great deals here!


Contact Us | MP3.com

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Version 5.35
© Madrona Park, Inc., 1998 - 1999.