Argh, I’m back, sooner than you expected. As promised, here’s a bit of a round-up of what’s going on around the traps in the music industry lately. Some of it has a bit of an Aussie flavour… but, uh, well, I can’t help that 😛
John Peel Collection goes online
As you may have heard recently, the very famous John Peel collection is moving entirely online, for the benefit of the entire world. This is happening as part of a social history project. For those of you who don’t know, John Peel was the longest-serving DJ in BBC Radio One’s history. For the metalheads amongst you, you’ll know his work from the Peel Sessions, amongst which were included a bunch of influential metal and rock acts, like AC/DC, Agothocles, Black Sabbath, Carcass, Deep Purple, Dillinger Escape Plan, Extreme Noise Terror, Killing Joke, and a vast number more.
The collection curation is being handled by the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, and will be rolled out over six months beginning May 2012.
According to The Music Network:
It is an enormous undertaking and will include 26,000 LPs and 40,000 singles (as well as several thousand CDs) which the project terms “one of the most important and eclectic modern music collections in the world”. Due to copyright issues, however, the collection will not be playable direct from the site, but instead will include links to stream on Spotify or buy from iTunes (where available).
Awesome stuff, I can’t wait to see it.
Spotify beaten to the post by Deezer… in Australia
On 25 april 2012, the French-based Deezer beat Spotify to the music-streaming post in Australia. On that day, Deezer went live with 15 million tracks throughout Australia, New Zealand and Canada (yay the Commonwealth haha). The streaming service offers a range of music plans and claims something like 20 million fans. Check it out at www.deezer.com.
Industry questions whether downloads apply
Also posted by The Music Network recently was this interesting essay, which questions whether music downloads are even seen as applicable to many music fans. The question was sparked by a bundled ticket-and-download deal for a Madonna tour recently. Which totally bombed. The other question being asked is, do fans even care that they’re getting downloads with their tickets? Do they even know?
Conversely, the plan by Prince (yes, that age-old battle between this fella and that lady) that came off really well about 5 years ago (2007) to give free physical copies of an album away to punters at the door of the gig was rather more successful.
From my perspective, I know that people like to download stuff, but if you’re giving free shit away, give ’em physical copies. At least they get something tangible to go along with their rather more intangible concert experience.
Industry shifts and shuffles… Warner, EMI, Sony… and Roadrunner
It may have come as a mega shock to metal fans recently in the acquisition of Roadrunner Records by Warner Music. The acquisition saw the shutting down (or “streamlining”) of Roadrunner offices worldwide. Heaps of people lost their jobs, though the label’s founder remains as CEO. And what about Blabbermouth.net? Not much word, really. We all assume from this posting that it will continue to be hosted where it always has been.
Warner Music first acquired over 70% of the label way back in January 2007, and finally made its full acquisition moves just this year. The label will continue to operate as its own distinct brand, just as a subsidiary of the Warner Music group.
In other label and industry news, there’s been quite a bit of discussion of the Sony ATV acquisition of EMI Publishing, which is nearly complete. For a really interesting look at this business move, from the perspective of various big-knobs in the industry, go here and read this.
Australia faces a parliamentary inquiry into the price of music
Well, not the price of music per se, but more the prices that merchants like Apple (ahem, iTunes) charge as compared to their businesses in other territories. On average, top-selling albums cost more than 70% more on iTunes Australia than in other territories such as the US. Why? The inquiry looks to be finding out. For different perspectives on whether Aussies pay through the nose for their entertainment, go read this.
From my perspective, we do pay too much. $35 for one CD is just highway robbery, and Australian retailers don’t come to the Global Buying Economy via the internet, preferring to ignore it. Hence why we all buy overseas – or at JB Hifi, which has recognised the shift and has mega sales all the time. As to digital buys, I couldn’t tell you, because I buy purely in hardcopy. Don’t metalheads always? 😉 haha
Australian music industry falls in a funding hole
In the past month, the music festivals below have either had funding removed, or are being discontinued; and yet it appears that indie record labels are going from strength to strength, such as Clarity Records (which I always assumed was just a record shop) in my home town of Adelaide, which has recently signed a new act.
Festivals discontinued or in funding trouble:
- timeOUT DAY in the Park (Cairns) – discontinued
- Falls Tasmania – funding pulled
- Noosa Jazz Festival – on tenuous ground after losing major sponsor
- DREAM Festival in Dubbo – funding question put to the ratepayers
- On The Bright Side (Perth) – discontinued
Dave Grohl to produce doco on Sound City Studios
As plastered everywhere on the internets in recent weeks, Dave Grohl is currently preparing a documentary about the legendary Sound City Studios. These Studios have recorded some of the best metal acts of all time, and Grohl makes no secret of his love of metal. Some of these acts include Metallica, Queens of the Stoneage, Kyuss, Ratt, Dio, Priest, Kiss, Motorhead and Loudness… and more besides.
I have a huge, huge respect for Dave Grohl, not because of his status, but because he is so unashamedly honest. Ever seen him talk about Voivod? Well if you have, you’ll know what I mean. Can’t wait to see this project. It’s gotta be better than Sam Dunn’s latest effort.
… well that’ll do this time around
Next time you’ll see me, it’ll be June. I’ll be bringing you a review of the Imminent Psychosis show in Broken Hill, with a bit of an insight into rural Australian metal culture. It’s a five-hour drive (give or take) from Adelaide, so this expedition will be an interesting one! Till next time! \m/