March 01, 2012

The ASCAP Daily Brief for Thursday, March 1

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This daily email, compiled by ASCAP Board member, music publisher and songwriter Dean Kay, cuts through the media clutter to bring you links to the most relevant news and commentary on the rapidly evolving music industry and how it affects your future livelihood. Now the ASCAP Daily Brief can be accessed on the Headlines page of and in the ASCAP RSS Feed.

When CONSUMERS and CREATORS are happy
everyone in the middle will have gotten digital distribution right

Power to the People: The Real Social Media Revolution Has Just Begun
By Richard Levick -- It remains a fabled era. Political radicals blew up buildings while a half-million decidedly apolitical souls disported in the wet mud of Upstate New York for three days of music and celebration. Judge the 1960s as you will, yet that era's most revolutionary legacy is only now making itself felt. And it's a doozy! The legacy in question is popularly termed "social media."

When the Media Industries Really Need to Start Worrying About Piracy (And It's Not Yet)
By Mark Mulligan -- The lesson of the last decade plus is that whatever actions the media companies take, the piracy problem will be more than a step ahead. Legislation, judiciary process and enforcement are all slow moving beasts. Typically by the time media industries catch up technology and consumer needs have moved on...All of these dynamics are probably familiar to most, but I think we may be on the verge of something very different and of far greater concern for rights holders...

EU's Proactive Move on ACTA
By Sandra Aistars -- Last week, the EU's Commission for Trade announced that the EU will refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to the European Court of Justice. The move, as Barry Sookman expertly explains on his blog, is a proactive measure designed to ensure that debates about ACTA are based on accurate information.

Gracenote: How To Make Data Pay In The Music Business (TCTV)
By Andrew Keen -- While the early history of the Internet is littered with the corpses of music start-ups, not all digital music companies have failed. Take, for example, Gracenote - with its 350 employees in Europe, the US and Asia - is expanding into licensing digital data for video and television content.

Adword Search: How Many People Are Searching for Free Movies?
By Chris Castle -- Here's a little experiment: Try using Google Adwords "keywords tool" - a program that suggests Google Adwords matched to keywords you enter. Meaning, if you want to buy an Adword because you are selling, for example "harry potter movie," it will tell you the most popular Adwords you can buy. Just to cut to the chase, try searching for "free harry potter movie" and see what happens.

Eminem's Digital Royalties Lawsuit: Leaked Audit Highlights Huge Stakes for Music Biz
By Eriq Gardner -- Over the last few months, the music industry has been rocked by multiple lawsuits alleging that artists such as Kenny Rogers, Sister Sledge, Rob Zombie and others have been cheated out of substantial money from the improper calculation of revenues from digital music.

Most Smartphone Owners Say They're Ready to Make Payments with Their Phones
By Phil Hornshaw -- Rumor has it that Apple is looking to add near-field communication technology to its next iPhone, allowing customers to use their smartphones to pay at registers in brick-and-mortar stores. And it seems that many smartphone owners are ready to do just that.

Tomahawk, the Most Important Music App Nobody's Talking About
By Eliot Van Buskirk -- In order for a technology to take off these days, it has to be simple. Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, Spotify - each can be summed up in a sentence or so and readily understood from the very first. Tomahawk is more complicated, but if you're a music fan who listens to music on a laptop or desktop - and has friends who do, too - it warrants a try, and possibly a place in your quiver of favorite music apps.

Meridith Valiando Is Bringing YouTube To Concert Halls
By Alex Knapp -- Meridith Valiando is one of the co-founders of Digitour - a five week touring music fest featuring some of the most popular acts musical acts on YouTube. Between them, those acts have over 10 million subscribers and 2 billion views between them. I had a chance to talk with Meridith about the Digitour, her starring role in a Blackberry commercial, and the future of music.

Mobile Marketing for Independent Artists: Tools
By Jem Bahaijoub -- So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians...We've discussed the reality. We've established the importance of strategy. Now it's time to talk tools!

5 Social Media Fails By Musicians
By Robin Davey -- Artists have a myriad of possibilities when it comes to social networking. The way these are utilized is often woefully misguided and as a result artists become their own worst enemy.

What's The Quickest Way To Kill A Song?
By Songtrust -- Although songs unfold and progress so naturally to us as listeners, the process of songwriting itself can be a difficult beast to tame. There are many mistakes, ranging from minute to catastrophic, that songwriters can make throughout the songwriting process that can damage the overall quality of a song.

Mastered for iTunes: How Audio Engineers Tweak Music for the iPod Age
By Chris Foresmani -- In an age when Apple has become the top music retailer without selling a single physical disc, audio engineers are increasingly creating specially mastered versions of songs and albums designed to counteract the audio degradation caused by compression.

George Harrison's Beloved Guitars, Gently Weeping on Your iPad
By Dave Itzkoff -- Some music fans understandably regard the guitars owned and played by George Harrison, in his Beatles career and as a solo artist, as sacred relics that may still contain fragments of their former master's spirit. Dhani Harrison, the son and only child of George Harrison, appreciates why the instruments he inherited from his father are so venerated but sees things slightly differently.

[This is personal. Mike created the iconic B3 intro to Frank Sinatra's recording of, "That's Life," and I saw him do it. He was the best keyboard player in L.A. and a dear friend.]
Mike Melvoin Dies at 74; Studio Musician, Composer
By Don Heckman -- Mike Melvoin, a pianist/composer/arranger whose credits reach from Stan Getz and Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson and the Beach Boys, and who was the first active musician to serve as national president of the Recording Academy, has died. He was 74. As a busy studio musician for a good part of his career, Melvoin was always quick to defend the skills and the versatility of the players who performed, as he did, on recordings, films, television shows and beyond, bringing life to every style and genre of music.

Dean Kay


Dean Kay has been at the helm of some of the most highly respected and forward thinking music publishing companies in the world, first as COO of the Welk Music Group, then as President/ CEO of the US division of the PolyGram International Publishing Group, and now as President/CEO of his own precedent setting venture, Lichelle Music Company. Prior to his involvement in publishing, he was a successful songwriter, having had hundreds of his compositions recorded - including "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra. Mr. Kay has been a member of the Board of Directors of ASCAP since 1989 and is Chairman of its New Technologies Committee. He is also on the Board of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA).

The ASCAP Daily Brief-Powered by The Dean's List is intended as a guide to direct music professionals to key articles about issues facing the entertainment industry. Recipients are encouraged to read further about the issues by accessing the complete article through the links provided. Author attribution is provided with each article, and none of the links allow readers to by-pass subscription archive gateways. Please note that all editorial comments are indicated in brackets. Questions? Comments? Please Contact Us