The Daily Rind | Archive | Industry Trends

Home » Industry Trends » Recent Articles:

*News Flash* The Music Business Has Been Fixed

billboard_musicpopularityThat’s not really true. Let me start differently. The music business is not broken. If I hear one more artist complain about the broken music industry and the small digital payouts, I am going to pull my hair out. (Luckily I am already bald so it is not a real concern.)

If you are successful, the music business is amazing. Lots of fun, money, drugs and alcohol (if you choose and I am not endorsing this behavior) and of course the opportunity to make music that people enjoy. If you are not popular, the problem is that there is not much money. Still lots of fun, drugs and alcohol (but you have to pay for them) and still plenty of opportunities to make music. But no money. And it has nothing to do with Spotify payouts or the quality of the music.

I used to hear complaints about the broken business back in the 20th century. Here is a list of a few of the common ones:

  • I need to get signed by a label to release my music.
  • Recording is too expensive.
  • I have no way to reach potential fans.
  • I can’t get distribution.

These problems don’t exist anymore. Solved. But still there is a lot of complaining. The system must be broken. The business just doesn’t work. I can’t make enough money to survive with my music. Digital services just don’t pay enough.

SSShhhhhhh. Let me tell you a little secret. It is a secret that all the successful artists know. Are you ready? You need to become popular. Then you earn a lot of money. People that knew this: Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, every rapper that ever existed, Taylor Swift, Jarvis Cocker, Oasis, and the list goes on and on and on.

The last time I checked there was still only one number 1 single every week. Make it to number 1 and you will see that the system pays out a lot of money. Don’t get hung up on your numbers of streams, downloads, views, etc. It is only the amount in relation to the other artists. So 100,000 video views may seem like a lot but it really doesn’t stack up to the billion views a top artist receives. Same with streaming payouts. Even 1 million streams is not a lot. There’s no money in 1 million streams.

So please stop blaming the system. It is hard to make money in the music industry. But it is not because the industry is broken.

3D Printing, The New Merch!?

January 13, 2014 Industry Trends No Comments

CantTouchThisWhat if you could provide a completely unique one-a-kind experience to your fanbase? No, I’m not talking about a new t-shirt design or buy-one-get-one promo… I’m talking about 3D printing, the completely relevant and attainable concept of creating brand new tangible objects on demand. Recently, The Orchard’s own Kele Okereke of the band Bloc Party made headlines for releasing a 3D printed vinyl record. If 3D printing a vinyl record is possible, what isn’t? Could 3D printing become the new merch?

3D printing involves taking a computer-based 3D blueprint and printing it by successively adding material from the ground up. The concept has been around since the 80s but it’s really catching its stride and is poised to grow by leaps and bounds in 2014. Much of this expected growth is due to the shrinking price points on home-based 3D printers. Traditionally, Brooklyn’s own MakerBot has lead the charge in relatively low cost 3D printing with printers in the 2k to 3k range. However, as of earlier this week at CES 2014, 3D Systems has jumped out to be the lowest with the soon-to-be released Cube at an estimated price point of $1,299.

Okay, so this amazing technology now costs as much as a new Macbook but how do you create a 3D object? No fear, all the biggest players in 3D printing are building out online communities to share designs and services. MakerBot has “Thingiverse” where 3D blueprints can be shared, customized and commented on. Shapeways and Sculpteo are both sites that offer to help turn your 2D designs into 3D objects as well as printing services. Shapeways even has an online store where they’ll promote and track your sales. Finally and even more amazing, MakerBot sells a digitizer, a piece of equipment that will scan a physical object and create a blueprint ready for 3D printing!

If the cost is still too steep or risky, companies are popping up to help facilitate design and printing so the customer doesn’t have to make the initial equipment purchase. A large company like Autodesk has created a workspace called Pier 9 in San Francisco, and a smaller startup, 3D Heights, has launched in New York.

Now imagine 3D printing your most popular song titles or lyrics for fans to proudly display on their desks or in their homes. It could begin with paperweights and iPhone cases then grow to custom flash drives of unreleased material, on-demand vinyl copies of the album, and full-fledged action figures! If done creatively, the results could help drive sales and press.

So is this a passing fad or the real next industrial revolution?

Music’s Dips and Trends of 2013: A Summary

January 9, 2014 Industry Trends No Comments

Music_1980As we forge ahead into 2014, numbers and trends of the year past are being released and opinions on the state of the music industry are beginning to surface. Depending on where each opinion stands, different key words are highlighted: decrease, first time, trends, growth, cannibalizing, expected, surprise, change, embrace…  Before you make up your mind, we’d like to provide a summary of the data that has been released so far.

Digital Music Sales in the U.S.

First, digital music. It has been eating at the physical music format since iTunes launched in 2003, the same way CDs imposed themselves over cassettes, and cassettes over vinyl — you know the story. Billboard just published an article around sales data released by Nielsen SoundScan for 2013. Here are some highlights:

  • iTunes U.S. music store finished 2013 with a decrease in digital music sales
  • digital track sales are down 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units
  • digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million
  • ad-supported and paid subscription services presumed to be cannibalizing digital sales
  • growth in streaming revenue has been offsetting the decline in digital sales revenue

Streaming Trends

If we’re going to presume that subscription services are cannibalizing sales, we also need to consider how they may be replacing one form of music consumption with another. In that vein, the Wall Street Journal has taken a deeper look at streaming trends in relation to music sales and collected data from one anonymous major record company. They uncovered the following: … Continue Reading

The New Music Video: Cheaper and More Social

December 3, 2013 Industry Trends No Comments

mtv_youtubeDo you remember (or have you heard the story of) when MTV launched in the early 80s and propelled the concept of the music video, whose most known example and reference is still the 14-minute clip for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?” It was the beginning of an era which lasted almost 25 years, where a music video had to be a short and entertaining film which only a few artists, generally signed to a major label, could afford.

Almost at the same time, in the mid-80s, two technological revolutions happened that would change music forever. The first one was sampling and the launch of the first affordable samplers which allowed people to take a portion or sample of a sound recording and reuse it on another recording. The second was the emergence of home studios.

These two technologies brought us Hip Hop, Electronic music, Industrial music, Breakbeat… and a few decades of exploding creativity.

Enough history, time to go back to today. Do you see what I’m getting at?

I believe the music video is about to encounter the same kind of revolution that music encountered in the mid-80s.

You no longer need to film with an expensive camera in an exotic part of the world; all the raw material is readily available on the biggest video library we have ever seen: YouTube and its hundreds of thousands of clips you can sample. Not enough? You can use Vine or Instagram or Facebook. Want to be realistic? Just show people the reality they see everyday on social networks or Google Maps… Need to edit something? Add 3D effects? You no longer need an expensive video editing station; a simple laptop should do.

A perfect example of this is Velvet Stairs’ debut video, “Superclusters.” It tells the story of UFO superclusters simultaneously invading cities around the world by using pre-existing footage and clips of social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube.

The best part is that the destiny of this video will depend on the very networks it used in its making. The loop is looped. You’ll notice for example that the video contains footage of supporters celebrating a Parisian soccer team’s victory last year. A team of fans discovered the video, wrote a post on it and shared it with their 18,000 followers!

Another example is Kanye West’s latest video for “Bound 2,” which uses pre-existing National Geographic footage.

In conclusion, as long as you’re complying with all applicable copyright laws, your only limit is your own creativity.

Welcome to the ‘Hood, Rough Trade NYC

November 21, 2013 Industry Trends No Comments

Rough Trade Brooklyn

After a lengthy period of anticipation since it was first announced back in April 2012, the legendary U.K. record shop, Rough Trade, is finally set to open their brand-new U.S. location in Brooklyn on November 25th.

Located at 64 N. 9th St., Rough Trade NYC, according to Billboard, will occupy a “15,000 square foot re-purposed film prop warehouse in Williamsburg (…) and will sell all new music — no used — in multiple formats in addition to serving as a ‘healthy-sized place to hang out’ for music lovers.” What this may be referring to is the in-house 299 person capacity venue being booked by Bowery Presents, as well as the 400 sq. ft. space dedicated to music discovery simply called “The Room.” Additionally, local culinary heroes, Five Leaves, will be serving food and drink to customers in the cafe from breakfast ’til late.

To celebrate the newly-opened space, Rough Trade NYC has already announced several free in-store events for the initial launch period, including an opening-night performance by Charles Bradley (Daptone Records), as well as a special set by Au Revoir Simone (Instant Records) on Tuesday, December 17th. Undoubtedly, a welcoming sign of what’s to come from these legendary retail/music icons!

About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

Follow Us!

Archives