Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Music Industry Lies

Sometimes I just get full from all of the lies people tell concerning the music industry. Today is one of those days after hearing for the umpteenth time that music sales had fallen to an all time low. And that the music industry was failing I decided to do a little research on my own.

Here is the story on why people are upset and you continue to get misinformation concerning the industry. Under the old model an Independent record label would have to finance the recording of the music, manufacture album product, manufacture singles, and create posters, flyers and point of purchase advertising. Then find a distributor that would buy the product for a healthy $8.00, the distributor would then sell the product to the retail store for $12.00 who in turn marks the product up to $16.98.

If you were unlucky enough to get a major deal then the numbers get even smaller. After the label has recouped the advance to artist, marketing funds, packaging deduction, producer’s funds and video advance a “HIT” CD would average $1.40 - $1.70. Placing that equation into today’s digital world you can sell 2 singles online at $.99 and get more money than you could receive on selling a complete CD while on a major label.

What I have found out is very illuminating.

Nielson SoundScan has reported that in the four years of 2006 to 2009, music purchases increased from a record starting point of 1 billion purchases to the new record point of 1.5 billion music purchases. This does not take into consideration the sales or other revenue streams that Nielson SoundScan doesn’t track.

So let’s take a moment and look at the non tractable revenue streams.

Public performance income

Pay what you want donations

Show income

Ringtone sales

Synchronization license

Subscription based streaming services like Rhapsody & Mog

DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) streams like Pandora. Last.Fm, Jango, Slacker and satellite radio XM, Sirius


Direct Fan selling sites

Bundling or selling music with merchandise like t-shirts or video games.

Fan Club subscriptions


All of these uses, plays, licenses and purchases generate revenue, just like a paid download. When you include these additional revenue streams the numbers go off the graph. The reality is:

More musicians are making money off their music now then at any point in history. This is occurring around the world and new exciting music is being created daily.

The cost of buying music has gotten lower but the amount of money going into the artist's pocket has increased. More music more money this is a natural phenomenon.


There are more people listening, sharing, buying, monetizing, stealing and engaging with music than at any other point in history. The Internet has opened up a brand new “wild wild west” where new and innovative ideas concerning music and music usage are being explored.

There are more new ways for an artist to get heard, achieve a fan base and make a living off their music now than at any point in the history of this planet.


The gate keepers have been eliminated because technology has made it possible for any artist to get distribution, to get discovered, to pursue their dreams with no company or person making the decision that they are not allowed “in the industry”.

Once there was a “traditional” system for music to be created and distributed, now The majority of music is happening outside of the “traditional” system


The conclusion that is not realized is that more and more artists are selling singles to the population that wants them, while CD and album sales and downloads are decreasing. Why pay $16.98 for an entire CD when the single you want is only $.99, simple arithmetic.

Even vinyl is making a comeback for independent artists and labels. Big labels still aren't buying the vinyl comeback, but it wouldn't be the first time the industry failed to identify a new trend in the music biz.
On Oct. 17, Amazon.com launched a vinyl-only section stocked with a growing collection of titles and several models of record players.

"Our numbers, at least, don't really point to resurgence," said Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America's director of communications. Likewise, Nielsen SoundScan, which registered a slight increase in vinyl sales last year, nonetheless showed a 43 percent decrease between 2000 and 2006.
But when it comes to vinyl, these organizations don't really know what they're talking about. The RIAA's numbers are misleading because its member labels are only now beginning to react to the growing demand for vinyl. As for SoundScan, its numbers don't include many of the small indie and dance shops where records are sold. More importantly, neither organization tracks used records sold at stores or on eBay -- arguably the central clearinghouse for vinyl worldwide.
Vinyl's popularity has been underreported before.
"The Consumer Electronics Association said that only 100,000 turntables were sold in 2004. Numark alone sold more than that to pro DJs that year," said Chris Roman, product manager for Numark.
The realization of this is spellbinding, the truth is mesmerizing.

Number one is that music fans are buying more music from a wider spectrum of artists.

Contrary to popular belief, despite the cost going down to purchase music, the net revenue for a self-distributing artist is up as compared to what an artist traditionally earned via a label.

Finally the entire business model of the major labels was built around selling a full-length physical album. Because of this, those artists signed to majors net less money off the sale of the music, while the label makes a killing.

Think about it, what other lies are you being told?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What is the NAB doing?
http://ping.fm/m8YXY

NAB = NOT ALWAYS BEARABLE


Allen L. Johnston – The Music Specialist
www.asha.com

On October 25, 2010 the NAB announced that its Radio Board is backing a "limited" performance fee that would range between 0.25% and 1% of a station's net revenue, depending on a provision related to the rollout of radio-activated mobile devices. Under the terms approved by the Board, the Copyright Royalty Board will no longer set rates for broadcast or Internet radio, MusicFIRST must acknowledge and recognize "the unparalleled promotional value" of radio, and an AFTRA issue that would allow streaming of commercials must be resolved.

Upon first reading about the proposed terms I immediately thought that NAB was trying to work against the musicians and artists that comprise MusicFIRST.

Their first requirement of disbanding the Copyright Board's ability to set rates is completely not in the interest of MusicFIRST. This idea is presented for terrestrial radio broadcast AND Internet streaming. I believe that the entire industry is headed towards reception of Internet streamed material direct to consumer. Of course the NAB wants to set their own rates and when they can’t agree with the artists they want a special "legislatively mandated rate court." to handle the situation. Without a governing body that regulates, sets rates and procedures the NAB would have no one to control them and their money would keep litigation going on for years.

The second issue of wanting the US government to make FM chips in cellphones mandatory has nothing to do with the rights of MusicFIRST or artists as a hold. Once you read the terminology you then understand that this will include ALL radio active mobile devices, which mean computers, cell phones, and anything new that may come around. My question is WHY? FM technology is OLD antiquated technology that will be totally phased out within a few years. What is the real reasoning behind the NAB wanting to impose their will upon the entire music industry? It must have something to do with the idea of Internet streaming and their ability to control the airwaves, (read MONEY).

Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, which represents the mobile phone makers has said “If NAB keeps pushing this agenda, CEA will "continue to point out the following":
"Radio is a legacy horse and buggy industry trying to put limits on innovative new industries to preserve its former monopoly. The industry's refusal to innovate to the benefit of consumers raises questions about the ongoing wisdom of broadcaster use of publicly owned spectrum that could better be used for broadband services that serve the public interest."
And:
"Many local radio stations are unmanned, particularly at nights and on weekends, rendering the alleged emergency alert benefit of FM tuners in mobile phones unreliable and raising questions about the wisdom of permitting such unattended operation."
And:
"At a time when popular new digital media platforms like satellite radio and online music services are required to pay performance royalties to copyright owners, it is unclear that the royalty exemption for broadcast radio stations can be justified. Indeed, fairness requires that the royalty rate paid by broadcasters should be the same as that assessed to online music streaming services and other new technologies."
The payment rate quoted for musical artists of between .25 percent and 1 percent of net stations revenues is entirely too small for the amount of music played that creates revenue within the stations. The NAB broadcasters unilaterally cut their digital royalty rates and lowered their terrestrial royalty payment from the agreed upon amounts in July. The latest version of the Performance Rights Act recommends a performance royalty schedule in which commercial radio stations making $500,000 to $1,249,999 would pay an annual fee of $5,000; stations making $100,000 to $499,999 would fork over $2,500; and those making less than $100,000 would shell out $500.
Those broadcast licensees making $1.25 million or more would pay a rate to be negotiated between radio stations, copyright holders, and the Copyright Royalty Board. In trying to assess the financial impact the PRA would have on those stations, the Government Accountability Office recently suggested a hypothetical rate of 2.35 percent.
The NAB has balls if nothing else, for they have declared that the entire system currently in place must change solely for their own benefit. The government must stop doing its job on setting rules and rates, AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) must change its rules on separate payment to talent on streaming commercials, and artists should acknowledge the “promotional value” of radio. What about the money?
With new technology changing the communications field on almost a daily basis, the idea that one trade industry group can bully the music industry is ludicrous. Congress writes the laws, not trade associations like the NAB and Radio is the only platform in the United States that doesn’t pay performers.

Wherever the music is played the artist should be paid.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do you want to be Famous by Association or IT'S A SHAME? http://ping.fm/BiaCm

IT'S A SHAME


Allen L. Johnston – The Music Specialist
www.asha.com

I have been receiving a video link in my Facebook News feed for the past week. I finally looked at it this morning.

IT’S A SHAME

The video headline reads “Snoop Dogg Co-Sign The Unsign Artist Step-Ezz” (that’s just how they wrote it).

The video starts off behind a West Palm Beach outdoor venue, with Snoop taking the stage and starting his show. This hand held video pans the audience, then abruptly turns to the side of the stage and focuses briefly on a person that is sub-titled MS ELEGANT, then quickly pans to a wholly under lit, STEP-EZZ (you can’t see his face). After 20 seconds more of the backs of Snoop Dogg’s live show the video scene changes and the speaker said “We are in Snoop Dogg’s tour bus”

This is the funniest and saddest thing I have seen in months. For the next 4 minutes these clowns first want to prove to everyone that they are really on Snoop Dogg’s tour bus. They show some schedule on a wall, boast about being on the bus and then give the driver a free show. That’s right they brought there music and performed on the bus.

They show a 35 second scene (that you can’t hear) of STEP-EZZ standing next to a seated Snoop in some hotel room party. Then back to the bus with some security guy, nowhere do you see or hear Snoop talking about this artist.

OK, on the first watching I laughed, then felt so ashamed of the artist who wants to be Famous by Association to a Tour Bus. And this becomes the heart of this article, false dreams and low expectations of new artist within the entertainment industry.


IT’S A SHAME

Once you listen to the song, which is a chant over basic Miami Bass beats, you understand that it is not exceptionally good. It wouldn’t be so bad but the music has been done over and over for the past 20 years. This artist may have talent but it sure wasn’t in this music. Devastator, Clay D, Luke have all set the bench mark for this style of music. There is absolutely nothing new here.


IT’S A SHAME

When you take the money you have made, buy fake designer clothes, flashy jewelry and friends who support your music as long as you are paying their way into clubs, buying “bottles” and plenty of weed. This really shows how afraid of failure the artist has become and the dependency of being validated if only by liars. It also shows the weakness of the cooperative spirit that supports these actions.


IT’S A SHAME

The artist has no drive to learn how to write lyrics, how to use the lyrical content they currently understand to make a statement or even how to speak correct English. There is no ambition to attend school or increase educational opportunities, let alone finish post secondary schooling. One of the biggest deceits ever perpetrated on the music community is the concept that being educated has no place within the “REAL COMMUNITY”.


IT’S A SHAME

When you fool yourself into believing that a hand held video of a song, that has no radio play, no Internet fan base, no local or regional fan base would be of significant interest to anyone but yourself. Unfortunately this type of thinking completely ignores sales of any product, be it audio, video or merchandising. Major labels, distributors, managers, venue operators and music publications ALL use sales as the primary criteria for doing business.

The biggest shame comes from knowing that this artist will not read this, and understand that there is another way.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

CHANGES IN SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO



Allen L. Johnston – The Music Specialist
www.asha.com

In 2007 a new era of partnership began in South Africa. The Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA), a union of musicians, actors, poets, technicians, writers, composers, performers, independent producers, television presenters, radio disc jockeys, general disc jockeys, arts administrators, artist directors, photographers, arts educators, choreographers, dancers, designers and other sector practitioners, came together to lobby government on the many problems facing its’ constituency.


Even though riddled with internal problems this union has been able to develop a Performance Rights package (Needle Time), a social security plan for the creative arts sector, an anti piracy campaign and an educational campaign for the arts.


The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is a state owned corporation of 18 radio (AM/FM) stations and 3 television stations. This corporation’s programming has been criticized ever since it’s inception in 1936 by the South African Parliament. The SABC played only South African and African music on 15 of its radio stations from May 2010 and during the soccer world cup because it wanted to "further promote our home-grown music and music from our African counterparts". Now that the World Cup is over the corporation has said that it will discontinue this type of programming.


"CWUSA is shaken by the announcement from [SABC] radio to discontinue with its 100% South African music play that has been enjoyed by the public," said CWUSA general secretary Oupa Lebogo. "The move simply says playing our content on radio will forever be a favor and it is unacceptable." CWUSA demanded that the broadcaster re-think its decision to stop playing only African music because "it is quite clear that there are more benefits for artists as long as our music is played on our radios”


On the surface this looks like a reasonable request, however there are a few problems that have not surfaced in the press. Most programming decisions are based on financial foundations and a look at the revenue received via advertising avenues during the period when 100% African music was played is needed. An additional look at the revenue created for the creative artists during this same period is needed to determine if radio airplay has really impacted the creative community.


Americans have yet to understand the strength in placing ALL of the creative art movements together for a common good. In our country the arts are segmented along creative, financial, political and racial lines. Certain organizations don’t recognize other organizations or unions doing the exact same business even when their memberships have some of the same people within them. What’s even crazier is the “better than” concept. One organization feels that they are “better than” other groups or elitists and start setting rules and regulations for the validity of art, be it physical, audio or digital.


Being in the entertainment industry I have seen many different versions of the “better than” concept. Radio programmers determine that they know “better than” the artist or record label that has delivered a song to them. It doesn’t matter that the song is a potential hit or that the company creating the song has placed blood, sweat, tears and money behind it, arrogance and a profound sense of elitism by the programmer kills the songs advance. I have never known a human being that could determine a hit song; if such a person is alive the major labels would have hired them years ago. The only way to determine a good song is to let the populace decide if they like it.


And this is the meat of this article, does the South African populace like the ALL African music programming that they have had since May? Where are the facts? Where is the undeniable evidence that there has been an increase in popularity, an increase in national pride and an increase in revenue? Where is the evidence that the South African populace wants a DIFFERENT type of programming? What is really going on?


Telling a man he is wrong and you are right based on belief alone is ludicrous and self serving.


America does not have the luxury of a government controlled broadcast system geared directly to the public. America does not have cooperation within the arts on a massive level solely for the betterment of the creative artist. What we do have is a corporate run media monopoly geared to playing the same 30 pieces of music across our country on their radio stations. America has a corporate controlled media system that has created formatted stations and self censorship regulations solely for its’ own financial benefit and not for the public at large. The true American musical art forms, Americana, Blues, Gospel, Jazz, and Soul can not be heard over the airwaves on any regular basis in America.

A change in radio programming worldwide is coming.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Miami Music Festival Launches Nov 11-14

2010 MIAMI MUSIC FESTIVAL LAUNCHES! November 11-14: List of venues and performance schedule now live on miamimusicfestival.org

Thank you for partnering with us for the second annual Miami Music Festival. We have just announced our schedule of 400+ performances (see press announcement below) - please help us spread the word!

The Miami Music Festival and Conference (MMF), Miami’s second annual emerging musical artist showcase, and the centerpiece event of this November’s new “Live Music Month in Miami,” has now released details on www.miamimusicfestival.org about its 400+ Latin, Hip-Hop, R&B, Rock, Jazz, Caribbean, and Inspirational musical performances to take place on 45 stages throughout the city. This marks a dramatic expansion of the event, which debuted in 2009. Venues include multiple stages in Bayfront Park and nightclubs and restaurants in Downtown Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, Wynwood, The Design District and Little Haiti.

An array of showcases will be presented by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Gibson, D’Addario and ReverbNation, the Delanuca Music Group, Soul of Miami.com, Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records, Forward Records, Magic Leap Records, Poe Boy Records, Mizay Entertainment,

Myxer.com, Sideshow Entertainment, OpenMicDirect.com, WhatMiami.com, Best Buy and "A Night At The Flick" presented by The Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music program at The Frost School of Music-University of Miami.  A half dozen other sponsored showcases and special “events within the event” will be announced shortly.  Conference keynoters and festival headliners will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

In addition to The Miami New Times and Urban Network, newly announced sponsors include Pollo Tropical, OnStar, American Spirit, PopChips and Vitamin Water. M.A.E was also announced as the MMF’s official gear provider.

“Local music fans, visitors, members of the press or music executives who go to  miamimusicfestival.org to see and hear the artists coming from South Florida, around the state, country and world, and plan their MMF weekend accordingly, will be greatly rewarded,” said Kevin Thornburg, publisher of The Miami New Times.  Urban Network Vice President Arthur Mitchell said, “We’re bringing everyone to Miami! From our writers and editors to industry leaders to the hottest talent in the business today including comedian MC’s Joe Torry and Sinbad, we’ll all be at The Miami Music Festival this November.”

In addition to the Miami-Dade County Office of Cultural Affairs, The City of Miami Office of Cultural Affairs, The Miami-Dade Office of Film and Entertainment, The Miami Downtown Development Authority, The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, and FilMiami, the MMF announced new partnerships with The Kiwanis of Little Havana Arts & Music Foundation, Amigos for Kids, NBC Miami and WPBT.

MMF’s music industry conference at The Hyatt Regency Miami on Friday, November 12th and Saturday, November 13th has also recently added sessions and speakers rounding out an already robust schedule of panels, master classes, demonstrations and live interviews, which also can be found on the MMF website.

Three-day festival wristbands are now available for advance purchase on miamimusicfestival.org for only $25, a 50% savings.  Single day tickets will also be available at each event with ticket pricing as follows:

•       Multi-venue evening wristband (21+) is $15, and single venue entry is $10.
•       Bayfront Park daytime festival admission for adults is $12 and $6 for children under 42”.

Badges for the MMF Music Conference are priced at $99, with significant discounts for artists performing at the festival.

“There’s no question that the MMF will help artists, support Miami’s arts community and delight music fans,” said MMF CEO Irwin Kornfeld. “Our advisory board of local musicians, sound engineers, artist and club managers, sponsors, partners and staff have done an incredible job planning this year’s event.  We’ve kept admission pricing extremely low and really put together a wonderful weekend.”

“Miami is re-discovering its live music heritage, and people are now going out to more live shows here. We’re seeing more stages being built, and more artists coming to Miami to perform,” said MMF president Will Edwards. “The Miami Music Festival was created to help artists take advantage of changes in the music industry, but its also contributing to a change in Miami’s music scene…and that change is about the re-emergence of live music.”

###

Media Contacts:
Dina Allende - (305)205-1058 / dina@makeitclique.com
Yvette Batalla - (305) 335-0569 / yvette@makeitclique.com
Laurie Jakobsen - (917)697-2274 / laurie@jaybirdcom.com

Sponsorships: Arthur Mitchell
Urban Network Corporate Office - San Diego
Ph. 619-401-4014 amitchell@urbannetwork.com


Allen Johnston
The Music Specialist
P.O.Box 310540
Atlanta, Georgia 31131
305 829 9010 - office
404 939 4180 - cell/voicemail
music.specialists@yahoo.com
www.asha.com

Posted via email from Music Specialist Speaks

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where are the positive role models within the entertainment community:
Read http://ping.fm/tXYnp

Today's Generation




Growing older has given me the erudition of being a part of Black Radio and Records History. I have been privileged to have learned from some of the original 13 Black DJ’s within the United States, original Black radio programmers and Black record executives. Normally I speak from a position of respect, comprehension and wisdom, but today I am angry and very disillusioned.

How can we continue to move in a positive direction when there are fewer and fewer examples of positive role models within the entertainment community?

At the infamous Jack The Rapper Family Affair conventions an intricate part of the learning process was sitting in the lobby with the executives and learning from their conversations and meetings. These were man & women with a code of moral decency that set the standard for the industry. There were many wild stories about how they made, promoted and sold music, and contained in every story was a business insight. There has always been a greedy, unethical person in the industry; everyone knew who they were and how to treat them.

Today the subterfuge is phenomenal and the ability to unmask unscrupulous individuals has become clouded. The proliferation of businesses that prey on the unsuspecting artist, executive or entrepreneur continues to grow unimpeded.

What I now understand is that the artist, executive or entrepreneur is the main reason for the unscrupulous behavior of the businesses that they approach. We now have a mindset that success can come instantaneously and without talent or effort. The NOW generation wants everything immediately and very few are putting in the work effort, education and moral fiber needed to become a continued success. When you approach a company with the thought that they are going to listen to your music, FLIP and give you a bunch of money up front, market, promote, publicize and sell your song while ALL the time making sure that you are getting paid, you are wishing for disaster.

The morning drive radio team has the fortunate advantage to be the most listened to program on most Black and Urban based radio stations in this country. Millions of people of color depend upon this team to keep them aware of national and local events, news and music while being entertaining. As a teenager the morning drive DJ was looked up to within the community and could make a personal appearance become a traffic stopping occurrence. With this in mind you may understand why I am so concerned about the morning show teams I have heard that seem to have taken it upon themselves to destroy the Urban community.

Comedy is cool, it allows you to discharge pent up emotions, relax and forget about the trials and tribulations that you go thru everyday. What it doesn’t do is teach positive behavior to a listenership that needs it badly. When you are young and impressionable hearing your favorite morning drive host / hostess talk about having more BLING, SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS, BETTER CLOTHES, BIGGER CARS, PARTYING AND SPENDING MONEY only makes you want to be exactly like them. Where is the balance that allows listeners to know about spending limits, credit worthiness, moral decency and more?

Again I ask where are the role models that use to be so prevalent in the entertainment community. The ones chosen today are being indicted on drug charges, gun charges, petty theft and immoral behavior. Who wants their child to emulate a thug, dope dealer, harlot or money hungry con man? Where are the positive examples of wealthy doctors, lawyers, technology workers, nurses, builders, media owners, educators, store owners, bankers and more? There are many positive morally right people inside of the Urban community, the problem is that they have been covered up and looked over by the multitude of media outlets available to the public.

Media exposure is not dictated by the community at large, but by the owners of the media. Once these owners have determined what is making them the most money, they normally stick by that vision. Unfortunately the community at large is suffering from the vision that they have been exposed to for so long. Today even news has become entertainment designed to sell more advertising for the news channel owners.

Even though I write from an American perspective, this devious monetary scheme is being perpetrated in every major country on the planet. Radio & TV stations sell advertising and have no higher priority than to make money for there owners. Cell phone carriers sell hardware and carrier time and need you to use them more and more. Internet sites are loaded with advertising on so many levels that it is becoming mind blowing. ALL of these outlets are endorsing the negative behavior that makes the populace become true consumers and weaker morally.

There is profit in destroying the positive role model and creating a new vision of a role model.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cher, Kelly Rowland, South Korea and more looking for music. Music Specialist Music XRay Opportunities
http://ping.fm/4OrAr

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CELLPHONES EDUCATION & YOU


Traveling internationally has opened my eyes and mind to the opportunities available for people of color worldwide. In particular are the opportunities available for African-American musicians and multi-media creators worldwide. What I have found is that EVEYONE aspires to have the American notoriety and success that is witnessed in the magazines, movies, and videos worldwide. People want to “BE LIKE MIKE” worldwide and Mike is the African-American celebrity.

As you know I am a proponent of education and I truly believe that African-Americans have a commitment to help educate and protect Africans worldwide. Let’s talk about the state of the Black music business within the United Sates today. Discretionary income controlled by African-Americans rose to more than $20 billon last year. Even though this seems like a humongous amount of money it pales in comparison to the fact that Shell Oil posted profits in the UK alone of 13.6 Billion Pounds or $30 Billion dollars this year. This is only one company in one country that significantly affects people of color worldwide.

Believe that this 30 Billion dollar profit will not be used to educate or protect people worldwide. So the question to me becomes how we can effectively affect the education of people of color worldwide. One way is the creation of music and multi-media projects that contain "Old-School" Values and Morals, never using filthy language, sexually based & tasteless innuendoes, sharp, ruthless or condemnatory statements or nonsense verbiage. But having a message or under current that causes renewed thought, interest, incite or unrest within the hearts & souls of its listeners!

Accessibility and affordability are the key factors in being able to reach large masses of people worldwide. The Internet is the medium of choice and opportunity to accomplish these goals. For the developing world the Internet is going to be a wireless experience and delivery will be over cell phones. Sixty one percent (61%) of the world’s 2.7 billion mobile phone users are in developing countries compared with ten percent (10%) of the world’s 1 billion Internet users. This information is based on the International Telecommunication Union’s Regulatory and Market Environment Division head Susan Schorr’s report. Africa accounts for more than half of the world’s poorest countries with people using low-cost cell phones rather than PC’s for connectivity.

India has a cell phone subscriber ship of over 226 million about nineteen percent (19%) of its total population with about 7 million new subscribers a month. This is creating a decline in the cost of cell phone manufacturing making them more affordable and also creating unbundled services lowering the costs of phone service. Approximately eighty five percent (85%) of all Indian cell phone contracts are prepaid, while in Africa shared cell phone services are taking off.

The Grameen Foundation has brought the Village Phone model to Africa. People wanting to become stand alone mobile phone operators can take out micro loans, letting them buy Village Phone kits that include a cell phone, a rooftop antenna that picks up signals 25 kilometers away and a car battery or solar panel for recharging. They setup shop in their homes, selling phone calls and mobile data transfer to other villagers. Ultimately allowing the world to invade the “outback” and the opportunity to place information directly with the people that need it the most.

Cellphone based Internet delivery bypasses the governmental media controls and is a viable alternative information source. Just recently there was great unrest in Kenya and the Kenyan government imposed a blackout of ALL news sources. Resourceful Kenyans started text messaging information to the Mashada website and got the world to see the problems while being able to maintain contact with different villages and families.

As a producer, writer, musician, film maker, artist or educator this now opens up an entirely new avenue to get your projects, products and ideas to an interested world market. Cellphones and other wireless devices will continue to get more people connected to the Internet or at least give them access to a wealth of information, knowledge and communications capabilities that previously were out of reach.

The only thing missing is you and what you have to share with the world.

Cellphones Education & You - article

Please feel free to publish and Thank You.

Allen Johnston
The Music Specialist
P.O.Box 310540
Atlanta, Georgia 31131
305 829 9010 - office
404 939 4180 - cell/voicemail
music.specialists@yahoo.com
www.asha.com

Posted via email from Music Specialist Speaks

What really happened to the MAJOR LABEL BLACK MUSIC DIVISION? Available now at: http://ping.fm/B1Xlv

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How The Industry Changed


The state of the recording industry today has changed drastically from what it has been. The days of creating a song, getting it played on the radio, sold within stores, touring and making a ton of cash has basically dried up.

Here are a few of the main components that have created change of the traditional recording industry.

1. Recording

In the beginning of our industry, you or your band had to know how to play an instrument and at least, the fundamentals of music theory to get a song made. Originally you had to play and sing the entire song over and over until you got a great “take” then that take was cut into a record. Multi track recorders changed the industry so that individual tracks were created and musicians played their section prior to the singer coming into the studio. The advent of computers and sampling changed EVERYTHING. Now musicians were no longer necessary to make a song, if you needed a guitar track you sampled the guitar sound you liked played by someone else, and just inserted it into the place where you wanted it to go. The new era of producer driven music was initiated and this era fashioned a poor example of creativity. Producers became mixers of other people’s ideas, sounds and samples. Hits are made by people that have no idea how to read music, music theory or even business etiquette.


2. Radio Promotion

The first commercial Black recording played over the airwaves was done by a Black man – Dave Clark. The story as told to me, by Mr. Clark himself, was that he was a band leader in Memphis and his band was to play on the radio. Time came for the broadcast and the band was not ready to play, he didn’t want to ruin his chance to get on the air so he took a hand wound, bell shaped recorded cylinder player, placed the radio microphone into the bell and played a recorded cylinder while his band got their act together. From this humble beginnings came the advent of Black music on radio.

In the late 1930’s radio started playing recorded music and entertainers were not happy. Bing Crosby and Paul Whiteman stamped “Not Licensed for Radio Airplay” on their records and hired lawyers to try to sue the radio stations that bought them and played them. They believed that if people listened to their music over the radio they would stop buying records and even stop coming to their shows. In 1940 the Federal court ruled that once a record was sold, the buyer had the right to use it in any manner he liked, including broadcasting it on the radio. This ruling basically created the way radio stations would function from then on. Once the record companies realized that radio airplay only increased sales, they then started giving free copies of music to the radio stations creating the word “PROMO’S” and charging the artist for these free copies.

As record companies started developing and radio stations became more affluent a new business was made, Payola - The paying of cash or gifts in exchange for airplay. "Payola" is a contraction of the words "pay" and "Victrola" (LP record player), and entered the English language via the record business. The first court case involving payola was in 1960. On May 9, Alan Freed was indicted for accepting $2,500 which he claimed was a token of gratitude and did not affect airplay. He paid a small fine and was released. Before Alan Freed's indictment, payola was not illegal, however, but commercial bribery was. After the trial, the anti-payola statute was passed under which payola became a misdemeanor, penalty by up to $10,000 in fines and one year in prison.

It took a major performing rights organization to bring Payola back to the news. By the mid- fifties the independent record companies had broken the majors stranglehold on airplay and BMI licensed songs dominated the charts. ASCAP believed BMI licensed songs were hits only because of payola. So ASCAP urged House Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Oren Harris to look into the recording industry's practice of payola. ASCAP believed these records were played so often by greedy deejays causing them to become imprinted on unsuspecting teenagers. ASCAP had always looked at rock and roll as a passing fad, with these hearings they were trying to ensure that rock and roll would die. The committee decided to look into deejays who took gifts from record companies in return for playing their records on their shows. Fearing the worse, the record companies began stepping forward and announcing that they had given money to specific deejays. Soon twenty five deejays and program directors were caught in the scandal. Among the more popular ones were Joe Niagara (WIBG, Philadelphia), Tom Clay (WJBK, Detroit), Murray "The K" Kaufman (WINS, New York) and Stan Richards (WILD, Boston) the probe quickly focused in on the two top deejays in the country, Dick Clark and Alan Freed.

Dick Clark, with more to lose, quickly gave up all his musical interests when ordered to do so by ABC-TV. When Clark appeared to testify he brought Bernard Goldsmith a statistician. Goldsmith told the committee that Clark had a 27% interest in records played in the past 28 months and those records had a 23% popularity rating

Now fast forward to today and the current radio market. Record labels created a system of “promotion” to ensure that the records they made were played instead of someone else’s. Illegal and self serving this airplay creation is still alive and well. Radio, in turn, created the formats (Top 40, Urban, Rock, Album Oriented Rock, Hip Hop, etc.). This system worked fine until the advent of the Internet and the creation of Napster and MySpace. The old modes of exhibition, MTV and radio, became too rigid, and have been replaced with pull models, within which no one hears what they don't want to hear.

3. Video Promotion

Music Video was introduced in the United States by the movie industry with the advent of “talkies” the musical feature film itself; the set piece production numbers in films from ‘The Jazz Singer’ (Crosland 1927) through the lavish MGM musicals of the 1940s and on to the beginnings of the rock n’ roll movie such as Little Richard’s appearance in ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ (Tashlin 1956) can all be seen to have influenced the style of the music video.

MTV, which began broadcasting on the Warner satellite feed in 1981 in the USA, growth was rapid. American artists soon realized the potential of the medium. In the early years, however, assumptions about the demographics of the audience led to dominance by white acts and a preponderance of male rock. Despite the success of the huge budgeted productions of Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ (Landis 1983), Bad (Scorsese 1987), it was almost the end of the decade before any other black artists’ work broke through. The reluctance to play black videos merely ensured that rap videos were only able to acquire very small budgets and tended to be distributed through alternative means, not finding a mass audience. Gangsta rap was seen as enormously threatening to the white audience and it was only through using crossover in the shape of Run DMC and Aerosmith’s ‘Walk this Way’ (1986) and later the absurdity of the work of MC Hammer and Coolio that rap could become acceptable and eligible for bigger budget videos.

Hype Williams led the way for black artists and black directors through his extravagant productions for the likes of TLC, R. Kelly and Missy Elliott, by the late 90s commanding budgets of $2 million. These higher budget videos in turn generated record sales and led to Hip Hop effectively replacing rock as the dominant music form.

4. Digital Promotion

WARNER MUSIC INTERNATIONAL and digital services provider PREMIUM TV agreed to develop online television sites that will let consumers watch music videos for free, as the music industry seeks to counter a decline in cd sales

WMG created a video unit to promote new albums and artists on television, the Internet and mobile devices. The world's fourth-largest record company set up the division, called DEN OF THIEVES, in LOS ANGELES. DEN OF THIEVES will help drive the company's digital sales of music.

Now a company called DEN OF THIEVES makes me really worry about how these new record people will take care of the artists that they promote. After three (3) years with Warner this company has become an independent television production unit, with no visible sign of Internet promotion but some video game involvement.

The Bass Brothers' FBT Productions and Joel Martin's Em2M filed a lawsuit against Aftermath Records, Interscope Records and others over the split of digital royalties due for Eminem's recordings. The suit claims that the labels should be paying half of the net receipts from downloads and master ringtones rather than the lesser artist royalty rate based on sales. The complaint alleges that an audit of defendants by FBT and Eminem revealed that FBT and Em2M were underpaid by more than $650,000 from 2002-2005 since they did not receive 50% of the net receipts from the sale of downloads and master ringtones, among other reasons. Ultimately this suit was ruled that music royalties don’t change just because a song has been sold online

Older recording contracts typically provide that artists will receive a royalty for the sale of records based on the unit's retail or wholesale price -- often 10%-14% of the retail price or double that percentage of the wholesale price. When the recording is licensed, the label and artist often share equally the net receipts from licenses.

Today licensing has become the new source of recorded music income.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Article

Historical short on changes within the industry.

Allen Johnston
The Music Specialist
P.O.Box 310540
Atlanta, Georgia 31131
305 829 9010 - office
404 939 4180 - cell/voicemail
music.specialists@yahoo.com
www.asha.com

Posted via email from Music Specialist Speaks

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pimpin 2010 - Definition Of The Game

Download now or preview on posterous
PIMPIN 2010.doc (35 KB)

Thank you for accepting my article

Allen Johnston
The Music Specialist
P.O.Box 310540
Atlanta, Georgia 31131
305 829 9010 - office
404 939 4180 - cell/voicemail
music.specialists@yahoo.com
www.asha.com

Posted via email from Music Specialist Speaks

Monday, August 9, 2010

PIMPIN 2010 - DEFINITION OF THE GAME


The new breed PIMP has arrived and its new WHORES are musical artists, label owners, producers and want to be entertainment moguls.

pimped, pimp•ing, pimps
To serve as a procurer of prostitutes. - The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Pimping.] To procure women for the gratification of others' lusts; to pander. - Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

pimp•ing
petty; insignificant; trivial.
British Dialect. puny; weak; sickly. - Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006


Consider the new definition of PIMP, being at the top of your game, making money while not working hard or at all. With this definition an entire new industry of corrupt businesses has come into existence.

1. BLOG PIMP – Here is a person that could never obtain certifiable credentials to become a bona fide writer. This person lives to tell stories that are mainly innuendo and conjecture but ultimately hurt the entertainment industry people they blog about. They never look for the truth only for things that can embarrass or humiliate. If you are an artist and you want some favorable online print you definitely must pay this person in advance.

2. PUBLICISTS PIMP - Here are people that have a vocation to increase awareness about an artist, act, product or service. They are the first line of promotion that should access new fans, clients and users of the people they publicize. Today’s new era publicist talks a good game but can not produce results for their clients after they have demanded money for their services. What I am finding is a long list of publicists that have massive email lists, but absolutely no knowledge of local & regional newspapers, local & regional television shows or connections at radio. What they tell you they have is direct email to thousands of individuals, what they don’t tell you is that their email opening is at times less than 2% and never over 10%. Recently I have heard of a publicist that took a substantial down payment against hourly work than sent the company they took money from a bill for research on local news outlets. The publicist has yet to write a press release, send an email or make a phone call to assist the company that hired them. Finally when is the last time you have seen a publicist that honestly wrote a press release that was legible and error free?


3. ONLINE MARKETING PIMP – Everyone understands that you need an online marketing plan to make your product or service work. What NO ONE truly understands is how to create a plan that works for more than one company at a time. The idea of one size fits all in marketing plans is entirely untrue and unhealthy for your pocket. With the advent of iPhone applications, widgets, email blasts, Ezines and more, marketing plans have to be customized to fit the client, product or service. The company selling a ready made plan that will work for you is NOT the company you want to do business with.


4. CONFERENCE & SEMINAR PIMPS - This is probably the largest pimp game available in the entertainment industry today. The music conference has become an art form in taking people’s money and not giving them any professional return on their dollars. This year alone in the South and Mid West there will be over 50 music conferences representing all types of music. Out of this 50 possibly 6 will be of significant value to an aspiring or professional artist; however the rest will be calculated to separate the artist, act or company from their cash. Several different methods are being used and they all have a ring of authenticity to them. Conference admission fees are typical, plus exhibitors or booth fees and the always present performance or showcase fee tops the list. Other fees are charged for advertising both online and in a conference book or handout and post conference shows at an outside venue. What is interesting to me is that every year there is a certain element of individual that will continuously fall for this type of scam.


5. OPEN MIC NIGHT PIMP – a concept where an artist or act can perform with the express goal of having themselves “discovered” by a major Entertainment Company. Great theory but hardly a reality. Open Mic night now consists of greedy promoters using FREE talent to build weekly audiences. In some cases the talent must pay an additional fee to perform after having paid to get into the venue. I have been looking for the act that gets signed at one of these events for the past 10 years and have not found any yet.


6. DJ POOL, RECORD POOL PIMP – If you are reading this you probably don’t have a clue on what a DJ POOL or RECORD POOL even accomplishes. Don’t feel bad for other than the pimps running these outlets no one else has a clue either. Originally created to assist labels in reaching the multitude of club DJ’s around the country, these pools have become a wasteland of fraud, intimidation and one of the easiest ways to separate a person from their money.

7. CONSULTANT PIMP – You never really know what this person honestly does, but they have written a book or article about it. Most consultants have never operated a real entertainment industry business but they want you to pay them for telling YOU how to spend your money. The interesting thing about consultants is that they have an automatic attitude complied with an increasing sense of self worth. In other words they are too good to be true.

8. RADIO PROMOTER PIMP – The most recent wave of pimpin involves hiring a radio promotion person because they ran a major label division is now one of the easiest ways to throw your money away. You can NO LONGER depend on a promotion person to get your music heard by radio programmers; in fact radio programmers NO LONGER listen to music but rely on research and consultants to choose the music heard on their respective stations. Executives that ran major label divisions had backup systems, regional and local employees that interacted daily with radio personnel. These people ate lunch, dinner, went to the mall, appeared at the remotes and became intimate friends with the radio DJ’s, programmers, sales and promotional people. The divisional head never had the accessibility or the personal knowledge of the regional or local people. When the National or Division head called into the market it was normally to fix a particular problem that had occurred. Now the wide spread belief that the Division head can deliver radio just because he or she was so well known is pure BUNK. The average amount of money I have seen sent to these executive level pimps is $60,000. Of course this amount can easily translate into over $100,000 especially if the client believes the “hype” generated by the pimp.

Please understand that these type PIMPIN games are being played around the world with numerous different styles of music and entertainment. Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Hip Hop, Soul R&B, Lounge, Dance, Rock, and religious music have all fallen under these forms on Pimpin.
Industry PIMPS look out, we know who you are.
Read more: http://ping.fm/aL2jf

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gangster Rappers can help our communities, read it here ....
http://ping.fm/qNF1N

Untitled

GANGSTER RAPPERS REVOLT TODAY

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Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that reflects the violent lifestyles of inner-city youths.

 

We have ALL become attuned to the idea that Gangster Rap and its sub genres are partially responsible for the attitudes, lifestyle changes and destruction of the Black & Urban communities via our youth.  But I believe that Gangster Rap can be of significant assistance to our neighborhoods if used affectively.

 

Racism in today’s world has a new face; within the United States it is now occasionally called the Tea Party Movement.  Not all Tea party Movement members are racists, but a significant amount of them now follow the Patriot Movement theories.  Patriot Movement groups define themselves as opposed to the "New World Order," engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines.  The biggest and best financially equipped of these is the John Birch Society founded in 1958 with chapters in ALL 50 states.

 

John Birch Society - The society says it is anti-totalitarian, particularly anti-socialist and anti-communist. It seeks to limit the powers of government and defends the original intention of the U.S. Constitution, which it sees as based on Christian principles. It opposes collectivism, including wealth redistribution, economic interventionism, socialism, communism, and fascism  

 

Other names for groups that follow the Patriot Movement principles include:

Constitution Party

We the People

American Patriot Friends Network

Freedom Force International

Second Amendment Committee

Concerned Citizens Party

Florida Free Alliance

Society for American Sovereignty

America First Party  

Restore the Republic

PatriotResistance.com

Church of God Evangelistic Association

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American legal advocacy organization, internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and it’s tracking of hate groups, militias, and extremist organizations.

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center documented a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias - the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement - were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009.  This can be directly connected to the election of Barack Obama and the immediate racial outcry detected in America.

 

And this is the main reason I see where Gangster Rap can be of immediate assistance to the Black & Urban communities.  These paramilitary militias need an alternative to help balance the scales of power within this country.  Now is the time for America’s greatest gangster rappers to start rapping about inner city realities and against the ever growing racist condition being created by the Tea Party Movement members.  Just think how the Black & Urban communities would change if the youth starting thinking about banding together to rid their cities of these Patriot Movement groups.  Think what would happen if one of the following rappers would make a “HIT” song that opened the youth’s eyes just to the racist problem that has increased over the past few years.

 

50 Cent

Lil Wayne

Eminem

The Game

Cassidy

Fabolous

Brand Nubians

Snoop

Nate Dogg

Rick Ross

Plies

Young Jeezy

 

I believe there is a reason that American commercial radio is playing contemporary music that only condones gratuitous sex, drugs, money, material gain, party and revenge against your own kind.  I’m not asking for a love song, in fact I think we need a FIGHT song really soon.

 

Gangsters you’re always talking about keeping it REAL, well we need you now to Revolt.

Posted via email from Music Specialist Speaks

GANGSTER RAPPERS REVOLT TODAY




Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that reflects the violent lifestyles of inner-city youths.

We have ALL become attuned to the idea that Gangster Rap and its sub genres are partially responsible for the attitudes, lifestyle changes and destruction of the Black & Urban communities via our youth. But I believe that Gangster Rap can be of significant assistance to our neighborhoods if used affectively.

Racism in today’s world has a new face; within the United States it is now occasionally called the Tea Party Movement. Not all Tea party Movement members are racists, but a significant amount of them now follow the Patriot Movement theories. Patriot Movement groups define themselves as opposed to the "New World Order," engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines. The biggest and best financially equipped of these is the John Birch Society founded in 1958 with chapters in ALL 50 states.

John Birch Society - The society says it is anti-totalitarian, particularly anti-socialist and anti-communist. It seeks to limit the powers of government and defends the original intention of the U.S. Constitution, which it sees as based on Christian principles. It opposes collectivism, including wealth redistribution, economic interventionism, socialism, communism, and fascism

Other names for groups that follow the Patriot Movement principles include:
Constitution Party
We the People
American Patriot Friends Network
Freedom Force International
Second Amendment Committee
Concerned Citizens Party
Florida Free Alliance
Society for American Sovereignty
America First Party
Restore the Republic
PatriotResistance.com
Church of God Evangelistic Association

The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American legal advocacy organization, internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and it’s tracking of hate groups, militias, and extremist organizations.

The Southern Poverty Law Center documented a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias - the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement - were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009. This can be directly connected to the election of Barack Obama and the immediate racial outcry detected in America.

And this is the main reason I see where Gangster Rap can be of immediate assistance to the Black & Urban communities. These paramilitary militias need an alternative to help balance the scales of power within this country. Now is the time for America’s greatest gangster rappers to start rapping about inner city realities and against the ever growing racist condition being created by the Tea Party Movement members. Just think how the Black & Urban communities would change if the youth starting thinking about banding together to rid their cities of these Patriot Movement groups. Think what would happen if one of the following rappers would make a “HIT” song that opened the youth’s eyes just to the racist problem that has increased over the past few years.

50 Cent
Lil Wayne
Eminem
The Game
Cassidy
Fabolous
Brand Nubians
Snoop
Nate Dogg
Rick Ross
Plies
Young Jeezy

I believe there is a reason that American commercial radio is playing contemporary music that only condones gratuitous sex, drugs, money, material gain, party and revenge against your own kind. I’m not asking for a love song, in fact I think we need a FIGHT song really soon.

Gangsters you’re always talking about keeping it REAL, well we need you now to Revolt.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you live in Los Angeles and have over 3 years record promotion experience send me a note.. There is a job available in Santa Monica for Record Promoter & Phone Booker ALL FORMATS (music.specialists@yahoo.com)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

EVIL over the radio airways read it now at the Music Specialist Blogspot :http://ping.fm/2Z1mm

EVIL ON AIR


The radio announcer comes on and immediately takes a position that increased government intervention in business is detrimental to the American way. The American congress is interfering with the rights of private business and more laws mean more intervention, MORE TAXES, less profit for the independent business owners and less rights for the public.

The radio announcer states that “How can we continue to build a strong country when the government is taxing our businesses into none existence. Americans are losing their jobs and businesses to illegal aliens who only want to come to this country and use our resources while leaving nothing meaningful.” The announcer implies that Mexican men resemble Antonio Banderas, smell like frijoles and tacos, wear sombreros while driving low riders and our taking our girlfriends and sweethearts.

A pre recorded spot comes up and Black career government officials are called extortionists and said to be making secret back door deals with major corporations for undisclosed amounts of money. These deals are directed to inflict the most damage against minority independent owned businesses and the community at large. We re told that we should band together, rise up and fight against the government sponsored actions that are ruining our country and way of life.

Do you think this was Fox network’s Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly spouting their version of the “truth”?

No this was a normal weekday at Radio One Atlanta.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

RADIO PROMOTION BY MAJOR LABEL EXECUTIVES IS A SCAM read it now at The Music Specialist Speaks http://ping.fm/uN14a

Friday, April 30, 2010

Parlophone Records, Britians most famous record label and part of EMI is accepting demos. Find out more at: http://ping.fm/IeMHL

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Showcase submissions wanted for the International Soul Music Summit. More information at the new Music Specialist Speaks available at: http://ping.fm/1bAk4

Sunday, April 18, 2010

FaceBook Now Has Your Identity


FACEBOOK NOW HAS YOUR IDENTITY
Allen Johnston – The Music Specialist
www.asha.com


Today I can sit at my computer and get more information on you than you have ever thought possible. Your life, your family and friends are now open to investigation like never before. The United States government has devised an anti terrorism plan that includes a highly sophisticated online system, declared that they will not use this system to spy on ordinary American activities, but recently the government has given Federal employees permission to access FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace and numerous other social networking sites. The reality of this situation is that FaceBook, Google, Microsoft, Sun, Apple and many other privately owned companies have the technological ability to track and maintain your personal information.

If the government can't legally collect the personal data and track every move you make, private industry can.

There are online articles of the government working with recorder boxes connected to the USA communication backbone. It's been already confirmed that at least "someone" is collecting all of the data on ordinary Americans. They are collecting stuff like airline tickets, utilities, credit trending, demographic targeting, passport registrations, credit card transactions, GPS phone tracking, email/sms recording, and more. Then it can be put all together to pinpoint your exact location with GPS, your current speed, all your text messages, and easily predict you'll show for your regular 8AM Starbucks coffee with vanilla and that you're meeting Bubba based on your text message. With this information “someone” can tell already that Bubba will be late for coffee. Maybe they will raise the price for your coffee since we know you'll be here at 8AM. We'll have the "discount" timer tick down to the last second right as you walk in. You'll be pissed at the new, inflated price, but you'll pay. I wonder what information the car dealers already have on you?

So your privacy is no longer just yours, now it belongs to many other companies who are getting paid to sell your information to individuals, companies and to the government. Google’s system now can find your house from a satellite photo, listen to your voice mails, read your emails, read your text messages, determine your exact GPS coordinates from your cell phone, follow your credit card transactions, determine your net worth and sell this information to a potential employer because it is all within the “public record”.


I know some of you don’t believe me so go see for yourself.

SEARCH YOUR NAME:
http://www.intelius.com

SEARCH YOUR MOST COMMONLY USED EMAIL ADDRESS:
http://spokeo.com

THIS SITE USES A FEED OF A POPULAR SOCIAL NETWORK, TO DISCLOSE WHEN YOU'VE "CHECKED IN" AT SOME PUBLIC PLACE THIS COULD BE CRITICAL WHEN YOU ARE LEAVING HOME.
http://pleaserobme.com/


Finally a few of you will say that once again Allen is paranoid about nothing. Let me know the next time you get an unsolicited message from FaceBook with photos of your friends on it requesting that you join. Wonder where they got that information?

Friday, April 16, 2010

New opportunities to meet REAL music professionals and make solid revenue are available at Music XRay.
http://ping.fm/MZ67J

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Music Specialist Speaks latest edition with Erykah Badu's controversial video now at:
http://ping.fm/C38ct

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Independents New Era in Sales



For many the dream of staying an independent, never joining a major label stable and making it in the entertainment industry never gets realized. For the first time in history an independent band, with no prior chronicle of major label attachment has debut Billboard Top 200 album charts at #1. This is no fluke but an orchestrated business plan that has encompassed 3 years of promotion, marketing and fan building.

Vampire Weekend is classified as an American rock indie band, however there music is influenced by both classical music and African popular music. Their biggest single released in 2007 “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” is basically Congolese soukous music and was covered by Peter Gabriel former vocalist of Genesis.
Singer-guitarist Ezra Koening and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij (both music majors at Columbia) brought the African sounds into the band — particularly soukous music, one of the styles made famous in the West via Paul Simon’s Graceland album. When they formed the band, Ezra was listening to a compilation of Madagascar guitar pop music called Madagascar Guitar Vol. 2,. At the same time, Rostam was listening to (South African singer) Brenda Fassie a lot.
In 2007 Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa was ranked #67 on Rolling Stones list of the top 100 songs of the year. Being a touring band has made them interact with their fan base and in 2008 Spin magazine claimed them the Best New Band of the year making them the first band to be shot for the cover of the magazine before releasing their debut album.

Vampire Weekend is a group of Ivy League guys that are not afraid to make fun of their upbringing and neighborhoods. Using the Internet and live shows to keep their fan base alive has worked for these four gentlemen. In 2008 their debut album ranked #15 on the UK charts (over 100,000 sales) and #17 on Billboard, after selling 28,000 copies; its tally now stands at 498,000. First week count on the new album Contra stands at over 124,000 within the United States.


Kudos go out to the band but even more kudos go out to XL Recordings an independent record label which was launched by Tim Palmer, Nick Halkes and Richard Russell in 1989. Originally a UK based dance label, it also released drum and bass, techno and rave music. Tim Palmer retired in 1994 and Richard Russell’s vision started to take command. One thing that Mr Russell has always done and that is work with artists he saw as creative and inventive thus bringing XL Records to the forefront of Independent labels within the UK and himself as one of the most influential people within the British music business.

The diversity of XL Records is apparent once you look at the rooster of acts now on the label:

• Adele
• Badly Drawn Boy
• Basement Jaxx
• be your own PET
• Beck
• Blue Roses
• Cajun Dance Party
• The Cool Kids
• Damon Albarn
• Devendra Banhart
• Dizzee Rascal
• Elvis Perkins
• Friendly Fires
• Jack Peñate
• Giggs
• Gil Scott-Heron
• Golden Silvers
• Gotan Project
• Holly Miranda
• The Horrors
• Kicks Like a Mule
• Kid Harpoon
• Lemon Jelly
• M.I.A.
• Magistrates
• Peaches
• The Prodigy
• Radiohead
• The Raconteurs
• Ratatat
• RJD2
• Sigur Rós
• Tapes 'n Tapes
• Thom Yorke
• Titus Andronicus
• To My Boy
• Vampire Weekend
• Various
• The White Stripes
Since the late 1990s expanding into other genres such as freak-folk, alternative rock , hip-hop and UK Garage, XL Records has maintained a TOP three (3) sales place on the US, UK and Canadian record charts.
Good business sense, coupled with increasing online and offline fan base reach has propelled this label to new never before heard of heights.

Surprising what a little work and education will do.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

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There is a new opportunity available for musicians, artists, producers, radio DJ’s and talk radio announcers. Internet radio, podcasting and video casting are becoming a huge commodity worldwide. International audiences want to know what other countries and artists are creating. They are listening and viewing more and more Internet based programming and recent developments have made the creation of Internet programming even more important.

Within the past few weeks the United States most listen to Internet radio streams have been silenced outside of USA borders. The initial reasoning is that the music royalties being charged for Internet streaming outside of the US is cost prohibitive, I however see another reason. American companies are not interested in buying advertising that is streamed to International audiences who are NOT interested in their products. The United States system is based on ad impressions and non-US ad impressions is simply not warranted. The largest Internet radio streams Pandora, CBS Radio (which includes AOL Radio and Yahoo! Radio), and Clear Channel Radio, all are dependent upon advertisers to pay for bandwidth used for the streams. Thus closing the streams down will save the companies bandwidth plus they maintain their advertiser base. In addition to music based sites, talk radio streams have been silenced also. This is due to the CBS / AOL software platform. It is impossible to separate the talk stations from the music stations so everyone is off.

The best part of this International shutdown is that the market will be looking for alternatives to the BIG 3. The ability to start developing your own shows, creating playlists of independent artists and becoming personalities can once again be accepted by International audiences without the BIG 3 marketing and promoting smaller companies out of the business.

CBS Radio and Clear Channel Radio both have another issue that will be affecting their operations and that is local advertising.

Pandora Radio, the Internet based streaming company that uses advanced logarithms to determine the type of music you program it to play and finds additional music for you to listen to, is now available in automobiles and on cell phones. You can find the Pandora platform on iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre, Android and now available on Windows Mobile. With that can of layout it was only inevitable that Pandora created an initiative to target local radio advertisers. Here is where Pandora really attacks CBS Radio and Clear Channel Radio. Pandora has the ability to be genre, cult and community specific and since the listener basically programs their individual station local advertising will be centered around the listeners taste and not that of a national, regional or local sales director.

The possibilities are almost endless and if the Pandora sales force, which I assume will be current or ex radio station sales people or advertising account sales people, understands their local advertiser than sales will increase almost immediately. Surgical targetability in advertising has been promised via Internet for years, now it is physically possible to pinpoint your audience and sell directly to that audience needs.

The advertising and programming business as created by CBS Radio / Clear Channel Radio is now changing and the slowest company to change will be the loser. Now is the time to create your company to develop programming and think of new ways to deliver advertising to this audience.

The future is yours to command.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HAITI - A CHANGE MUST COME


HAITI – A CHANGE MUST COME
It is not 48 hours since the devastation in Haiti and the bull shit artists are already out and practicing. My email box has over flowed with requests to either buy something or donate to a new cause. What is not needed today are Parties for Haitian relief, Mix cd’s for Haiti, T shirts for Haiti and more. Today I have heard from way too many people all having ideas on how to assist the Haitian population. The reality is that the streets of Haiti are ruled by the gangs of Haiti. In my opinion, the same people that want to make money on the plight of the Haitian people are just low level gangsters trying to find a way to pimp the process.

That church wanting to take a collection has no way of getting the funds into the Haitian plight. If the RED CROSS cannot get supplies, water and funds into the Haitian system, what makes you think that any American church has a better chance? By the way where were ALL of you people last week? Haiti has needed help since the slave revolt in 1804 following which the United States and Europe placed a trade blockade upon the country. Thus making an extremely polarized class structure in which a few families stepped into the positions of the former colonial plantation owners structuring a horrible cycle of plundering and autocracy within Haitian leadership.

I want to help the population and relieve the medical, physical and emotional stress that is happening in this country. The only way I see it will happen is by first taking charge of the streets, this means having a bigger gang than the ones running the country now. Honest business practices in food distribution, health options, construction companies, supply management and politics will have to be created and then instituted. This is not going to be an easy road to travel, for at least 200 years have passed filled with corruption.
I am writing this to the entertainment community with the thought that now is the time to create music, video and creative ideas that assist youth in making social change in the many countries that listen to you.

Wyclef Jean talks the talk and walks the walk.

What can you do?