Lots of things happen in the music business and on the internet every week. This is an attempt to make sense of them. OK, here we go.
After last week’s slightly positive Industry Wrap and its news that the music industry saw a 0.3 percent bump in global revenue, we’re going to try to keep the good times rolling right into SXSW next week. That’s right, next week is the giant music/tech/film/free-beer festival that takes over Austin every year. Last week’s breakout band from the festival was a small, unknown Latin-flavored artist called Doritos. Who will be the next Doritos?
It looks like Doritos will be the next Doritos. Earlier this week Mashable unveiled Doritos’ plans to hold a concert on top of a “62-foot vending machine with a four-story LCD screen that will encourage people to tweet and showcase their photos.” The large structure will calculate tweets to make decisions like who will open the show, which number LL Cool J should perform for his encore and how many infants to feed to Doritos social media director Moloch.
While munching on Doritos at SXSW, one of the big topics of discussion will be streaming music and what it means for tech companies, labels and artists. One event that will undoubtedly be touched on during numerous panels: This week Pandora’s CEO, Joseph Kennedy, stepped down, despite the company’s growing revenue. According to USA Today, “Pandora now commands 8% of all radio listening… Advertising revenue of $109 million amounted to a 51% increase over the fourth quarter a year ago. Subscriptions and other revenue rose 74% to $16.1 million.”
Over at SPIN, Marc Hogan breaks down Kennedy’s departure and the reports that Apple is looking to get into the streaming business by offering 0.06 cents per play. Yep, the music industry is really growing! Good luck, bands!
Billboard reported that Warner Music has inked a deal with Google for a music subscription service as well.
This week the Seattle Weekly published an article with the attention-grabbing headline “Punk Rock Is Bullshit” written by Long Winters’ singer John Roderick. It’s a slipshod, scatterbrained piece that feels like a moderately entertaining anecdote about losing touch with punk stretched out into a boorish screed with a condescending tone, a lack of historical perspective and total misunderstanding of how the success of political/social movements should be judged. Low Times’ Daniel Ralston offered some constructive analysis of the piece via Twitter, as did Mountain Goats’ singer John Darnielle, who perhaps put it best in this succinct tweet:
The not-online-yet-but-being-slowly-doled-out-like-M&M’s-to-an-8-year-old Vanity Fair profile of Taylor Swift continues to be a source of frustration and amazement for the type of people who like to read articles that explain what longer articles say. First there was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler incident, in which Swift showed off her sense of humor by implying that she thinks both comedians will rot in hell for telling jokes about her. Then we found out that Swift apparently keeps a framed photo of her Kanye West award show incident in her house, which proves that maybe she does have a sense of humor, or perhaps she is some sort of demon, a Cenobite sent from hell to corrupt us with beautiful music and Papa John’s pizza. Side note: What’s your favorite Cenobite? Mine is the one who shoots CDs out of his face from Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth.
Earlier this week Lamb Of God singer Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter in a case involving the death of a fan during a 2010 concert in Prague. Today he shared a thoughtful and moving message about the case via his Instagram that you should really check out.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got this week. Have fun in Texas next week if you’re going, and remember: Always eat Domino’s.