Digital music sales drop for first time since advent of iTunes Store, execs blame streaming

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 82
    For the record(no pun intended), there is a statement from the head of Pandora where he tries to make the case for how great his company is by saying the FM radio stations pay zero performance royalties for playing music. That is simply a lie. Radio stations have always paid to play music. The writer's royalties are paid from license fees paid to ASCAP and BMI. So his arguement is flawed from the start.
  • Reply 42 of 82
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    kidmillion wrote: »
    For the record(no pun intended), there is a statement from the head of Pandora where he tries to make the case for how great his company is by saying the FM radio stations pay zero performance royalties for playing music. That is simply a lie. Radio stations have always paid to play music. The writer's royalties are paid from license fees paid to ASCAP and BMI. So his arguement is flawed from the start.

    Actually I believe the singers do not get a cut of royalties, the song writers do. Hence that's why do many singers go on tour well after their last album.
  • Reply 43 of 82

    Im with a lot of others here there really was nothing worth buying.  It was a terrible year for music.

    Despite that I have bought several albums this year just not anything in the current top 20 because there literally is nothing there that interests me in the least.

  • Reply 44 of 82
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    dacloo wrote: »
    Thanks!

    I'm aware of (1), but you can't filter the music app to only show songs which are available at the time. You see your entire list, with 80% greyed out numbers (not downloaded) and 20% downloaded once...it's a pain to browse.

    (2) That is awesome, didn't know that one.

    As for (3), I don't want to delete playlists but a playlist (or genre, etc) with its associated songs, not individual ones. So the functionality in the music app is there, but not exposed in a good and useful manner.

    (4) Makes sense, but I'm for a more sensible way of managing and playing songs, in iOS7 the usability has gone south to provide a more 'minimalistic interface'. It's beyond the scope for this forum subject so I won't go in detail here :-)
    In your settings (both in 'music' and 'iTunes' on iOS you can set to show the entire (iCloud) library, or just locally stored tracks. ITunes Match is great if you are more than one person sharing a library (family). Everybody's tracks are stored in the main library (iCloud), and everybody can download whatever tracks they want to their devices as they please. If you buy, download from somewhere else, or rip tracks simply put them into iTunes and they are added to your iCloud library, no questions asked. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. You have to use the same Apple ID for your music, of course. We do this with the App-store and iBooks, too.
  • Reply 45 of 82
    I believe you are correct about the singer. I was talking about the songwriters. And now that I think about it, Pandora dude may have been talking about the artists and not the songwriters. I've been specifically talking about the songwriters.
  • Reply 46 of 82
    jccjcc Posts: 329member
    Bull! The real reason is they now have all tracks worth having at $1.29/track. They're dumb a@@es. Steve showed them how to do it right and they continually show their greed. Idiots!
  • Reply 47 of 82
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    The mistake was allowing songs immediately available for streaming. They should've followed the movie/TV industry's lead and not allow streaming for a few months after release.
  • Reply 48 of 82
    I think streaming radio is a very cool idea. I also doubt that it hurts digital downloads. Let's face it; for most of us, terrestrial radio sucks. That is why the concept of having a station geared to the listener's taste makes sense. I just want those streaming stations to pay fair licensing fees for playing copyrighted material.
  • Reply 49 of 82
    people act like Pandora, Spotify and iTunes Radio are / have been the only game in town.

    iTunes for Mac / PC always had [B]free[/B] mp3 streaming radio stations. I like groove salad.

    There's an OSX app called [B][URL=http://www.bitcartel.com/radiolover/]Radiolover[/URL][/B] that will record all the music arriving from a free mp3 streaming radio station and save it to your iTunes library as mp3 files, automatically tagged and classified.

    As long as you select high quality streams, you get high quality MP3s.

    I also believe VLC can do the same thing or similar, but Radiolover will let you amass a totally portable MP3 library.

    I suppose you could then connect those saved Radiolover mp3 tracks to iTunes connect and make your own personal cloud radio station.

    Fair use, babe!
  • Reply 50 of 82
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    did my part today%u2026Pearl Jam (Lightning Bolt) $6.99 special @ iTunes. I see an upward trend starting already!

     

    Awesome at any price. I paid full price. I always buy full albums of my favourite artists. There's just nothing new on the market that makes me want to do that so there's no sales from me until my favourites do release new stuff.

  • Reply 51 of 82
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    I’ve never understood the “To be able to access this content, I want to pay for it until the end of time” idea.

     

    Pay once, own forever. 


    I've never understood how the "To be able to access this content, I want to pay for it until the end of time" applies to iTunes Match. You still own the music you just pay to have your stuff stored on the iTunes Store.

  • Reply 52 of 82
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,361member
    ...unwilling to cede ground to a new format, this time in the form of ad-supported or subscription Internet streaming services. .
    Anything that's ad-supported stinks..
  • Reply 53 of 82
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kidmillion View Post



    The reason not to use Spotify and Pandora is because they pay a minuscule amount in royalties to songwriters. If it was their choice they would pay an even lower amount than they do now. They are thieves.

     

    Don't blame them - blame the performing arts societies (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC).    They negotiated a rate and paid it.   However they also have to pay Sound Exchange for the performances and those rates are actually quite high.    The last increase came close to shutting down Pandora. 

  • Reply 54 of 82
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I've never understood how the "To be able to access this content, I want to pay for it until the end of time" applies to iTunes Match. You still own the music you just pay to have your stuff stored on the iTunes Store.

    I use iTunes Match to save money as I no longer need to purchase a larger capacity iPhone. The last couple years iTunes Match has allowed me to move to 16GB and have plenty of room for the songs I listen to often and stream whenever I end up listening to something else.
  • Reply 55 of 82
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post





    Actually I believe the singers do not get a cut of royalties, the song writers do. Hence that's why do many singers go on tour well after their last album.

    Singers get paid royalties from their label, however the reality is that most never earn out their royalty advance, so that's the only royalty they ever see.     The labels see to it that no one ever earns out their advance (except for the biggest acts, although they sometimes get such big advances, they never earn out either).     That's why some artists have created their own labels.   Even if they sell far fewer copies, they wind up with more money.

     

    But this is the reason why almost all performers write their own songs these days.    Songwriter royalties are statutory, except in the case where the label owns the publishing company.    

     

    In the U.S., over the air radio stations pay fees to the performing arts societies (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) which goes to the songwriters, but they don't pay anything to the labels.   In Europe and most other regions, radio stations do have to pay the labels.   Digital streaming stations, whether independent or a feed of an OTA station, have to pay performance royalties via the Sound Exchange and the rates are actually quite expensive (unless they've changed recently).    They also have to pay the performing arts societies.   I haven't checked the Sound Exchange rates for a while, but back in 2010, the fee was .0019 per performance.    So if a streaming station has just 10,000 average listeners and played 16 songs an hour, 24 hours a day, they'd be paying over $2.6 million per year.   With 100,000 average listeners at any one time, it would be $26 million per year.  

  • Reply 56 of 82
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    zmaxman wrote: »
    By the way, when is iTunes Radio coming to Canada??????

    Was that announced by Apple?
    wozwoz wrote: »
    Popular music keeps on shifting to ever lower, even poorer quality formats. If MP3 was not bad enough for the noobs,  ... behold ... a whole new crappy experience with streaming music at about 1/10th the bit rate of CD. Oh yum: technology advances, and music quality goes back to the 1950s.

    As for me ... I've been moving in the opposite direction, ... ----> to higher-quality physical formats that retain their value ... like hi-rez SACD and (very occasionally, when I am really in the mood) ... pure analog vinyl.

    Do you also see benefit to 24bit/192kHz files, like HDtracks.com? I can't tell the difference. Could be my stereo and / or ears, obviously.
    gatorguy wrote: »
    wozwoz wrote: »

    As for me ... I've been moving in the opposite direction, ... ----> to higher-quality physical formats that retain their value ... like hi-rez SACD and (very occasionally, when I am really in the mood) ... pure analog vinyl.

    The same report noted vinyl sales were up almost 40%!

    Indeed, vinyl is hot again. Though a 40% increase is nothing..when coming from a 2% marketshare. Bit like Apple; they always see YoY increase on their desk- and laptops, but if you're marketshare is very low it doesn't mean much.
    palegolas wrote: »
    Anything that's ad-supported stinks..

    Just like Google!
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I use iTunes Match to save money as I no longer need to purchase a larger capacity iPhone. The last couple years iTunes Match has allowed me to move to 16GB and have plenty of room for the songs I listen to often and stream whenever I end up listening to something else.

    I presume you have an unlimited, or at least 'enough' dataplan for this to work? Or do you plan ahead while on WiFi?
  • Reply 57 of 82
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    philboogie wrote: »
    I presume you have an unlimited, or at least 'enough' dataplan for this to work? Or do you plan ahead while on WiFi?

    I guess a bit of both. I have certain playlists I'll most likely listen to that that have everything local, but for newly added songs in iTunes I will add them all locally via the Recently Added playlist on my iPhone. That leaves the occasional odd mood for a particular artist or song on cellular which really don't account for much data per month.
  • Reply 58 of 82
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post







    Do you also see benefit to 24bit/192kHz files, like HDtracks.com? I can't tell the difference. Could be my stereo and / or ears, obviously.

    Indeed, vinyl is hot again. Though a 40% increase is nothing..when coming from a 2% marketshare. 

    There's a lot of debate about 24bit/192Khz.    

     

    Personally, I think the higher bit rate has more of an impact than the sampling rate because the higher bit rate leads to less quantization.   Quantization is essentially "rounding" of the voltage when converting from analog to digital.     

     

    If you believe in the Nyquist theorem, which is the basis for all digital recording, then you believe that the sampling frequency only needs to be twice the highest frequency you want to hear.  And since no human can hear above 22KHz (and most adults can't hear past 15KHz), the higher sampling rates aren't needed.    I read a paper a few years ago, which I can't find at the moment, in which the writer made a very strong technical case that higher sampling rates could actually hurt audio quality.

     

    I'm an ex-recording engineer and many years ago was very excited to purchase an Alessis ML-9600 standalone CD-R, which in addition to being able to create standard Red Book 44.1KHz/16bit CDs, could also record 96KHz/24 bit.   I made my first 96/24 CD-R and could not hear any difference whatsoever, regardless of the source.     And when I play a vinyl LP along with a CD-R copy of that vinyl LP,  my friends who claim that digital destroys the sound can't pass a blind A-B test to tell the difference.  

     

    But I do wonder if I had my 18-year-old ears back, whether I could hear a difference in the 96KHz/24.   I have a few BD audio discs and they do seem to sound better.    

     

    I think the benefit of HDTracks is not so much the higher bit and sampling rates, but that it's not a lossy compressed format, so it sounds far better than most MP3.   Does it sound better than the standard CD?   Hard to say...in many cases I would think not.    Certainly most modern pop music is recorded so badly and level compressed so much, leaving no dynamic range, it's hard to believe it would sound better.     

     

    As for vinyl, for all the hype, as you stated, vinyl is still less than 2% of the entire recorded music market.   It's basically a rounding error for the record industry.     From April to November on Sundays in Williamsburg, Queens, NY, there's a food/hipster flea market that features a lot of used vinyl and I do see people buying vinyl there.    Also, a new, very large record store just opened there that sells both CD and vinyl (only new so far).   It will be interesting to see what the mix of CD and vinyl is a year from now or even if they survive.    J&R, the only other large record store left in NYC, recently consolidated all their street level stores into one multi-story building with a smaller record department.   They also sell vinyl.   But just recently, to my great surprise, they stopped offering media on their website.   If anything, i would have expected the opposite:  that why would stop selling it at physical retail, but keep selling it on the site.     So I don't know whether they're giving up on media or they simply felt they could no longer compete online with Amazon. 

  • Reply 59 of 82
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,675member
    zoetmb wrote: »
    ^ post

    I thought I remember that correctly who to ask about sound quality. Nice to see the confirmation, and thanks for your detailed post.

    I can't hear the difference between mp3 and CD, but might get the old record player from the attic and do some old school spinning. I've done this just the other day at a friends house, and while not only fun, I also thought the sound was really really good. And the scratching, hissing and ticks brings back good memories.
  • Reply 60 of 82
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,655member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    I thought I remember that correctly who to ask about sound quality. Nice to see the confirmation, and thanks for your detailed post.



    I can't hear the difference between mp3 and CD, but might get the old record player from the attic and do some old school spinning. I've done this just the other day at a friends house, and while not only fun, I also thought the sound was really really good. And the scratching, hissing and ticks brings back good memories.

    What has happened to me many times is that I play a commercial CD of a classic album and think, "this sounds like crap - the vinyl sounded much better."  So I pull out the vinyl and put it on and it sounds far worse.    I think a lot of what we think about the sound of analog vinyl is nostalgia and a lot of it has to do with the ears we listened with back then.   

     

    Having said that, there are certain types of distortion that we like to hear.    Certain types of over-modulation generates odd harmonics and we "love" the sound of odd harmonics (like a fuzz guitar).    Analog does that.    

     

    There are several things I find funny surrounding the vinyl hype:   the first is that back in the vinyl days, all we did was complain about lousy vinyl quality.    That's why people sought out pressings from the UK and Japan.   The other is that in case of new modern vinyl, it's all getting mastered using the digital master, same as the CD.    Some of the best vinyl cutters have sold their lathes and left the business because the record labels won't pay for a separate vinyl master.    So these vinyl junkies think they're listening to analog, but they're not because it's a digital master.   Only if they buy used classic vinyl is there a possibility of hearing true analog material. 

     

    One of the reasons why I think audio sounded better "back then" is that the old tube systems had a much warmer sound that today's IC electronics.    (They also had more distortion and tended to hum.)

     

    I have a bunch of 60s-70s mostly used (some new) vinyl for sale.   If anyone is interested in receiving the list, they can contact me.    

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