What’s happening in regards to the streaming world, streaming services, and music. keeping you up-to-date on important issues that can affect music fans!
Genre: Streaming News
It’s been a really long time since I’ve written about any streaming news. I wanted to share something I discovered a couple of days ago. Occasionally, one of the things I liked to do is use built-in radio from various free streaming applications, such as iHeartRadio & Slacker. They all have different algorithms that offer the chance to hear even more diverse music. Well, I hadn’t done this for a while until a couple of days ago. I decided to login to YouTube music. Oh boy, has it changed! It changed a LOT, and for the better.
YouTube Music Has Become Very Spotify Like!!
First off, I must say that YouTube Music has become very “Spotify Like.” As much as these streaming services want to be unique, at the end of the day, they all windup looking very much the same (if not aesthetically, at least have many of the same elements). I still maintain the belief that when it comes to music, there isn’t too much you can do differently to attract new customers/free users. Users either like your service or they don’t.
So, in essence Google has replaced GooglePlay with YouTube Music. If you still have GooglePlay installed on your phone, Google gives you the opportunity to download all your old uploaded music. You can also transfer your uploaded music to your new YouTube Music account. I have to say I’m really impressed, yet, I’m not surprised either. I’ve predicted this many times in the past before. It’s not gonna matter what service you use, it will all be a matter of preference. However, I’m not gonna lie, I think YouTube has one up on all the other services (including Spotify), and that is the licensing. I’ve been noticing this for quite some time. I think YouTube is the only giant entity where music licenses don’t expire! Come to think about it, they’re probably the only large entity that is literally almost immune to all and any music licenses. No other company can get away with that! In terms of the artist themselves, this has got to feel kind of f*cked up, as real legitimate streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn Pandora, etc, all must adhere to a different set of rules, and additional set of sub-rules within those rules. But, as messed up as that sounds, it’s a benefit to music fans, as this means access to music content is truly unlimited. No other streaming services (including Spotify) can match that.
One of the biggest complaints I used to have with YouTube was that, as a music fan (especially of classic music), there was no access to original albums. Music was just sloppily spread all over the place. That was a huge problem for me, because I realized we were dealing with two entirely different music cultures. I’m not talking about the issue of old music and the new music either. The new breed of young music listeners are only interested in the “single hit song of the week.” Young music listeners are not really interested in albums (I think). I am confident this is true, since a significant majority of them has never seen an actual 12 inch vinyl before.
Kids and Teenagers Are Not Interested In Albums!!
This made it difficult for older folk like me, because we remember good music on old albums that did not hit the music charts. This is one of the reasons I make it a point to post original album covers, because it adds to the whole nostalgic experience. But, I’m not gonna lie, if YouTube NOW was the same as when I started streaming (6-7 years ago I think), I’d probably be using YouTube instead of Spotify. But, I still don’t think YouTube’s algorithms are as good as Spotify tho. YouTube Music (specifically) knows how to match up similar music, whereas Spotify’s algorithm learns the listener’s listening habits. I’ve also noticed that both free version of YouTube and Spotify are pushing less ads/less intrusive. My complaints among these services are becoming less and less. My only pet peeve now seems to be I can’t use all of the services to tweet, as they are often missing the album cover when tweeted. That’s annoying ?. Hey guys, just as a reminder, if you ever want to convert my Spotify playlist to your YouTube Music account, you can simply use Soundiiz for free! I encourage you to try out other free music services.
Just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year. I’ve already made major changes before the New Year, and probably one of the biggest decisions was to leave Facebook. For various reasons, Facebook was no longer practical for me as a blogger. In fact, it became more of a hindrance than a useful tool. Luckily for us, Facebook isn’t the only social media tool.
A New Year In Classics!
Although we’ve entered a New year in 2020, remember that any old classics you don’t know of, is actually new music to you! Old doesn’t necessarily mean a throwaway, or no longer valuable, not by any means. Neither does playing classic music means you’re stuck in the past. Playing the classics means we’re paying homage to real artists of the past, perhaps reconnecting with who you were as a young person, or maybe you’re a young person just looking for something different to listen to.
Remember That Most People Are Multifaceted! There Should Be No Shame In Listening To Old School Music!
Relatively speaking, there are only a handful of true classic bloggers. And when I say “true classic bloggers,” I mean websites that don’t only post YouTube links of the same Motown performers, or YouTube links of the same blonde rockers breaking their guitars (and no text around or under the post). Our music culture is so rich and diverse, I don’t think the average person really understands that, regardless of the age.
We’re Here, So Come & Find Us!
All I can say is, although there are few of us true classic bloggers, we’re still out here! I guess that makes us specialists in a way, doesn’t it? Come and find us! With every new year, there should be at least some effort to find good classic music. With the major shift in American culture, major changes in the music streaming world, the massive heavy push of hip hop, it has removed much interest for not only classic Black music, but music of all kinds other than hip hop and pop. A message to parents and other adults: The excuse of not having any money to buy music no longer applies. Music is practically free. As much as I’d like my readers to use ANY paid streaming service like Spotify to support your artists, you still have free YouTube!
While browsing the internet, I happened to notice that one of my most favorite rock artists from back in the day, has been fighting with prostate cancer. Damn! Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but, I’m really worried about this. Again, why are so many celebrities getting cancer? I mean, people who are considered relatively healthy are getting these visions diseases. This emotionally effects me personally, as this was what my grandpa recently died of. Not easy watching the person you love dealing with that. It is reported that he has been dealing with the terrible disease for about 3 years since his diagnosis. Now, Rod Stewart, Regina Bell, and many others have been reported to have life threatening cancers. Could you just imagine the untold amounts of people both here in America and abroad who are not famous, struggling with this. WTF? Something else is going on. I hope Stewart makes a full recovery.
I’d like to apologize to everyone for the three day lag. It was unavoidable. Unfortunately. So, during that time, I was thinking about (on a deeper level) just how music streaming has permanently changed the game, for both new artists & fans of music forever! While there exist so many things that the streaming industry has done right, there are so many other things that has gone wrong!
The Growing Disappearance Of Music Labels, Turned Today’s Musicians In To Spam Hustlers
You know, I’ve always had mixed feelings about music labels. Although I disliked the fact that they’ve cheated both artists and fans for over a half a century, I also could not deny the reality of how much it actually cost to manage an artist or band. It’s not just getting up on stage and singing. It used to be that an artist needed a publicist, wardrobe planner, studio rentals, coaches, travel expenses, and even an office to handle their revenue and taxes.
Although the music labels were crooks, they also took on all of those responsibilities (and then some) previously mentioned for the artist. Suddenly, the artist realizing not just how much work it is to be a musician, but the financial strain of becoming a successful one. It’s also quite obvious how hip hop is hitting hard on social media, to the point of becoming spammers. Especially when it comes to Facebook. I think it’s important to note, once you start looking like a spammer, people eventually ignore you, and many times block you. Almost all artists are using automated bots. Most have no personal websites with their own music. Most don’t have a bio. The mindset is, get your music on Spotify and watch the money roll in. When it doesn’t, the artist blame Spotify.
Real Talent Needs To Interact With Fans, Bots Can’t Do Everything For You!
This is why, despite what many foolishly think…… The reality is we still, and will forever need music bloggers. Although albeit, technically you don’t need us to review music anymore, ’cause people can just look it up on YouTube and listen to the artist themselves. However, music bloggers can point you in the right direction, provided that our musical tastes are similar. Bottom line, the problem with YouTube is that you still need to know what you’re looking for before you can find it. But, the other problems is, many people want everything instant, and don’t want to take the time to read, or take time to see what bloggers offer. It’s a behavior that makes our web presence difficult, but it’s the reality we live in. You just have to work harder to find venues that attract people that are still in love with music, and venues that attract the kinds of fans you’re looking for. The same goes for music bloggers. This is why it’s important to do it because you love it, not because you have dreams of making millions of dollars with Spotify; because the landscape has changed.
Maybe it’s the blogger in me, but I’ve often wondered…. If streaming existed 50 years ago, would legends such as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Jose Feliciano, be the legends they are today? Or perhaps let’s go 50 years further with men like, Willie McTell or Leon Payne, would they have been just as successful? I haven’t seen any real write ups on this, and this subject matter has drummed up quite a few interesting questions for me. As YouTube grows and becomes even more powerful every day, how is it that we’re not seeing not only talented visually impaired musicians, but any musician with disabilities today making a statement on the web?
I guess, someone could just as easily make the argument that I’m perceiving this in the wrong way. That is, if we use examples like Andrea Bocelli, who not only has an incredible voice, he has worked with some big names in his career. We’re talking Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Edith Piaf, and has even worked with today’s mainstream artists such as Jennifer Lopez. But, this still doesn’t explain the lack of presents of disabled musicians today; especially when we consider the level of technology now available. AND considering artists like Andrea, Stevie, etc, made their mark before streaming. How could we begin to even measure this?
Then again, I also thought to myself, this could also be due to how streaming works now, in terms of being an independent artist. Indirectly, it would take an incredible amount of additional time for promotion alone. Which also means, a lot of money would be involved to trust someone to do these things for you. This I guess is one of the unfortunate downsides of the growing extinction of music labels today. I’m sure that there are many other factors I haven’t thought of, but it would really be an interesting subject, and I wish there were in-dept articles about it.Barbasol Ultra 6 Plus Premium Disposable Razor Value Pack Bundle (3 Packs/9 Total Razors)
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this post, but… It seems to me that music has gotten a little more complicated. In the age of streaming, it has become more than just access to listen to whatever type of music you want. Believe it or not, it just now occurred to me that privacy in regards to music streaming is an issue too. How is privacy an issue? Well, let me start off by saying that “privacy” isn’t just making sure your name and credit card information is secure while your on the web.
Music Has Become A Privacy Issue Too!
How so? Companies like Spotify are collecting large amounts of data that contain our music habits. While I understand the data collected is essential and necessary to putting together the best possible app experience, it’s the 3rd party applications I’m concerned about. As I’ve said once before, although it’s fun to share music on social media, music is also a personal thing too. Different types of music has personal meaning to it. There are times when you may not want certain groups of friends know that you love to listen to certain artists. We shouldn’t be a shamed of the music we like to listen to; however at the same time, social pressure is real (especially for young people).
A perfect example of this is when I tried a site called Last.FM. It’s a cute site that scrobbles your music. There is a third party Spotify application that allows Last.FM to keep track of the music you’re listening to on Spotify. Other members of Last.FM can see your listening history and then some. Problem? You’d have to remember to disable that third party plugin, if you don’t want friends to know that you actually love Metal music, or music that is so obscure no one has ever heard of them.
Why Should I Even Care?
You might be saying to yourself “why should I care what people think?” Well, once you pass a certain age, you really shouldn’t in my opinion. On the other hand, I’ve seen younger people get frustrated when friends don’t invite them to social gatherings, simply because of assumptions made solely based on the music they listen to. That’s the one issue that never, ever seemed to exist when I was growing up. Sometimes, even as a blogger I find all this information a nuisance, because I don’t want people to get an idea of what I want to write about before I actually write it. It spoils the surprise. I think it’s important that the public becomes aware of how data collection/migration is effecting our lives in the most subtle of ways.
I know I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but.. I saw this article on Forbes’s website, about How Many Streams Make A Hit? This doesn’t work for old school music. There needs to be a way to mathematically convert old album sales to streaming numbers, in order to be included in the digital era (not compete, just simply included). Other wise the new generation of music lovers who like classics, could be missing out. Now that more people are using streaming, now instead of 100M being seen as a hit, now it’s over 2B. I’ll be lucky of some of the songs I write about hit 2k much less. Again, one of the many signs of our music history being lost. Not just from cultural ignorance, but because of how music streaming works. I guess also the mindset of the young too. These kids today will not listen to anything older than a month old it seems. That’s sad. Good music is good music, regardless of the year it was released. I digress.
I just wanted to take the time to personally say thank you for your support, and interest in reading my blog. The thousands of unique monthly visitors I receive every month, validates the desperate need to reconnect with both Black and Puerto Rican American music culture. Never forget that our history and life experiences are also told through our music. Music has always been in our blood since our existence. I deeply hope that new readers who may not use Spotify; make that as an excuse not to see value in what I’m doing. There are so many services that are ALSO FREE you can use to listen to the historic songs I post. All it cost is a few extra keystrokes of your time. Stop being so lazy & unwavering. You should know most music bloggers use Spotify and SoundCloud anyway.
Starting next week, my articles will get a little shorter. Writing blog articles is a lot of work, especially when you’re factoring in coding, gathering images, researching, deciding, spell correcting, grammar, and a host of other background stuff. I want to give you the best quality possible. Therefore to try and keep the 5 day consistency, I’ll write smaller articles. This will give me more time to do other things, and keep fans what they expect at the same time. Hope you guys are enjoying the diversity that my blog offers! Once again, thank you.
Every now and then, I think about this question a lot. I think that even many die-hard music lovers, who can’t live a day without listening to some form of music like I do, don’t realize the importance that music has in our lives. Now, what I’m writing about today is really more about personal feeling, rather than scientific research and hard numbers. Although I have found some interesting data to point you to. Whether we “listen” to music or not, we are effected by it in a profound way. Even when we watch a movie, without really understanding the scientific reasons for it; when we hear a particular music, it tells us when the actor is approaching danger. Another piece of music will send a subliminal message that something comedic is about to happen. Music isn’t just something we play when we feel like dancing or partying.
Not Based On Scientific Data, Although..
Music is almost like a miracle drug, once we take it, it can almost instantaneously effect our mood. Music just doesn’t heal us or make us feel good, it can also send us subliminal messages from the first musical note. This is one of the reasons I believe that although it appears that most people don’t pay attention to lyrics, it is important that music artist are mindful of the lyrics they use, because they are just as impactful as the music over a long period time. Furthermore, more so than not, I think that young people are still adversely effected by lyrics on a subconscious level, despite the fact that most young kids don’t take the time to reflect on them.
I stumbled upon an interesting report done by ifpi in 2018. It’s called a Music Consumer Insight Report. In essence, the report is not only a study on music behavior around the world, but the acceptance of music streaming. At the start of the report, it states that on average people listen to music over 2 hours everyday. Personally, I think we listen to music more than that. Why? The report doesn’t appear to take in to account people who have jobs in retail stores, who might be listening to music all day; or accurately representing data that may come from YouTube.
Understand how music plays a very important role in our lives, I’m kind of saddened by the new reality for inspiring artists today. Which is, if you’re not Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Drake, or lucky enough to get a once in a lifetime record deal, you’re just not going to get paid well from streaming services. I was watching a college interview on YouTube awhile back, and one of the women on the panel said that the value of music for new artists today (from streaming perspective), is the equivalent of someone making less than minimum wage. While legal streaming is still on the rise, according to that report, 38% of people (globally) still download illegally (despite being able to get it free legally by way of Spotify & YouTube). This reality confirms what I’ve been writing about for some time now, which is the fruits of their labor will not be seen until the old Napster generation dies off. Those old habits for most people cannot be broken.
To be honest, I really didn’t know what the hell I was going to call today’s article. But, I’ve been thinking of a subject I find interesting (kind of). For those of us older folk who decided to live in the 21st century (in regards to entertainment), how has music streaming changed (if any) your personal relationships with others? For instance; has creating a digital playlist, instead of making a cassette tape/CD for a “significant other,” indirectly made love feel a bit impersonal? On a deeper level, it’s not just about “the old days,” right? When someone made you a cassette tape (especially if it was a 90 minute tape), you knew that person spent all day deciding the right music to express his or her love to you. Then there’s the work of actually digging up all their albums and putting their final choices on the cassette with your name on it. Nowadays, your new mate can just have iTunes do it 10 seconds, and they will tell you “I’ve made a playlist just for you!” ? ?
I’ve realized, while music streaming is the best thing that could have ever happen to mankind, it also can be the absolute worst for mankind. There are times I wish we could go back to the old business model. Although we couldn’t afford music, when we could we purchased music we appreciated, and were also able to physically archive them. I think that the unlimited access to music has somehow made this generation of music consumers even less diverse. And I now that there are many factors for that. Don’t get me wrong, I still keep in mind that not every young listener is closed minded to listening to other music genres, but at the same time they are a very very small minority. Also, the flip side to that is we now have a plethora of music history on streaming platforms that the average older folk refuse to learn, or too intimidated.
Music isn’t just about “changing someone’s mood.” The type of music we listen to, is often linked to the kinds of personalities we all have. With so many of the young generation almost exclusively listening to pop or hip hop, I often wonder what their social life would look like for these same individuals in their 60s? Or even 70s. I also wonder whether this can signify a lack of social growth? Not having parents that are musically diverse has really killed a lot of our culture, and no one seems to care, or willing to take responsibility. Then again, why would they? If you don’t understand the impact, they’re not going to give a rat’s ass.
Of course, it is also true that the future could surprise all of us and take a completely different direction. Naturally, as we get older (musically speaking), for many of us at some point we’ll start looking for different music as the old genres get repetitive. My only concern is that the algorithms are based one the artists we listen too overall. It will not be so easy to change those algorithms. I think this may mean we still need traditional radio. I know I’ve thrown a lot of different things in this article, but that was what I was thinking today. Some food for thought! Thanks for reading.
I know that I’m gonna ruffle a lot of feathers on this post! But, I don’t care because it’s my blog, I have the same right to exercise my opinion the same way everyone else does! I’ve been wanting to write about this ridiculous topic for quite some time now. I actually forgotten about it until recently. I was browsing some music blogs and I came across a rapper named Nyukyung. He appears to be Korean, and although I’m not really a fan of today’s rap music, I can hear this brotha has skills that rival some of the best American rappers!
My intent isn’t to write a whole big article on this subject, because the answer is really quite simple. We need to stop buying into the lie that “Caucasian people are stealing rap music.” The fact of the matter is, there are people all over the globe who not only love hip hop music, they’re also making hip hop music in their own countries. Any good psychologist will tell you, when someone is effected by something he/she love so much, it is inevitable that at some point, they will mimic that which they love.
Black music is good music. Period. It’s not about anybody stealing anything. I think what it boils down to, some Black artists who made rap their career feel a little threatened. Therefor try to apply the topic of systemic racism to hip hop music, and then literally have tried to force a “halt” on what’s seen as White hip hop. Music is a free market, you cannot try to control who makes hip hop, in the same way Blacks try to exclusively own the right to use the “N” word.
Damn Folks! We Must Get Rid Of Some Of This Excess Baggage.
I have never witnessed any Black hip hop artists try to claim that “the Japanese are trying to make money off of Black hip hop.” I never heard a Black artist yell and accuse “rappers from Sweden of hip hop appropriation!” In fact, when Black rappers “sample” music from other regions such as the Middle-East; I never heard anyone from those Asian countries complain that Black rappers are making money off their heritage and culture. The whole notion is absolutely absurd! The Black community as a whole really need to work on removing the unnecessary baggage we have concerning White racism. It’s not productive to us; especially at a time where Blacks have more creative power than ever. The truth of the matter is, since music was invented, different styles of music have been adapted into each modern music. That is a very natural part of creating DIVERSITY! This is why it is important for Black folk to be musically cultured.Shop Skincare at Fragrance.com and Save Up to 80% Off Retail Prices
You know, I was reading a recent article that discussed the issue of “The Death Of The CD And Optical Drives.” Actually we can add the old standard HDD drives that will also become obsolete very soon. From the standpoint of being music collectors, I think this is an important discussion we should have (especially people who are non-technical). While the article presents valid points, there are some issues I’m worried about that doesn’t seemed to be addressed.
The Eventual Extinction Of Backup CDs.
A lot of people may not care about making backup CDs, because even back in the 90s, almost no one made them! Then people would get mad because they had to pay a $150 fee for a Geek Squad employee @ BestBuy fix their computer. Backups were so important because if you did not take the time to create the backup CDs, if your HD died, the manufacture would charge you about $125 for the OEM discs. In fact, some of the lesser expensive laptops/netbooks were not designed to create backups. They were literally “as is.”
So, having said the above, here’s why I think this is relevant to music collectors. Simply put, eventually there will no longer be any mechanisms to digitally archive our personal history. Not just music, but our family photos, or artwork you don’t want uploaded anywhere. People are increasingly relying on cloud based systems. The problem with that is, the legal aspect! The legal aspect of saving copies of your purchased music on the cloud (your possible liability); and from the standpoint of you saving your photos on a cloud service, and it gets hacked (company liability, but there is no company liable to you, because when you clicked “I Agree” before using it, you freed that company from any financial responsibility). There are so many companies and third party entities tracking your habits, collecting all sorts of browser data on you, and then profiting from you by selling that information to other companies; I think it’s worth it to fight for the continued existence of optical media. Optical media is the only permanent storage that is least likely to malfunction. When and if CD media do become extinct, the law should require manufactures to have OEM recovery available on line for free download. Which probably means you would have to save it on a USB drive (hopefully that will still exist). All of this adds to the very real reality that we are facing a significant loss of our music and cinematic culture.
ueen of Hip hop, MC Lyte! You know, despite the fact that I felt MC Lyte was too ruff as a rapper, and the fact that she used a lot of profanity in her music, she was one of the very few rap artists I liked growing up. She had some hot beats that rivaled many rappers in the game back then. But, I couldn’t understand the “hardness” that many of the female rappers were projecting to the public. It wasn’t until much later that a I realized that there was so much stigma regarding female rappers, that I now believe that that “hardness” served as a representation of being just as good as a male rapper, in a male dominated rap culture. When I’ve watched “hip hop documentaries,” I’ve never saw one that mentioned the contributions to women in hip hop. Despite the success of people like Niki Minaj, it’s quite obvious that even today, there’s still a lot of sexism, misogyny, and homophobia (I may add) within hip hop.
Out of the blue, I happened to find a YouTube video of the Rev. Al Sharpton interviewing MC Lyte. It was aired on MSNBC, and the segment was called “Rap Legend MC Lyte Talks Rap Artists’ Importance In Time Of Donald Trump.” It was an interesting conversation about the vast contrast between hip hop then, and hip hop now. Lyte talked about how rap was extremely political when it first started out; how rap told the story of what was going on in the poor Black communities; and the videos for those songs helped to paint a picture of reality in the streets. It’s only a short 9+ minute interview, I highly recommend watching it.
Here’s my take on this tho. We’re not dealing with the same set of young people now as we did then. Back in the day, rap wasn’t just political, fun, and indirectly educational. Educational from the standpoint of forcing kids who wanted to be rappers to eventually move away from Ebonics, and actually pick up a dictionary.
I Still Say, Most Of Today’s Hip Hop Is All About Tits & Ass!
In the interview, Lyte talked about how rappers like KRS1 and Public Enemy are still doing their thing, helping the young to be more socially conscious. She also noted some newer artists are helping to carry that same torch, such as J Cole. However, I still say that the vast majority of hip hop’s young audience today is only interested tits and ass, because that’s the era they grew up in. Keep in mind, I’m not the only one saying this; people that’s been in the game forever is saying the same thing I am! The music industry help to glorify sex and violence in order to make money for so long; you can’t just undo all of that so easy after being exposed to that everyday, and every hour on the hour. I’d also like my readers to consider the real fact that the faces of hop hop has changed. Hip hop is no longer about “Black street music;” or telling the story of what goes on in the poor Black communities. Having said that, I’m really not sure if what people like MC Lyte are doing can really make an impact in the same way they once did today; ’cause of the cultural differences, and the fact that a lot of young kids only care about the beat (or can they twerk to it).
A last thought I have to share. Again, as a blogger, I’ve paid very close attention to the new hip hop artists coming up in the new streaming era. A lot of these guys are putting out a lot of garbage; and I’m not calling it garbage because hip hop isn’t my preferred genre; I’m saying this because many of the people putting this music out really don’t have any talent and or possess anything of value to contribute. All I see being talked about is “how you can make money on Spotify or Youtube.” That’s it! Nothing about the art of creating music, just buy a bunch of beats and spit of bunch of crazy shit into the mic, and watch all the billions of plays you’re supposed to get. These are not the kinds of artists that are interested in social consciousness and or being political.
Today’s Topic: Music Streaming & American Billboard. I stumbled upon an interesting article on the American Billboard’s website, on how the organization uses music streaming data in order to help them rank today’s music. As I’ve explained before, music streaming is here to stay. We are now living in an age where today’s young children never seen a phonograph before (that really makes me feel old ? ). Despite the noted rise in vinyl sales, the vast majority of mom and pop record shops are still closing largely due to the rise in music streaming. Although I embrace streaming, as a classic blogger, I now believe we don’t have a way to truly measure a song’s greatness, worthiness, or popularity; because classic music has been migrated from an era where the business model was completely different.
I’ve Always Disagreed With Adding YouTube In Any Streaming Analysis
The one thing I’ve always had a hard time with, is organizations such as Billboard adding YouTube to their analysis. Now, some may say I’m just hatin’ on YouTube, but I’m actually not. I’m just coming from a point of view that, if someone actually buys a digital download, and or uses a paid streaming service, it has a greater value for the song in my opinion. WTF am I talking about? ? Well, think about it for a minute. Services such as Spotify are more personal than just watching a YouTube video. And if it’s in your playlist, you’re more likely to hear it again, and again if you really love it. Let me put it this way; there’s a difference between a single IP address listening to a song multiple times from a playlist, than an IP address coming from YouTube, who may be listening to your song in a mixed video with other artists (this doesn’t necessarily make a song popular in my opinion); in addition there’s a difference between royalties, and YouTube monetizing. The only way this could make a difference, is if every artist sets up “Content ID,” and if they only include customers on “YouTube Red.” And, to my understanding their services isn’t growing they way they’ve anticipated.
What’s interesting in Billboard’s article, is that it talks about how they have now added some more tier streaming services. In other words, they’ve now added ad supported streaming, such as on Spotify. This I agree with, because although it’s a lower payout for artist, it’s still consistent royalties. Unlike YouTube, where their metric system is entirely f**ked. To help you get a sense of how YouTube/Google handle’s artist pay out, check out this article. I just don’t see how they can include YouTube in order to help determine song rank. I think YouTube should be separate personally.
Didn’t Mean To Get On A YouTube Rant
The article also talked about including trial based subscription service. I’m not sure if that should be included either. Because they must be basing this on the assumption the user will stay a member. And we all know that’s not true (unless they have data predicting an average as to how many keep their service I guess). So, this is interesting how both technical and complex music has gotten (in addition to the business itself). If you’d like to read Billboard’s, here’s where you’ll find it “Billboard Finalizes Changes to How Streams Are Weighted for Billboard Hot 100 & Billboard 200.”
My new article “Music Artists, Understand Web Presence!” Is a necessary plea to artists, that talks about the vital importance for artists to have a web site (both from a blogger & a fan perspective). I know I’ve written about this before on my old blog, but I wanted to write a new one here as well (officially).
Bluntly Speaking, Facebook Is Just Not Enough
You know, I get it! I’m sure a lot of musicians are saying to themselves, “I don’t have time to setup I website!” Or, maybe you’re just starting out and you don’t have the financial resources to pay someone to build a professional looking site for you. So, to make it easier for yourself, you simply created a Facebook account, ’cause everyone is on Facebook right? Or maybe you’re old school, and still believe in the power of “word of mouth?” I guess that ol’ saying still applies to the new streaming generation. However, bluntly speaking, Facebook is not enough! At the end of the day you still need to have a website built, with your OWN URL.
Music Blogs Are Not Dead!
It appears as tho many new independent artists are programmed to stay on social media, as if music blogs are dead. I don’t know who started that rumor, but, music blogs are not dead! They maybe a little harder to find because of all the changes with search engines (programmatically speaking), however we still exist. You must take in to account that bloggers are a close nit community that are dedicated to specific genres of music. People are more interested in independent artists than ever before because of music streaming.
Niche Blogs Are Still Vital!
Artists, need to broaden their perspective, because niche blogs are still vital! Why do I say this? And how does this relate to you having a web domain? Well, first of all your web domain is part of your brand! Having a website makes your existence official. Second, bloggers who are dedicated to writing about specific genres, have fans that are more likely to be really interested in the music you have to offer. Also let’s not forget the fact that high ranking bloggers often have a large faithful following. If you don’t have a web presence, how do you expect bloggers to write about you? People who discover and like your music, will want to find out more about you. So, it’s critical to have meaningful write ups about who you are, what your music is about, and whatever else you’d like to share. Not to mention the fact that it will make a bloggers job a hell of a lot easier. ?
You know, before I begin, I’d just like to say “off the bat,” I don’t mean to start off sounding negative. However, I need to share with my readers that, I’m finding the new face of Motown very troubling. It’s not that I don’t like change, ’cause long-time readers know that I am all for technology and diversity! But…… My goodness…. After Berry Gordy done the unthinkable!! Exactly 20 years ago, Mr. Gordy sold Motown records (the largest Black owned anything) to MCA records, which is now known as Universal Music Group for 60+ million dollars, sh*t went downhill after there. In 2003 Universal Music Group’s label became defunct. However, the company reestablishes several of it’s acquired labels as stand-alone, which included Motown.
Even Bigger Issues!
But…. Here are my even bigger issues I have with Universal Music Group. I’ve named this article “The Changed Face Of Motown Records!” for a reason. Although they saved the Motown label; despite the fact that Motown is supposed to be its own independent label, Universal Music Group has the credits (music streaming at least). Motown’s name doesn’t appear anywhere, with the exception for old album art. Second issue, do we know if Motown is making any money? Is this why the legendary Motown name is omitted from advertisement? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Badu, and I also love me some Ne-Yo, but we can’t compare them to Diana Ross & Smokey Robinson. Universal Music Group has basically turned Motown in to a less than average grade Hip Hop label. This is NOT the history of Black people! Thirdly, and most importantly, in the past twenty years since Motown has been sold, I saw absolutely no attempts to advertise Motown’s history! I mean I haven’t seen ANYTHING! Not even a greatest hits of anything!! Today, unless you are old enough to remember Motown, it doesn’t exist.
Need More Black Writing!
So, although many of you cop an attitude when I say this, but this is a perfect example why Black folk need to start writing, and take a minute from watching “Love And Hip Hop,” and learn how to put a blog together. We need more Black Writing! No other race is going to write about us, with the same sense of urgency the way we should! I just don’t know how to explain it any clearer than that! For the 90 millionth time, we are loosing not only Black music culture, but our classic music culture in general. When this happens, just make a note that it’s going to be no one else’s fault but your own. I’m doing my part by personally building this Blog.
The Magic Is Gone!
When Gordy sold Motown, he put a price on the worth of Black music. Now the magic that Motown had is completely gone! Decimated…… Destroyed….. Sooner or later, you’ll Google Motown, and all you’ll see is some ugly n**** rappin’ about some bitch, who needs his *expletive* in her whoohaa. Is this the kind of legacy you want to leave behind? All you “xtians” need to get out of church and teach your grand kids what music history is. Don’t wait until their twenty-five, cause they’re not interested in what you have to say by then. People are going to start easily believin’ in what “sounds believable,” ’cause we’re not going to have any documentation to go back too. You can get mad at me all you want! You can say how disrespectful I am all you want! But deep inside, all your *sses know I’m talking real. You’ve failed!
You know, these lawsuits against Spotify are really f***ing stupid. Now, I know I’m late with this particular story, but sometimes it’s just hard to keep up with all these hater lawsuits! In 2013, GEEK.com, published an article about a music label called “The Ministry Of Sound,” or “MoS,” took Spotify to court over playlists! I lost my mind! I just kept saying to myself just how RETARDED that lawsuit was. So in short, the label was alleging copyright infringement on the order of songs in a playlist. Are you f***ing kidding me? These dumb ***** actually took them to court over a playlist that existed, where the exact contents of a CD was curated. Now get this…… What the plaintiff argument was…. The exact order of the songs within the playlist violated their copyrights!! When you read that article, you’ll clearly see that MoS does not like Spotify, and I’ll bet you those guys are from old school, and still doesn’t understand how music streaming works. A lot of these old, old, old music business men treat Spotify as tho they were in the same league as the old Napster/Kazaa. But the only difference is….. Spotify can’t turn a profit, because it tries to do the right thing and pay their greedy *sses the royalties they demand! This is why Spotify can’t make money, because you have opportunists that can’t see an awesome company like Spotify succeed. Meanwhile, you have the “beloved” Apple/iTunes that takes away 70% artists revenue (worth of fees and whatnot), and no one says s**t. I just don’t understand how Daniel Ek could emotionally handle all these dumb *ss lawsuits left & right. Well, It’s been 13 years since Spotify was launched, and their still kicking. Just know that your fans love you… Thank you.
In 2018, are you still downloading mp3s? If not, do you miss them? I was reading a number of different blogs on the subject; and turns out there are just as many different opinions about mp3s. Some bloggers talked about the beauty of gaining access to obscure music not easily found in stores; not sure if that’s still true because the best way back then was via Kazaa & Imesh. Now that both of those are basically defunct; I’m almost positive that the way people get their MP3s now are by way of YouTube. As I’ve gotten older, I just don’t see the point of going through the trouble of finding and downloading mp3s anymore, now that streaming is here. There is a point (speaking from my experience) where large amounts of mp3s becomes too much to organize/manage. No matter how much you try, you can’t really truly organize them; unless you obsess over them to the point you can’t do anything else with your life. Which is also one of the many reasons I’ve come to the conclusion that downloading mp3s now are just too primitive in the current age of streaming. I liken this to people who have emotional attachments to physical albums; once you come from a certain era, it’s really hard for most people to change towards something better. We all fall victim to it (whatever that thing is).
I think the only sites that supports mp3s now (legally) are independent artist sites, such as Jamendo and the like. What I find even more stunning, is that many artists who want more fans, still don’t use music discovery platforms such as Spotify. Let me tell you, the vast majority don’t even know what a Jamendo is. Some bloggers I’ve read suggests that mp3s are dying. I’m not sure if I agree with that either; maybe if we look at it in a relative sense (in comparison to streaming)?. When we look at legal sites such as Amazon and GooglePlay, there needs to be a site that has music not available on your chosen service in mp3 form. On the other hand, I’ve also seen sites that automatically and illegally RIP YouTube music into mp3 formats. Now, taken in account that storage has gotten larger and cheaper, there still comes to a point when downloading huge amounts of mp3 files (also large sized files cause most of us care about quality), can and often does effect you’re mobile’s performance. Hardware do get slower as space diminishes. Again, to solely use mp3s today just doesn’t seem practical to me anymore (unless there’s no other way of getting it), and it has become a habit that is impossible to break, especially now that music is essentially free now via streaming.
I was thinking, I haven’t seen a Time Life infomercial in ages! Remember those? I think they used to come on PIX or WWOR. They used to spread out about 10-15 CDs containing all kinds of classic music for the sale of $120, with 5 easy payments of $23.99. 😀 Although those infomercials may have been annoying to some, one thing’s for sure, it was a great way to rediscover your favorite classic music. I’ll doubt this will comeback ever again, as all we have to do now is stay in front of the TV with our Shazam up and running. I remembered that I recorded a couple of those long infomercials on VHS. I just Shazam’d all the songs I liked. Didn’t need to make one single purchase. Yup… Free & legal….. Gotta love technology!! Now you have people creating playlists derived from those same albums. LOL
You know, I’m surprised to read that there are a lot of people who still believe that blogs are dead. This is not exactly true at all, and I think if someone wants to start a blog of their own, they should not be discouraged. What appears to be the core & common belief is that, now with the age of music streaming services like YouTube, Spotify, etc, people can just listen to music themselves without having to read the advice of others. While that is true, there are also other factors. Many people do in fact loose interest in their blogging. It takes a certain amount of dedication that many people just don’t have anymore. Sometimes people have things in their lives that has permanently taken their attention away from blogging. Or, sometimes it’s simply being technically challenged. There is a LOT that is involved in blogging. It’s not just finding a good interesting topic people want to read about; it’s also figuring out how to promote yourself for the least amount of money and time; it’s about figuring out how google works to your best advantage. A lot of people aren’t willing to invest in that kind of time, therefor, some blogs start to slowly die off.
I also considered the possibility that Google is inadvertently shadowing bloggers. Why would I think this? Well, remember that everything is automated, and keywords are used to search your content, and once a string is found, Google/X search engine can do whatever. Understand that a search engine’s algorithms are not perfect, and sometimes they can blacklist innocent sites for just typing the wrong word. This is because today, sites like Google & Facebook have become not only so politicized; they’re being made responsible for blocking “questionable sites.” So despite the fact that many people still think that blogging is dead, there are a ton of new music blogs emerging all over the place. The bottom line is, it’s true you may not necessarily need a blog to get their opinion on music, but we do still need them to help us find new music and playlists that cater to our tastes. Also, if you really are interested in a particular artist, you may appreciate a little more information about that artist, which a blog (made by other music fans) can provide. Please remember one thing, regardless of how good a search engine’s (or music service’s) algorithms are, we still need a human being to help us find quality & historical music.
I am so incredibly angry. All I can say to you guys is, unless you have very strong technical abilities DO NOT USE GODADDY! However, if you’re on Godaddy already, here’s why you should stay with the devil you know (a wise old saying). Setting up for the first time is easy. But switching over to the new server was a nightmare! And they really didn’t do shit! They left me hanging for almost two weeks, they’re unorganized, they’re not on the same page at all. If it where not for the fact that I understand what I’m doing, and the fact that their hardware is pretty solid, I would have went with another hosting provider. But the other thing is, I don’t want to leave into the arms of an even worse host! “Better to stay with the devil I know.” Why did I do it in the first place? To have better security, and a cheaper price. I really don’t know what happened, they were not so bad when I first started with them 10 years ago. Their tech support SUCKS now!!!! They must have outsourced their staff too! It’s the only explanation I can think of! Damn it. It is so difficult to deal with a company that has outsourced their staff. It’s not a good feeling to realize you understand more of what needs to be done than the provider’s staff. They love to talk you in to buying a bunch of stuff, but in reality, the lack the organization to do what’s necessary for my situation. It was kind of like talking to a Best Buy manager; you know how they’ll lower the price on something in order for you to get the insurance? LOL So, long story short, because the server is entirely different, the new database is entirely different, I can’t import any of my old data. And I’m not paying a single penny more to have them do anything (which they’re not going to do shit anyway, cause they appear to be backwards). So, I decided to start over again from scratch. I was saddened to come to that conclusion. Words cannot describe how mad I am with godaddy. The amount of work that would have taken to deal with that database isn’t worth it. My question is, why didn’t they develop a tool to seamlessly migrate data and update the database? Especially since WordPress is the most commonly used CMS program. Grrrrrrrrr. Thanks guys for your patience and support. Please note: It will be some time before google gets around to indexing my site.