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 State of the Music Industry by Rick Goetz

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PostSubject: State of the Music Industry by Rick Goetz   Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:28 pm

Tom Silverman is the founder and the head of TommyBoy Entertainment. Throughout his amazing career Tom has worked with and broken artists like De La Soul, Digital Underground, House of Pain, Queen Latifah and Afrika Bambaataa. In addition Tom is one of the main executives who has revived the New Music Seminar. I was grateful he took the time to speak with me. Please check the bottom of this post – Tom was kind enough to offer my readers a code for two for one admission to the L.A. New Music Seminar coming up on February 1st & 2nd.

Tom, you have a unique worldview given your history and current position in entertainment. Tell me what you’re seeing out there. Some of the statistics I saw at New York’s New Music Seminar are a little daunting. What is the reality for the aspiring artist these days?


TS:

Last Thursday, the new 2009 statistics came out from SoundScan. I’ll go over the most recent things because that just came out. Interestingly enough, and this is what we’ve been identifying at the New Music seminar is that overall music sales are up by 2.1% — 1.545 billion sales were made. That includes physical, digital, singles, albums, everything, video, music video. Total album sales including digital are down 12.7%. Digital tracks are up 8.3%, which is pretty great considering everyone is saying digital is leveling off, and I find that to be a hype. The percentage of increase is slowing down, but that’s because it’s a numerator/denominator thing. The actual amount — the number of additional units was almost 100 million more digital tracks sold this year than the year before, and 100 million is nothing to laugh at.

When you want to talk about vinyl, it’s up 33% and it went from 1.88 million to 2.5 million; so, the increase on that was about 700,000. Full-length digital albums are up 16%, but then again they started at only 65.8 million, so they’re only up to 76 million. The interesting trend we follow at the seminar also is the ratio of singles to album sales; In 2004 there were virtually no singles sales- it was all albums. Last year there were 2.5 times as many digital download singles as albums, physical and digital combined. This year it’s moved to 3.1 times as many, so look to see the ratio of singles to albums to increase. A lot of this comes from the radio hits. What’s happening is that where the major labels play, they’re getting marginalized faster than the indies and the smaller artists. We identified that the Top 10 has dropped 65-70% since 2000, probably 70% as of this year. If you just take records that sold over a quarter of a million that’s down 65%; but if you take records that sold under 10,000 it’s only down three or four percent.

I don’t recall the exact figure but I heard the number of albums that went platinum in 2009 was frighteningly low.


TS:

There weren’t that many. In 2008 there were only 112 that sold over a quarter of a million. So if you think that the major labels only make money – they can’t justify their existence at the size they are on records that sell over a quarter of a million. A good part of those records that sell over a quarter of a million they hoped would sell over a million or two million, and only sold a half a million or less. So they overspent on them and didn’t make money on them. So those 112 records are the only records they could make money on at all. Probably 25-50% of those didn’t make money either. So only 60 releases make money, and the amount of money they make except for maybe four or five giants hits – the Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas level of hits – aren’t really making significant money. In the old days, one hit used to pay for 20 stiffs. Now one hit doesn’t even pay for one stiff.

Depending on what’s spent, one hit doesn’t always pay for one hit.


TS:

Exactly. Half of those 112 didn’t even make money or broke even. To sell 300,000 albums and not make money? That’s not a good thing. It’s because they were hoping to sell 600,000 or 700,000 or 800,000. The labels are getting more cautious. So here’s what’s happening, and this is what we discuss at NMS. There are two major concerns we have. One is, the labels, both majors and independents are more conservative; they’re not going to take risks on artists or invest in artists just because they hear the demo and they like the songs or just because they can pack a house. That’s not enough – at least not the major labels. They need to know the artist is going somewhere between 30 and 60 miles per hour already to make an investment in it. They can’t start from scratch anymore, because so few artists are breaking. Here’s another statistic in 2008 there were 1500 releases that sold over 10,000 album units. Out of that there were only 227 of them that were artists that had broken 10,000 for the first time. So in the whole year only 227 of the artists were artists that had broken what we call the “obscurity line.” When you sell 10,000 albums, you’re no longer an obscure artist; people know about you. You may not be a star yet, but you’re in the game. That gets you out of the glut and into the game. We looked at the 227 and identified that only 14 of them were artists doing it on their own and all the rest were on majors and indies; a little more than half were on indies. And that includes Lady Gaga in that number of 227. It includes the biggest artists and ones that sold 10,000 as well, whether they sold a million or 10,001. That’s a pretty daunting number.

How have you adapted with Tommy Boy Entertainment? How has your personal business adapted to this shift? You seem intimately acquainted with how things are going. How have you weathered this transition?


TS:

By starting the New Music Seminar again and doing tons and tons of research deep in the data, identifying what’s happening and not happenings, talking to people who are making it happen and doing it alternative ways, we’re identifying what the opportunities are out there. Tommy Boy is more than a record company; we don’t consider ourselves a record company anymore, we’re much more than that. Now we’re sort of a strategic artists positioning company, and our job is to take an artist from where they are in revenues to a much higher number. If we work with Artist A that’s making half a million dollars a year, our goal is we take them to a million in year one, two million in year two, and three or four in year three. That’s our goal. And then we take a percentage of that revenue. And we’re talking about dollars, not record sales, because we may decide to give the records away, and we may only make about 10% of our money from the music and master use or 20% and the rest of it will come from touring and merch, publishing and possibly sync and other things. We’re not concerned with where the money comes from as long as it comes. Tommy Boy is known for building brands, from Queen Latifah and Ru Paul, to De La Soul and Afrika Bambaataa, Naughty by Nature, House of Pain, so many household names now that you know. When you mention the name, you can see them; like Digital Underground, when you close your eyes, an image of who they are comes up. Coolio … they all became significant brands, and that’s what we did. Tommy Boy is itself as a significant brand. We’re not just a record company. Our business always was building brands. How we used to make money was selling records; but we don’t see it as the way we can make money now. It’s one of the streams of revenue that we can make money from, but it’s no longer the most significant or even the second most significant way we’ll be making money. We can no longer be limited in how we see artists to the music domain. It’s more than the music. We have to work with the artist’s positioning.

So, back to the New Music seminar. As it’s harder for artists to break, and no labels are going to come to an artist just because they like the demo, that’s hard for artists to take. Artists don’t want to hear that. They’re spending all their time, because they’re musicians making a cool record. And that’s what they should do, but that’s only the very beginning of it. One of the things we identified in that three times as many people buy singles as a whole album, it probably doesn’t make any sense to make a whole album, or it’s a waste of time and money in the studio making an album when they’re just getting started, because every artist breaks with one song. And they might as well focus on finding that one song before they waste the money on the album.

Do you suggest EP’s then as a plausible alternative?


TS:

EP’s or even singles. As you build fans, if you’re touring – and every artist should be regardless of genre right now to build their fan base and also sell merch and actually make money – they should be touring all the time. You create music to satisfy your live audience. Once you have fans that are coming to your site, then you need to keep flowing new music to them on a regular basis to keep them engaged, and hopefully good music. You’re going to say, “I’m no longer an album every 18 months or two years. I’m a song every two months or a song every month. I’m a monthly publication or a bi-monthly publication.” You look at yourself as more of a periodical than as an album-making business. I think the album days are coming to an end. Unless you’re already established and you already have hundreds of thousands of fans, in which case the touring and album making might make sense. I just talked to one of the writers and producers for Black Eyed Peas, and they’re going out on tour right after the Grammys. They’re bringing out two tour buses that are studios, so they’ll be recording while they’re touring. I think that’s the new world, is that artists will do their shows and then they’ll go into their mobile recording studio and write and record. Now that recording equipment is so mobile, it’s easier and cheaper to do that, and the top artists are going to do that, and even the smaller artists are going to have to be writing on the road constantly. And whenever they’re in a place where there’s a studio, they may want to drop a track or they can record live tracks to perform and practice and rehearse and do live tracks and record those live tracks and make them available. The flow of music from artist to fan is going to be more important. It didn’t used to be important because there wasn’t the kind of 24-7 contact between artists and fans. So as you build your fans, they’re not going to be happy with one album every two years anymore. That’s not going to work. After three months, they’re off finding another artist that’s going to take your place. If you want to keep their interest, you have to keep at the top of their consciousness, and that requires new creative on a constant basis.

So at the seminar we talked about all of this. We talked about the new model, which is no longer based on records, it’s based on fans and the relationship between artists and fans, and how you monetize that relationship. We talked about the fan relationship pyramid. We have to look at our fans based on their levels of passion and their levels of spending. What kind of content we see delivered to our fans – whether it’s for money or for free – depends on their level of passion and their level of spending. So somebody that doesn’t want to spend any money – a tire kicker – probably shouldn’t get something first. They probably shouldn’t get exclusives. The exclusives should go to the most avid fans. That’s the new world. And there’s a science – we call it “fan migration science,” and we teach fan migration science at the seminar. How do you migrate a passive fan into an active fan? How do you capture fans? The new music business is about getting fans. That was always the business, but we – artists and labels – were always confused. We thought it was about selling records. Record sales were how we used to make money. It may not be how we make money now. But really how we made money from it is that fans bought our records. Passive fans bought the single, active fans bought the album, super active fans bought the album and went to all the shows, and bought the t-shirt. So we have to look at our audience in that way from now on.

——-

This is part 2 of 2 of an interview with Tom Silverman the founder of Tommy Boy Entertainment and one of the main executives who has revived the New Music Seminar. Please check the bottom of this post – Tom was kind enough to offer my readers a code for two for one admission to the L.A. New Music Seminar coming up on February 1st & 2nd. If you missed part one you can read that here.


When I was at the New York NMS I noticed that a lot of the people in attendance were those at the many companies that now provide artist services. It seems to be there are lots of artist services businesses popping up. ReverbNation, Top Spin – there seem to be new ones every day. There are tons of services now where there never were before. I was wondering if you were fond of any of those companies and thought they had real value?


TS:

I am. I think they are replacing what labels and managers used to do or maybe never did, depending on what they’re doing. They’re also helping artists more simply bridge the gap between the online social world and search and all the things you’re talking about. It’s a complicated stew; you can be on 15 social sites, and there’s a question as to how important they are vs. the amount of time you spend, and how important the Web is to making your career go. I can’t think of many artists who owe their career to the Web.

When I think about the indie artists that are doing it themselves, like Sufjan Stevens or Bon Iver or this guy Corey Smith.. This is a guy from North Carolina who was a school teacher and about three years ago and his manager got him up to about a million dollars in revenues, then the next year he got him up to four million in revenues. Really, the game is how can you build your revenues, not how can you sell more records. You may not sell records at all. You may decide to give records away to get your revenues up. If your revenues go up, that’s what you care about. Tommy Boy is in the “how do we make more revenues” business and “how do we create a strategic plan to do that?” That’s what Tommy Boy has molted into. It’s kind of what we always did, but we just never really looked at it that way.

The New Music Seminar was created to identify what the goal is for everybody, including the ReverbNations or the TopSpins of the world. What are they going to have to provide to artists? When Spotify comes to America I am going to ask Daniel Ek (CEO & Founder of Spotify – who will be giving the Keynote at the NMS in L.A.) “What can Spotify do to help the developing artist?” Because the real goal of the New Music Seminar is to help developing artists so more artists can break through. We really have a big problem in our country right now in that so few artists are breaking through, with or without a label. The promise of the Internet was that all of us would be able to make great music and get it exposed. Chris Anderson’s “Long Tail” article said that all you have to do is be able to get that record out, and they’ll come. But that’s not working.

I think part of the problem is that everybody did that.


TS:

Well, that’s what he said, “Everybody would do it.” That’s why it’s called the “long tail.” But when you have 105,000 albums in 2008 released and 17,000 of those releases only sold one copy, and 80,000 of them sold under 100 copies, it’s a pretty depressing scene. You can’t just build it and they will come. You have to do more than that. I was going to say before that Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver and Corey Smith are selling a significant amount – above 10,000 units – a lot of which is at their shows, and they’re not active online. They’re not Twitterheads. They didn’t break from the Internet. They broke from touring, and they had a good story, and the good story spread like wildfire through traditional media like NPR.


Musician Coaching: It’s funny actually, I’m friendly with Eric Garland at Big Champagne, and I interviewed him, and asked if there was any predictor to determine which kind of artist is most likely to get their music pirated, and he said, “Well, R&B crossover singles.” But he also said the biggest prediction is the more active you are online the more likely it is that your music will be pirated, which was upsetting.


TS:

Interesting. It’s upsetting to people that are making big investments in being online. I’ll tell you the one thing that works: if you’re great live and you bust your ass on the road, that works. And it’s the one thing that has always worked and your social network is at the show. You come to the show and everyone who comes is into the band, so they all have that in common and it’s a social network. But you can actually see them and talk to them and scream with them. There’s an excitement that happens at a gig that never happens online. The online thing is great for finding out about stuff, looking things up or for making purchases; but for exposing stuff, so far it’s been disappointing. That may not be true with webcasting – Last FM, Pandora and Slacker and some of the other big webcasters as they start to invoke discovery tools and more and more sophisticated discovery tools to suggest and discover new music get better and better. Maybe we can fix some of that, but when the Web was proposed for music ten years or twelve years ago, we all thought this would be the Golden Era and that there would be an Elvis that would break every three months, or some big act. There’d be a Lady Gaga every two weeks, but it’s not happening. It’s not happening at all. And Lady Gaga didn’t break off the Web. She broke by hard, hard work touring and doing promo shows and every place she could go we saw her. There was nowhere she wasn’t. They pushed and they pushed and put posters on the street – old analog shit. I’m sure they did the online stuff too. A lot of artists think if they do a big online push that’s enough, and it’s really not enough anymore. In fact, you could probably break without any online work at all; but you can’t probably break without any offline work at all. So that’s the big myth that’s being purported. You know where the investment money’s coming from in the music business now? It’s coming from venture capitalists that are investing in businesses like Spotify or any of those artist service businesses. There must be half a billion dollars in online investment in the music business over the two years. That’s more than all the labels in the world have spent on A&R in the last five years combined – a lot more – and probably on marketing too. That’s where the money’s coming from, so they’re leading the press. So of course everybody thinks shit is selling because of the technology, but it’s not. That’s the hope, and where the investment’s been, but that’s not the reality. We’re really not seeing any evidence that stuff is breaking off the Web.

There are a lot of groups that are breaking because of a big write-up on Pitchfork that leads to maybe a usage on a TV show like The Hills or something like that. People see something on TV or MTV or something like that or hear some song on MTV. The combination of that plus touring might work. If radio and print are moving towards the Internet and they can get enough reach and frequency, which has been the challenge for them so far, like the Huffington Post or maybe you can say Pitchfork. There are Pitchfork bands that consider themselves Pitchfork bands. They’re not going gold and platinum, but they’re getting booked and they’re starting to break that obscurity line. I think the more powerful Pitchfork gets … I mean, Oprah wasn’t Oprah in the very beginning. It took her years to build an audience. Now she can talk about a book and that book goes into the Top 10 on the Best Seller list the next week. There’s not a lot of people that have that kind of juice online. In fact, I don’t think there’s anyone that has that kind of juice online yet. There will be something that everybody watches just like they watch on television online or that they look at that will move the needle substantially right now. Right now it’s still really early days for that.

And a lot of artists are really putting all their faith in that and focusing on online, but when you look at the numbers, the artists that are doing it are the ones that are doing the grinding on the road.

At the Seminar we want to talk to artists about if there’s 120,000 albums that come out in a year, how do they differentiate themselves from all of them? Because clearly it’s tough. There’s such a glut, and how do I break through the glut? The best way to break through the glut if you’re limited in funds – and everyone is – is to differentiate yourself. So we talk about how do we differentiate ourselves in every one of the four important aspects that define an artist:

the songs

the recording

the image & concept

the live show

The concept is really big. It means- “what do you stand for?”

That’s why Susan Boyle sold more records in six weeks than anybody else in three years, and she wasn’t even American and had no radio play or anything. She had a story, and it was a compelling story. Anybody with a compelling story that can get that compelling story told. It is a lot easier to get exposed with a story because everyone wants to talk about and write about a compelling story. You have to have a good story.

The Live show is important too. Your live show has to be great, because so many artists are breaking from the stage now. You’re much more likely to get exposure and get a buzz if you have an unbelievable live show that makes people talk than if you have an unbelievable record. Records are not going to get radio play, because the radio stations that are left are hardly playing anything, and there’s nobody listening, especially in the rock area.

I taught a class at FIT and somebody asked me to come and speak. There were 40 kids in the class, and I asked them, “How do you guys find out about new music? Do you listen to the radio?” And only four or five kids listened to the radio in that whole class. All the rest of them said online they find out about it some way or word of mouth. That’s with every genre. Still, you just said that pop and urban are still breaking on the radio, and those are the ones that Eric Garland at Big Champagne said people are downloading and not paying for. The biggest radio hits are the ones that are more pirated. Everybody talks about peer-to-peer being a great way to expose new music. It’s not a great way, because 90% of the files being traded on peer-to-peer are the hits. It would be a much different ratio if it was a discovery tool. People aren’t using it as a discovery tool. They’re trying to get the songs that are already exposed.

What we’re doing at the Seminar is saying, “Where should we go to get the exposure?”

I wasn’t really expecting a part three to this article but it seems there was quite a bit of excitement about the statistics that Tom Silverman had mentioned in the first part of this interview. Tom was kind enough to add more information.

I will add only this – that of all of the people I know who did really well for themselves in the old world of music- Tom Silverman is one of the only executives I have met who actually really cares about the future of the music business unrelated to getting a paycheck. Thanks again for this Tom.

Please check out the New Music Seminar in Los Angeles on February 1st and 2nd. Readers of MusicianCoaching.com can get a two for one discount by going to www.newmusicseminar.biz. and entering the code “nmsla2”.



Tom Silverman:

In preparing for the February 2nd Los Angeles New Music Seminar, I wanted to learn more about how many new artists are breaking each year. After all, the New Music Seminar is dedicated to helping more new artists break.

First we had to determine the definition of breaking. At the New Music Seminar we identify the obscurity line arbitrarily as 10,000 albums sold in the year of release. That is not a hard number, nor is it the only meter of success. 300 hard ticket sales for a headliner in multiple cities might be another definition. 25,000 paid single downloads might be another. I’m sure there are many more but 10,000 albums doesn’t sound as elusive as gold or platinum (those archaic arbiters of success) or even 50,000 which only a decade ago might have been considered below the obscurity threshold. Looking at the 1517 albums that were released in 2008 and sold more than 10,000 units in 2008 we find that only 225 of them were by artists that had surpassed 10,000 for the first time in their career (either by themselves or with another band).

The vast majority of these were released by significant indies (110) or majors (103). Last Friday, I thought that only 14 of those were self released artists or artists on start up labels. Further inspection disqualified two of them. One was a gospel record whose Bishop had exceeded 10,000 in the past under a slightly different name and the other was a Soundscan placeholder for a title distributed by Anderson Wholesale, the distributor for Walmart, that showed the title “TBD.” We had thought it was a Dutch electronic artist called Anderson but alas, nay.

Who were these valiant artists? A quick inspections indicated that beyond Bon Iver, the real indie artist success story of 2008, there were three hip hop artists, one that had financing of $10 a unit in marketing spend to sell under 30,000 units, another associated with the big indie hip hop powerhouse Tech N9ne and the last a gospel hip hop artist. The rest were largely alternative rock artists, two had been contestants in America’s Got Talent or American Idol and a few others were on small labels with big budgets.

What does this say about the Chris Anderson “Long Tail” promise? Clearly the ease of making and distributing music does not benefit “breaking” music. Breaking music requires mass exposure which requires luck or money or both. I can say with great authority that less new music is breaking now in America than any other time in history. Technology has not helped more great music rise to the top, it has inhibited it. I know this is a bold statement but it is true.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to all of the technologists that participate in the New Music Seminar is to correct that issue so that great music can rise to its true potential regardless of politics, power or money. I believe that the next decade will bring improvement to the music web that allow that to happen. In the meantime, artists can still make a very good living without selling 10,000 albums by careful cultivation of their fan relationships. This is another theme of the New Music Seminar…redefining the music business around the artist/fan relationship…how to manage it…how to monetize it. Records are no longer currency in the next music business…fans are.

Here’s the list of the 12 artists that sold over 10,000 albums in 2008 for the first time. Remember these are 12 albums out of 105,575 new album releases that year.

BON IVER
Record Label: Jagjaguwar (US/CAN)
Album: For Emma Forever Ago 103,112


TMI BOYZ
Record Label: TMI Entertainment
Album: Grindin’ For a Purpose 29,119


CAS HALEY
Record Label: CaptainHooks, also Big Karma Records, a “Texas start up label”
Album: Cas Haley 22,580


DUKE SPIRIT
Record Label: SHANGRILA
Album: Neptune 19,403


EYES SET TO KILL
Record Label: BreakSilence Recordings
Album: Reach 16,133


PROZAK
Record Label: Strange Music Inc./ DeadMan Productions Inc.
Album: Tales From the Sick 14,929


SLIGH*CHRIS
Record Label: Brash Music
Album: Running Back To You 14,785


REBEL SOULJAHZ
Record Label: GO Aloha Entertainment
Album: Nothing To Hide 14,262


BLIND PILOT
Record Label: Expunged Records,
Album: 3 Rounds & A Sound 11,281


MORNING BENDERS
Record Label: +1 Records Album: Talking Through Tin Cans 11,201


STS9
Record Label: 1320 Records
Album: PEACEBLASTER 10,601


TRIP LEE
Record Label: Reach Records
Album:20-20 10,003

Tom Silverman responds after returning from MIDEM:

If you missed parts 1-3 check out the interview that started here

Parts 1-3 were discussed here and mentioned on:

Music Think Tank , Hypebot , Digital Music News , TechDirt, Billboard.Biz , Cnet, Lefsetz and several other blogs. (email me if I missed yours)



TS:

It occurred to me that part of the reason I may have been misunderstood by some in last week’s MusicianCoaching interview is that many people may have missed the third installment that I wrote on January 20th in response to so many people wanting to know who the few artists that broke the obscurity line in 2008 were.

In that response I mentioned that there are other indicators to the escape from obscurity besides album sales including concert ticket sales and singles sales and there are certainly others such as being featured on a huge TV show.

When the flamers came to the party, I had already donned my asbestos suit. Their outrage at the analytical results that I uncovered is not surprising but shooting the messenger does not invalidate the message. In fact, I felt the same way that they did when I first began delving into the numbers. I thought there would be many more than 225 artists out of 1515 albums that sold over 10,000 and I was sure that nearly half would be DIY artists. The fact that almost none of the 225 artist breaking 10,000 albums for the first time in 2008 did it themselves was hard for me to believe but it is true nonetheless.

What upset me most about the reaction to the data was that some thought I was being pessimistic on the future of the music business or at least the DIY artist part of it. That could not be further from the truth.

Dave Lory and I brought back the New Music Seminar again out of dedication to the artist community and a belief that music and artists should be able to rise to their maximum potential regardless of gatekeepers or investors. That was the original promise of the web and I still believe it is possible. On Tuesday, February 2nd, in Los Angeles, the architects of the next music business will convene at the Henry Fonda Theater to discuss new ways and even some old ways that artist can break through. Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, the streaming service that has taken parts of Europe by storm will talk about what Spotify will be doing to help artists get exposed. Michael Doernberg from ReverbNation, Derek Sivers founder of CDBaby, Ian Rogers of Topspin, Bruce Houghton of Hypebot, Christina Calio of Microsoft, Alexandra Patsavas of Chop Shop, Producer Rodney Jerkins, Jason Bentley of KCRW, Kevin Lyman of the Warped Tour, Corey Smith manager Martin Winsch, the ever popular Martin Atkins of TourSmart, Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons and many more will all be trying to come up with solutions to artists trying to build manage and monetize a fan base in this new era.

The record business has an inflation-adjusted value equal to that of the late 60’s and it is still dropping. Anyone getting in the music business now is clearly not doing it for money. Anyone getting into the music business now is doing it for passion and that is the right reason. Labels have always invested in artists and still do, although they invest much more cautiously due to the compromised risk/reward ratio that currently exists and that reduction in new artist investment has certainly contributed to the reduction in new artists breaking out of obscurity. At the New Music Seminar, we hope to uncover new business models that enable music labels to increase their investment in new artists and give more artists opportunity.

I am more than optimistic. I know that within five years that number will no longer be 12 DIY artists a year breaking through but 50 or 100. The overall number of new artists breaking out of obscurity will be over 500. I believe that we are on the cusp of a golden age of music. We finally have come to understand that it was never about records, it was about the passion of the artist and the passion of the fans for music and their favorite artists. Finding new ways to track fan passion for artists and empower those fans to spread their passion are some of the tools that NMS will explore with cutting edge technologies.

What unites us all is our love for music and artists a quality that even Shakespeare mourned the lack of. In the Merchant of Venice he wrote.

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

How can you not embrace anyone who loves music and shows passion for the business of music? I love what TuneCore has done for artists and the paradigm shift it has contributed to and I adore Jeff Price’s passion. Anyone who has seen Lefsetz veins pop out when he is speaking knows that passion is at the core of his being and whether you agree with him or not, you gotta love him.

There are no bad guys. There are just artists and fans. Artists have to learn to serve fans better and the rest of us have to learn to serve artists better. And we will. You can count on it.
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State of the Music Industry by Rick Goetz
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