Pending Legislation Could Cripple Consumer Music Choices

There have been changes in business models that been beneficial to those companies mentioned above that either saw the future and embraced it. There have also been companies that have struggled along the way. Some companies, like The New York Times, are trying to find their way while others like Newsweek have been forced to embrace an all digital model. Beneath the distributors of content Apple, Spotify, Pandora, newspaper and magazine publishers and so on the ripple effect is also being felt on content creators musicians, authors and the like. While authors are seeing their articles and books downloaded, musicians have seen the playing field shift from consumers having to buy entire albums regardless of the format to individual tracks. No loner does the the music industry book the bulk of its revenue on a per album basis, but rather on digital singles. Despite that economic shift, airplay on broadcast is still the number one determinate of whether a song is a hit or a bust. For generations, music played on broadcast radio was viewed as promotional material for the artists. While companies in other industries pay to get their material on the air through ad sales, musicians and their record labels get their promotions for free. Even today, 240 million Americans still listen to broadcast radio, even as competition for listeners becomes stiffer thanks to MP3 players like iPods and cell phones, satellite and Internet radio. Even as Internet radio grows in popularity and I expect it will given the install base of Apples new iRadio, the costs make profitability difficult to achieve because the government royalty board at the Library of Congress determined that Internet radio stations like Pandora pay six times the royalty rate of other mediums. Some in the music industry have recognized the changing landscape and have begun negotiating comprehensive deals that acknowledge the current multi dimensional aspect of the industry today. Warner Music Group and radio giant Clear Channel (CCO) recently agreed to a deal where Clear Channel agreed to compensate Warner and their artists when their music is played on the air and in exchange, Warner agreed to lower the royalty rates for music Clear Channel streams on the Internet. The Warner Music Clear Channel deal benefits both companies Clear Channel will gain profitability on the growth of streaming music while Warner Music will get compensation for music played on the air. And the consumer get what they want a wider range of music selection and the ability to consume that content where they want and how they want.

Music Box Theatre to Screen MACBETH Starring Kenneth Branagh, 10/26

Performing the role of the two-faced Iago is fellow Olivier Award-winner Rory Kinnear (The Last of the Haussmans, James Bond :Skyfall). In an act of jealousy and deceit, Iago persuades Othello that his new wife, Desdemona, is having an affair with the young man Cassio. The electrifying production of Macbeth, broadcast from the Manchester International Festival, stars one of the great Shakespearean interpreters and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh . Branagh last performed Shakespeare in 2002 when he played Richard III at the Sheffield Crucible. Playing opposite as Lady Macbeth is Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER). Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse , Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) is a unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery. In celebration of National Theatre Live’s 50th anniversary, the 2010 broadcast of Hamlet returns to cinemas starring Kinnear as Hamlet and directed by Hytner. A story of revenge and intrigue set in the country of Denmark, Hamlet plots the death of this loathed uncle. One of Shakespeare’s most influential plays also stars Clare Higgins (Gertrude), Patrick Malahide (Claudius), David Calder (Polonius), James Laurenson (Ghost/Player King), and Ruth Negga (Ophelia). Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation.

What’s the Most Viral Moment in Pop-Music History?

But was media-prescribed, marketing-driven virality automatically less “organic”? Sure, arguably. Or, you know, maybe people just really liked Michael Jackson. At any rate, as a sort of thought exercise about the nature of pre- and post-internet music culture, I’ve put together a short list of the most viral moments in modern pop-music history — with “modern” starting, for the sake of argument, 50 years ago. Which means the British Invasion of American prime-time TV makes the cut, but not Elvis’ televised (and semi-censored) hip-swiveling in 1956. I excluded moments that were purely musical — which means no record releases, epochal or otherwise (like, say, the Aug. 8, 1988 release of N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton,” which ushered in the gangsta rap era). And I left out notable births (e.g., the launch of MTV on Aug. 1, 1981) and artist deaths. What I was looking for, generally, was viral musical moments that had multimedia dimensionality and which rocked the culture. Here goes: Feb.