Liked what you heard from Moby on the Music That Changes The Worldbox set from the David Lynch Foundation? Well, there’s more where that came from. Moby will be performing his exclusive track Poison Tree on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, this Thursday, April 26. And, if you didn’t get your copy of the box set because they sold out on Record Store Day, you can try your local record store again — along with other retailers — after the Leno performance, as we have shipped more of these beautiful, very cool box sets out!
In addition, Moby has a new album coming out on April 30th called Destroyed: Remixed which will be available through his official online store. The talented electro-musician’s new release features a selection of previously released remixes and exclusive material, plus Moby’s brand new 30-minute-long ambient track called “All Sides Gone.”
The Destroyed: Remixed album features collaborated remixes from an array of prominent artists including, Yeasayer, Holy Ghost!, Paul van Dyk, Photek and, our favorite artist — David Lynch.
I talk to many labels and bands as a part of my job. These conversations opened my eyes to a number of interesting trends, particularly around distribution. One that I find particularly strange is that even as many bands and artists have trouble making ends meet, they stubbornly refuse to put their music where fans are looking and ready to make a purchase. To that end, streaming is a good way to help get you noticed… but it is not a way to make a living. In 2012, the industry players will have to deal with this as many labels, bands and artists are taking matters into their own hands.
Here are some of my top distribution trends and issues to be on the lookout for in 2012:
Let’s Not Get Physical
I am always surprised when distribution is an afterthought, if it even gets that much attention. Often a up and coming band or artist will tell me they have distribution — they are on iTunes and sell from their own website. Even the more well-known bands I talk to haven’t considered physical distribution as a significant way to add to their digital sales revenue, and increase exposure to some influential music industry people (record store owners). When I mention physical music, the labels and bands I’m talking to say what everybody else says…”people still buy CDs?”. When I tell them yes, AND vinyl records, they get psyched. Labels and bands don’t believe in physical because the media tells them not to. Heck, until I saw the actual sales numbers, I hardly believed it. The reality is that no band or artist can be successful without a strategy for digital AND physical distribution. They MUST use BOTH of these mediums (and more) to penetrate through the clutter and be where fans are seeking to buy music.
Streaming is Dead, Long Live Streaming
Another thing I hear over and over again – bands and artists HATE streaming services. Yeah, I said it! They don’t get anything from it, and they aren’t shy to talk smack about it. Interestingly, there was an article in Spin recently about the Black Keys’ “diplomatic” statement on why they do not like or plan to use streaming services. They feel like they are not yet able to “replace royalties from record sales with the royalties from streams, particularly for a band that “makes a living selling music.” Hmmm, well said. I’d say that is a key revenue component labels, bands and artists are going to need to consider in 2012.
Let the Digital Dust Settle
Digital – streaming and downloads – is on the upswing, and cannot be ignored. The issue is going to be how the deals between labels and bands can be made more fair so band and artists recognize more of their revenue from streaming – but also the streaming services and the differences between free and paid subscription needs to be reviewed and changed to better compensate the artists. The dust has not settled on having a solid and fair digital streaming service. To make this point, last month U.K. music distributor STHoldings pulled more than 200 indie labels off of Spotify, Rdio, and other streaming services, complaining about the services “cannibalizing” their digital sales, according to the Spin article from above. While the debate doesn’t appear likely to be resolved anytime soon, clearly a band’s got to have both digital downloads and physical sales to bring in those royalties and make that living.
So HEY YOU! BAND! LABEL! Whoever is reading this, if you have a following somewhere in the world, I’ve got news for you. Physical accounts for the majority of recorded music revenue; let Altavoz put your music in stores and also make it available digitally. We’re a full service direct distributor. We do it all. My number is: 301.95MUSIC and my twitter account is @followmealexg - I’ll text or talk to you all day about it, or anything music industry for that matter.
I’ll be back to scouting bands in the DMV area after the holidays. Let me know if you are playing and I will make an appearance. Maybe even buy you a beer or two if your music is extra awesome.
Here at Altavoz, we are especially proud that Donovan will become part of this fabled club. In the same month next year, his song “Listen” will be part of a four-record vinyl compilation release in support of the David Lynch Foundation.
The song as described on the David Lynch Foundation Music website goes like this, “If the archetype of the aphorism could be cooed into revealing its shape, to be used as the illuminated polygon for a zero gravity cross-dimensional partner dance with your inner child, “Listen” would be at the top of the list of potential candidates. It’s a fox-trot to dreamscape jazz, that moves like a brass pendulum carving mandalas on an extraterrestrial white sand beach, while outside your apartment a light rain makes the lawn smell incredible. That classic Donovan lullaby-mystique will haunt you, waking or dreaming, this life or the next.”
Ok, so I have no idea what any of that means, but it actually is true! When you listen to “Listen”, you are taken on a mystical journey, could be back in time or even into the future….depending on your mood at that moment, the journey will be meaningful and unique.