Steingold Music delivered some incredible weirdness and brilliance with a recent submission into Fluence. I am so happy to share the magic of TinderHoe. It may make you laugh and ponder the statements that are being made. The video footage synching to the beat back and forth is tight and fun. It doesn’t get boring because the song keeps lifting and new footage keeps us laughing.

From the first images through to the end, I was riveted. I had to watch it several times to understand it, and even now I’m not sure I completely do. It made me laugh at us and at society. It will probably have the same effect on you. At times it felt like the trash-TV factory of Maury Povich, who happens to be a prodigal son of my high school in Bethesda, MD. I don’t mind a getting a bit dirty in the trash TV to crack up to deftly stitched weirdness with a good beat.

It was so much fun, Joe Fernandez tweeted it out to Sean Rad the CoFounder of Tinder.

 

I had the awesome opportunity to meet the creator Jason Steingold in Santa Monica this week and learn more about TinderHoe. Maury Povich’s day time talk show has a straight but sad formula that works. He brings in troubled couples who are going through the challenges of raising an unplanned child and then manufactures the drama on the show. At the end of the session the paternity results reveal if the guy is in fact the father of the child. If the the result is negative, the father erupts in a “daddy dance.” This is a thing. Steingold brilliantly and imaginatively weaves this into a unique and fun journey. These “almost-daddies” can bust a move, and some of the antics are pretty hilarious and just plain silly. The audience members are a trip too clapping away with abandon and no shame. I hope this gives you as much joy as it gave me.

I caught the sounds of Aria Lanelle through Fluence with her early submission of Got it Bad. I took to it quickly, because it was so damn good. It’s very easy to fall in love with her retro, style, music, and vocals. She’s so talented. Just thinking of that track is making my face contort with the soul. Damn.

Ok, so Aria came out with an EP just 4 hours ago! The tracks on that EP are incredible and divergent with so many layers. Such a great work of art. Listen now and get as excited as I am. “Back In” is incredible with a fresh beat that makes you move around. I love track “All” (night long)…wow. It’s powerful and strong. Really dug it. It’s all good. Very excited to share my love for Aria Lanelle’s music with the world. Enjoy.

 

And Check out the video for Got It Bad. Your face may contort too with the universal sounds of a great song.

 

Buy it all on iTunes and support Aria!

TIDAL

This past week TIDAL launched, a new streaming service that was purchased by Jay-Z for $56 million. It was quite the spectacle with probably the largest gathering of A-list music celebrities on stage for a product launch. None of the artists at launch really ever talked about the product itself or details about the service. There was a bit of talk about their strongest differentiator, the lossless high-definition CD quality of their sound. There was some mention of offline playback capability, which is a standard check-box item in all the ondemand services today. Other than that, there were no real product specifics, which is surprising and indicative of where we are in the evolution of the music industry. Now the celestial jukebox ondemand service has become a commodity. The amount of technical complexity, investment, and infrastructure required to build a mass-scale ondemand service is not trivial. Back when we started building these services 12-15 years ago, it was all about the features and for a short-time it was about the catalog size. Now, it’s about artist involvement as that’s how the services differentiate themselves.

TIDAL is not really an ondemand service as much as it is a statement and a movement about an artist owned platform. All of the artists have strong ideas and passions about what the future should look like for experiencing music, and TIDAL will be their platform to offer experiences beyond a catalogue of music and playlists. TIDAL could seep into their live concert and branded merch experiences in ways that we’re not thinking of yet. They may bring new meaning to a monthly fee for music beyond a basic track level service. I think TIDAL represents a strong potential for re-imagining what a financial relationship looks like with a fan and an artist, and it should not be underestimated. I’m cautiously optimistic and certainly want to be a believer. I would also count on their being more star-studded artists joining their team as more top of the tail players take sides. As with anything, however, it’s all about execution, and the technical side needs to be tight given the competition and excellence at Spotify and Apple.

Another key issue with TIDAL is that it will impact fans with artist exclusives and windowing much like film and TV streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Vessel, etc. That is an unfortunate byproduct of competition between services. Rights-holders think they’re better off maximizing short-term profit for long-term fan relationships. Windowing and exclusives only serve to frustrate fans. All fans want to do is engage their favorite artists conveniently wherever they’re already accessing their music. Requiring them to signup and buy into another service to hear an exclusive release will only lead to more piracy and resentment. Fans are the ones who ultimately lose out when not all music is available everywhere. Rights-holders lose out too, because they are not fulfilling all available demand for their music across all platforms. TIDAL’s equity holders may have illusions to the contrary, which would be a shame since then it becomes more about shareholder value and not about the music reaching the most people.

The silver lining in all this is that the top of the tail will implode with these exclusives across TIDAL, Apple, Spotify, etc. As the top artists start limiting their total potential fanbase across these services as they go exclusive with one, it opens the door for all the amazing artists who don’t play those games and make their music available everywhere. These middle-class artists will be able to pick up the attention of fans who would have otherwise been listening to more popular artists who are now only available on certain services. My main prediction is that in 3-4 years, most top artists will have extensive windowing strategies and exclusives motivated by brand deals and equity into these services. As they splinter into their silos, their fans will feel short-changed and spread their attention to other incredible artists who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to shine.

 

SXSW 2015

Time for the pilgrimage to Austin for SXSW 2015. Thank you to Karen Allen for inviting me to speak on her panel: Underground Railroad of Artist Revenue on Wednesday March 18th at 3:30pm. I’d love to see you there. It’s an interesting topic on the alternate revenue opportunities for artists. The craft and industry of being an artist are evolving rapidly, and people still need to make it happen.

I land on Sunday March 15th and leave Thursday 19th AM. Drop me a line on twitter if you’re going to be around. It’d be great to meet up.

 

 

I finally got around to watching the interview I did on NBC’s Press Here TV. It was filmed and broadcast in early November 2014, but I only saw the clip today. Thank you Aunny Delarosa for hooking it up. I enjoy talking about the things I love and am interested and do so publicly at conferences and on TV. I’m not a fan of watching it back, however. So I didn’t get around to seeing it and then forgot about it until now. This segment is about Taylor Swift pulling her music off Spotify. It was a short-term financial strategy that probably resulted in $1M+ in total incremental revenue for her last release, but it cost her a lot in terms of potential new fan exposure on Spotify. Ultimately it was annoying to her existing fans on Spotify since so many are now denied her music. Ironically, the massive amount of publicity this issue got in the press drove much awareness about Taylor Swift’s new album and introduced her to new audiences through traditional media. It may have been the best marketing move of her release. It was fun doing the session and sharing a car ride back to the city from San Jose with Josh Constine and Christina Farr.

 

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