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New label initiative to experiment with campus music licensing

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 02 Mar 2009 9:09 User comments (14)

New label initiative to experiment with campus music licensing With a history of knee-jerk reactions and paranoia over new technology, record labels are the last place you'd expect to find an innovative approach to music distribution. But that's just what one music industry insider laid out in a keynote address at last week's Digital Music Forum East.
Jim Griffin will be running a new non-profit project called Choruss. Simply put, its purpose is to figure out how to make money licensing music.

Griffin's experience in the recording industry includes founding the technology group at Geffen Records in the mid-90s.

Before you shake your head about yet another clueless music industry executive claiming to have solved the digital distribution problem it's worth paying attention to what he's saying. Much of it is a message we've heard many times, just never from the labels.

"Music’s greatest financial power is its ability to draw a crowd," said Griffin, "not our ability to control its quantity."

More importantly, he admitted "We do not pretend to know the answers, but we are certain that now is the time for experimentation and learning cannot come fast enough."

Unlike other approaches that have been attempted in the past, and ultimately failed, Griffin said Choruss will work with various universities to offer subscription music services using some variations of a basic business model.

Griffin told his audience, "We will include purely voluntary payment (opt in), opt out and all-in systems with lower fees spread evenly across campus, like library or gym fees."

He even went so far as to suggest that the industry's main focus needs to be competing for consumer dollars with other forms of entertainment.

There's no guarantee that just understanding some of the questions means Jim Griffin will be able to figure out any good answers. And if he does there's no reason to assume the labels will implement any of his suggestions.

If nothing else, this shows there's someone working on a real solution to music licensing and distribution. If current label ownership fails to take advantage of it perhaps the companies who buy them out further down the road will.

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14 user comments

12.3.2009 12:50

It will fail because distribution is its foundation and "distribution" is a antiquated and flawed way of thinking.

22.3.2009 12:59

instant failure

32.3.2009 14:40

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"Music’s greatest financial power is its ability to draw a crowd," said Griffin, "not our ability to control its quantity."

Music has Financial power? Can it do my taxes, can it Sue my lexmark printer?

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He even went so far as to suggest that the industry's main focus needs to be competing for consumer dollars with other forms of entertainment.
Can you compete with free, Music is not a industry it is an Art.
You can never change that

42.3.2009 21:48

Quote:
Quote:
"Music’s greatest financial power is its ability to draw a crowd," said Griffin, "not our ability to control its quantity."

Music has Financial power? Can it do my taxes, can it Sue my lexmark printer?

Quote:
He even went so far as to suggest that the industry's main focus needs to be competing for consumer dollars with other forms of entertainment.
Can you compete with free, Music is not a industry it is an Art.
You can never change that
music is an art? tell that to those that try to pay the bills with it.seldom have i heard such a ludicrous statement.dont know what you do for a living,but,how would you feel if your employer told you it was art and they werent going to pay you to do it anymore?dig?

52.3.2009 21:54

Quote:
Quote:
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"Music’s greatest financial power is its ability to draw a crowd," said Griffin, "not our ability to control its quantity."

Music has Financial power? Can it do my taxes, can it Sue my lexmark printer?

Quote:
He even went so far as to suggest that the industry's main focus needs to be competing for consumer dollars with other forms of entertainment.
Can you compete with free, Music is not a industry it is an Art.
You can never change that
music is an art? tell that to those that try to pay the bills with it.seldom have i heard such a ludicrous statement.dont know what you do for a living,but,how would you feel if your employer told you it was art and they werent going to pay you to do it anymore?dig?
It is a art as is film and writing the convoluted things we make to make profit off it with worthless money (check the financial news monies only worth is its combined effect on the stock market).

One makes things because one is damned too if society respects it then they will be raised up if not they will be ignored or be little. IE you can not put a price on the intangible for dose not exist in single solid form.

The only thing limited here is your grasp of reality.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Mar 2009 @ 21:55

62.3.2009 22:21

Here is how I see it as art or as an intangible form of knowledge you can not block its spread though society without causing greater unseen damage to society as you block the subtle growth knowledge and experience bring block us from growing more as a society it dose not matter the quality of the bits of information what matters is everyone can get to them and grow from it. whitch will create more knowledge and experience.

You can not limit it because it is as thought it is as sound you can not stop it.

Now what you can limit is how rights to profit work, as a cosnumeing society we can easily limit profit to those that hold the rights to that profit, if we limit distribution to petty things such as money of which its own value is in flux then we might as well kill and mame each other once again as animals holding life as valueless as we once have.

There is no going back media is of though and waves of data transmitted much like impulses of the mind.

We need not new ways for us to toss others off the ship into the brimy deep because they can not pay, life is hard and we will help each other as much as we can but somethings are more of nature then of man....

If one keeps limiting distribution then what all consumers well get is a license to temporarily own something and that will easily migrate to physical objects one day...no distribution based rights need to end.....

73.3.2009 12:03

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music is an art?
Yes, music is an art. Musicians are "artists."

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tell that to those that try to pay the bills with it.
Don't have to. They probably already know. That would be one reason they call themselves "artists." If one can't pay the bills with one's art, then one should get another job to support one's artistic expression. An artist that waits tables to make ends meet is a waiter with a hobby. An artist who's art is good enough to support him/her is an artist by profession.

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seldom have i heard such a ludicrous statement.
You need to get out more.

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dont know what you do for a living,but,how would you feel if your employer told you it was art and they werent going to pay you to do it anymore?dig?
Per the above logic, this analogy is null and void.

Ridiculous analogy.

At least some alternative is being considered. But, as Zippy implied, the core motivation is all wrong. Plus, this is driven to create revenue for the lables and industry executives. Not the artist. In the end, they are still trying to find ways to keep sucking money from the artist.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Mar 2009 @ 12:04

83.3.2009 17:21

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music is an art?
Yes, music is an art. Musicians are "artists."

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tell that to those that try to pay the bills with it.
Don't have to. They probably already know. That would be one reason they call themselves "artists." If one can't pay the bills with one's art, then one should get another job to support one's artistic expression. An artist that waits tables to make ends meet is a waiter with a hobby. An artist who's art is good enough to support him/her is an artist by profession.

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seldom have i heard such a ludicrous statement.
You need to get out more.

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dont know what you do for a living,but,how would you feel if your employer told you it was art and they werent going to pay you to do it anymore?dig?
Per the above logic, this analogy is null and void.

Ridiculous analogy.

At least some alternative is being considered. But, as Zippy implied, the core motivation is all wrong. Plus, this is driven to create revenue for the lables and industry executives. Not the artist. In the end, they are still trying to find ways to keep sucking money from the artist.
There are 2 main issues with Copy right as I see them "distribution" which allows corporate to infringe on the populace far to much and rights/profit distribution the CP creators should hold rights and profits until the death of their children(CP creator>spouse>children) then a infinite copy right or more correctly profit right will be in the market place for sell to the highest bidder and be traded as a contract for exclusive rights to profit.


The power of the CP creator should be no less than 30% total profit and they have a 30-50% say in the direction of the property (selling it to another,direction,venues) for groups divide the % evenly so 5 mebers have a 10% say so the company has a solid 50% say in the matter.


Yes this would cripple corporate alot but they are the reason we are here now they are incapable of playing fairly and only are interested in their bottom line to stop decaying further.... if power taken from them then the industry would be far more suited to grow and change with society instead of being singular and perdetory by it.

93.3.2009 17:58
atomicxl
Inactive

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At least some alternative is being considered. But, as Zippy implied, the core motivation is all wrong. Plus, this is driven to create revenue for the lables and industry executives. Not the artist. In the end, they are still trying to find ways to keep sucking money from the artist.
I hate when people say this. While true, people use it as an excuse and somehow think that by never paying for music, you're going to help the artists roll in around in money.

They often back this up by saying, "but the artists can make money in touring."

#1 Someone who doesn't even think your songs are worth a $1 download is not going to drop like $50 to hear these same songs performed live. I think thats a fallacy that way too many people have.

#2 When you can't make money off of your music because all of your "fans" think that music should never be paid for, regardless of quality... who is going to sponsor your tour? A bank? LOL @ that one. Its going to be a record label. Except now, you have crap record sales so you've lost all bargaining power against the label.

#3 Assuming that you can stay indie, how much can you really charge for a show? Who will host you? You have nothing to back up your credibility as an artist. You will have nothing to suggest that you can draw in a paying crowd, which is what vendors want.

If you're Madonna, Radiohead or some other group thats already sold like 15million+ records and came to fame in a time where its was totally ok and even cool to purchase music for bands that you liked, especially indie bands, and your hands aren't like Zippy, who equate buying music to murder (if we limit distribution to petty things such as money of which its own value is in flux then we might as well kill and mame each other once again as animals holding life as valueless as we once have), yeah you can totally make a living giving away your new music. The small artists is screwed though. The new artists is screwed. They'll never have the financial backing to really do a major tour without having to sign with a major contract that really drags them over the coals.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Mar 2009 @ 18:09

103.3.2009 18:04

Quote:
Quote:
At least some alternative is being considered. But, as Zippy implied, the core motivation is all wrong. Plus, this is driven to create revenue for the lables and industry executives. Not the artist. In the end, they are still trying to find ways to keep sucking money from the artist.
I hate when people say this. While true, people use it as an excuse and somehow think that by never paying for music, you're going to help the artists roll in around in money.

They often back this up by saying, "but the artists can make money in touring."

#1 Someone who doesn't even think your songs are worth a $1 download is not going to drop like $50 to hear these same songs performed live. I think thats a fallacy that way too many people have.

#2 When you can't make money off of your music because all of your "fans" think that music should never be paid for, regardless of quality... who is going to sponsor your tour? A bank? LOL @ that one. Its going to be a record label. Except now, you have crap record sales so you've lost all bargaining power against the label.

If you're Madonna, Radiohead or some other group thats already sold like 15million+ records, yeah you can totally make a living giving away music because you're already set for life. The small artists is screwed though. They'll never have the financial backing to really do a major tour without having to sign a contract that really drags them over the coals.
So? More money spent in the local economy or on other things that helps as much if one bought all their media, it all trickles out and up.

Morally its wrong but I take things more figuratively and see things beyond small petty issues.

The box has been opened we no longer trade media on paper you can not de evolve the world to suit the needs of antiquation....

114.3.2009 6:35

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I hate when people say this.
No you don't. You love it. Gives you a chance to twist their logic around to support your own views.

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While true, people use it as an excuse and somehow think that by never paying for music, you're going to help the artists roll in around in money. They often back this up by saying, "but the artists can make money in touring."
It wasn't implied that never paying for music was ok. I have a few hundred CD's stashed away in my attic. I have a few dozen vinyls. I have about 100 more cassettes in my attic that I never purchased their CD counterpart.

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#1 Someone who doesn't even think your songs are worth a $1 download is not going to drop like $50 to hear these same songs performed live. I think thats a fallacy that way too many people have.
Wow, you just shot yourself in the foot. You are absolutely right. Let's turn that around now.....someone who does think your songs are worth $1 will pay $50. Sharing, copying, or what the suits call "piracy" is a part of the music experience. It's what people do. I obtained a bootleg copy of many albums in my time ago and thought to myself, "man, I've got to see them." I then purchased their album. And there were other bootlegs that I just threw away because I didn't even think their music was worth buying.

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#2 When you can't make money off of your music because all of your "fans" think that music should never be paid for, regardless of quality... who is going to sponsor your tour? A bank? LOL @ that one. Its going to be a record label. Except now, you have crap record sales so you've lost all bargaining power against the label.

#3 Assuming that you can stay indie, how much can you really charge for a show? Who will host you? You have nothing to back up your credibility as an artist. You will have nothing to suggest that you can draw in a paying crowd, which is what vendors want.

WHO SAID BANDS SHOULDN'T GET PAID?? Jeez....do you even read most of the posts or arguments about the music industry? It's all about doing something different. Thinking outside the box. People want change. A different way of doing business. Getting rid of the middle man is a different approach. It can liberating for an artist, but at the same time, it could be a difficult adjustment for those starting out. But the key word is "adjustment" - that doesn't mean the end of the artist. There are other ways to make money and gain credibility than going to "mom and dad" for money (that is an illustration - don't take it literal that I think each artist asks their parents for money).

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If you're Madonna, Radiohead or some other group thats already sold like 15million+ records and came to fame in a time where its was totally ok and even cool to purchase music for bands that you liked, especially indie bands, and your hands aren't like Zippy, who equate buying music to murder (if we limit distribution to petty things such as money of which its own value is in flux then we might as well kill and mame each other once again as animals holding life as valueless as we once have), yeah you can totally make a living giving away your new music.
Get a clue. Are you even capable of understanding illustrations and analogies?

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The small artists is screwed though. The new artists is screwed. They'll never have the financial backing to really do a major tour without having to sign with a major contract that really drags them over the coals.
So you think that the only way to ever be heard is to sign your life away to a label, basically. That's it. Tough luck. You just do it because you do it. They are the all powerful and there is no other way.

124.3.2009 7:21

emugamer

oh god I am sick as a dog right now..... mmm even I has issues with words and meanings most of the time...perhaps its the stone tools and grunting.....

But anyway

Society will support its niches and factions as they see fit, you can't right off millions for trading data.

Its turely akin to how we saw slavery we deemed man, no life to be important so servitude/slavery went away (from the mainstream)as unwanted and unneeded since it was ahoried and dysfunctional and costly(you might own the person but having to have slaver masters+guards IE a ton of middle men plus food just made it moot) sure its still used in the more tribal or back water parts of human society.
========================

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#1 Someone who doesn't even think your songs are worth a $1 download is not going to drop like $50 to hear these same songs performed live. I think thats a fallacy that way too many people have.

This is true however who gets most of the profit from the songs so buying the songs or CD is not necessarily the best method of support.

Indie bands might have better deals but the setup makes it difficult for them so in a since this is a war of attrition consumers vrs the middle men that run a part of society.

People,individuals will support an industry as they see fit if one makes that industry absolute IE give to much power too then you have more and more instances of artists/people being abused by the mainstream industry because it was given to muck power.

134.3.2009 7:57

Ah Zippy, so you are actually a dog who thinks sharing music is the same as the beating of millions of slaves......

(I beat you to it atomixcl!)

144.3.2009 8:19

Originally posted by emugamer:
Ah Zippy, so you are actually a dog who thinks sharing music is the same as the beating of millions of slaves......

(I beat you to it atomixcl!)

LOL

Look at what the industry dose to the artist and consumer, look at how they manage the business. Then look at various forms of slavery and its mangiment.

The CP owners abuse the powers they are given via incompetent middle men who waste more time, money and effort than they are worth to abuse the contracted artist through shcemes that ensure the system is one way and dose not change.

And by proxy they lessen the rights of the populace/consumer as they bully them to gain even more power over copy right so they can ensure their bottom line is maintained at any cost.

In the current system both the consumer and artist can be considered slaves to a incompetent and antiquated system full of abuse.

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