Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Money Shot: Can Amazon Take Down iTunes?, The Impact of 'Underground Garage', and The Fan Remix Phenomenon...

Today's headlines...

The Genius of Crowds (Chicago Reader)
MS: Now that the Internet has removed those physical barriers, though, unofficial works can go aboveground. “Bodycage,” as Chicago designer J. Tyler Helms calls his Arcade Fire video, has racked up more than 680,000 views on YouTube since he posted it there in February 2007—an awful lot of exposure that Merge Records didn’t have to spend a penny for. The majors still routinely make the mistake of squelching fan-generated videos and remixes, but many other rights holders—especially indies like Merge—have seen the light. Fans who are so into a song that their urge to be creatively involved with it takes them past, say, learning to pick it out on acoustic guitar or videotaping themselves dancing to it are a precious resource, and no label with a lick of sense should treat them like pirates.

'Little Steven' working hard for the Boss (San Jose Mercury News)
MS: Q - Do you think "Underground Garage" has had a significant impact on the musical landscape?

A - Yeah, I think we have. I mean, considering where our culture was seven years ago when we started - you couldn't find rock 'n' roll anywhere on the radio. There wasn't one single rock 'n' roll band signed to a major label.

I mean, it was a whole different world than it is now. So I think we have made an impact by not compromising, and by being innovative in that we combine the best cool old stuff with the best cool new stuff.

Amazon a threat to iTunes Store (Chicago Sun-Times)
MS: But even the most ardent fan of Apple has to acknowledge the possibility that the iTunes Store became a success not through divine intercession but because Apple has been giving the marketplace what it wants. And the marketplace, in tones that are only getting louder and clearer, is saying that digital rights management is a dealbreaker.

They're saying it via the most effective means possible: by flocking to's MP3 Store. Since its launch in the fall, Amazon has seized a position -- no, make that "casually sauntered in and taken a seat" -- as the No. 2 digital music retailer. And while their catalog isn't quite as deep as Apple's (4.5 million tracks to the iTunes Store's 6 million), all of those songs are sold without DRM. Amazon doesn't care what religion you are: They just want your money.

Listen to Musical Justice

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