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Music Beat: David Archuleta 360

15 April 2010



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This is Music Beat. Exploring the music world into which David Archuleta is immersed. Featuring Music Biz, Buzz Board, the Way-Back Machine, and more. Enjoy!

Music Biz

The CD-R Burn

enlargeDavid Archuleta album released Nov 2008, courtesy Jive RecordsIf you ever saw David Archuleta’s album for sale on a CD-R, it would burn you up, wouldn’t it? To think of someone making a profit off of David’s talent and hard work—well, it would burn me up. It is a crime to sell copyright-protected audio CD material. U. S. copyright law prohibits the unauthorized duplication, performance or distribution of a creative work.

The music industry is in conflict with technology. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has a strict definition of piracy that goes against the interests of CD-R and DVR equipment manufacturers and owners. The RIAA maintains that copying a CD Track onto CD-Rs is a copyright infringement, even if the duplication is for personal use. On the other hand, the Consumer Electronic Manufacturers Association (CEMA) declares that burning for pleasure and not for profit is not a crime. While supporting the crack-down on CD-R bootleggers, Jonathan Thompson, vice president of CEMA, believes the RIAA goes too far in suggesting that all CD copying is a form of piracy. “There is nothing wrong with having this equipment for legitimate, in-home use,” says Thompson.

The RIAA claims that pirating music by illegally recording performances or duplicating CDs costs the $12 billion U.S. recording industry nearly $300 million annually.

See this list of legal music websites.

360 Contracts

enlargecorporate branding ironsWill pirating, free MP3 file sharing, and the 99-cent download push many musicians into the all-encompassing arms of the “360 deal”? Established artists Madonna and Jay-Z have already signed with Live Nation, a concert promotion company, and the Tennessee band Paramore says their 360 deal has helped them develop as a new group. Until recently, recording companies produced, distributed, and marketed music. They did not arrange or profit from an artist’s concerts or merchandising. With the rise of digital recording and the fall of album sales, the tour has become the main source of income for many artists. Along comes the 360 deal which gives the label a piece of anything and everything the artist touches. At Warner Music all new artists are required to sign the 360 deal, also known as the “multiple rights” deal.

The music biz might be “growing the revenue stream,” but is it a much shallower pool? Instead of more music, will we be sold an artist’s clothing line, sneakers, and perfumes? Sure, many of us David Archuleta fans have bought the brands of chapstick he uses and the t-shirts he wears from Target, even without his official endorsement, and would gladly buy expensive Chuck Taylor sneakers if a David Archuleta TV commercial touted them. On the surface, “David Archuleta 360” sounds great. In the long run, though, how would this affect David’s musical career? It could dilute his energy and over-expose his image. Musicians are supposed to be on the cutting edge. They are the ones who “hear a different drummer.” [Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1850)] Would a counter-culture artist like Bob Dylan fit into the 360 mold?

This trend is leading straight to what the Wall Street Journal calls the “most corporate band” in America! The Journal writes, “In the music business these days, it’s not about selling the most CDs, it’s having the best sponsors. How the Black Eyed Peas became the face of Samsung, Apple, BlackBerry, Bacardi….”

More: “Band as Brand” —Paramore 360

Nice quote: Is Touring Alone Enough?

Equity or inequity?

Is it fair and reasonable for a society to treat music solely as a business interest? Look what is happening at EMI after its 2007 takeover by a private equity firm. The company reported a full-year loss of 1.56 billion pounds in February, and Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd, the equity firm, is suing Citigroup, claiming it was misled during purchase negotiations.

EMI, one of the oldest recording companies—and still one of the Big Four with Sony, Universal, and Warner—has lost prominent artists like Radiohead. Paul McCartney left just before the takeover; he signed with Starbucks’ Hear Music label and is working to move his music catalog. In 2008 The Rolling Stones departed too, signing with Vivendi’s Universal Music and taking with them their catalog stretching back to Sticky Fingers. Coldplay may go as well, and Robbie Williams, whose management team pioneered the 360 deal in 2007, may leave after delivering his latest album.

Side note: Robbie Williams’ management duo, Enthoven and Clark, and how they got Williams to write “Angels,” a beautiful song covered so well by David Archuleta for his self-titled debut album in 2008 and during the 2008 American Idol summer tour.

Buzz Board

World Top 20 A&R Chart

We all know what a difference two years has made in the life of David Archuleta. But what about the management at American Idol? Here are some interesting facts about Simon Cowell.

In 2008 Simon Cowell was Number One on the World Top 100 A&R Chart. This year he is not even in the Top 10.

Coming in at No. 11 is Simon Cowell.

Artists: Westlife, Five, Robson & Jerome, Zig & Zag, Girl Thing, Will Young, Gareth Gates, Six, Il Divo, Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Journey South, Paul Potts, Ray Quinn, Leona Lewis

SYCO MUSIC, Bedford House 69-79 Fulham High Street, SW6 3JW London, United Kingdom

For Jive Records New York, Mickey “MeMpHiTz” Wright, V.P. of A&R for the Zomba Label Group, landed the No. 20 spot. He signed R&B singer T-Pain and has projects by rap group UGK and new St. Louis rapper Huey.

MORE: Hit Quarters

Way-back Machine

April 15, a day of celebration?

Johan Friedrich Fasch, born 15 April 1688Today is Federal Income Tax Day in the United States! Yay!   I mean, ugh! But let’s look on the bright side: German composer Johann Friedrich Fasch was born on April 15, 1688. So, pay your respects to Baroque Music today! Highly respected by his contemporary Johann Sebastian Bach, Fasch studied law as well as music, so presumably he would be able to write a favorable 360 deal for himself. None of his music was printed in his lifetime, and much of it is lost.

With some bright, cheerful lyrics, David Archuleta could really make this guitar concerto pop! If you have ever heard a symphonic version of “Crush,” you’ll know what I mean!

And the Music Beat goes on…but you may have missed MB last week.

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This Post has earned 4 Buzzes.

4 responses so far ↓

  • Katheryn | 1 | 15th April 2010 at 11:35 pm |

    There was a time when artists did not have to tour incessantly after they became established stars, since they could earn enough income from album and singles sales to take a break every now and then. I recall reading about how The Beatles decided to call it quits when it came to touring — just too many hassles and headaches. How many bands have that kind of luxury today, no matter how successful they are?

    Speaking of The Beatles and music piracy: I remembered reading a Wall Street Journal article on this very subject. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    But the real question is why, so many years into the era of digital music, the Beatles still don’t allow digital downloads of their songs…At a time when the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimates that 95% of downloads of digital music are illegal, there is less money to be made selling songs through any medium, whether the Web or CDs.

    For the full article, click on this link:


  • minja | 2 | 16th April 2010 at 4:55 pm |

    hey Katheryn, thanks for the WSJ article. I enjoyed that. Maybe The Beatles have it right. The public does devalue digitally downloaded music. If you lose an MP3 on your computer, you simply get the buy code and replace it. I read somewhere that it would take $30,000 to fill a 120Gb iPod from iTunes. Over a lifetime, some might spend real money to amass an audio collection — tangible albums, CDs– but who would do that with MP3s?

  • Katheryn | 3 | 16th April 2010 at 10:47 pm |

    You betcha The Beatles have it right! I hope the day when digital technology evolves “from this early stage of enabling piracy and easy copyright violations to a more advanced stage in which new technology supports economic incentives for digital creating and sharing” will come sooner rather than later. Artists like David should receive fair compensation for their “effort and creative genius,” and as consumers I believe we deserve a higher standard of excellence than we are currently being delivered, David excepted of course.

  • Katheryn | 4 | 19th April 2010 at 10:34 pm |

    I just came across another article today bringing more hopeful news regarding digital downloading: “Seattle’s Digital Music Revival,” from the Puget Sound Business Journal. It talks about 3 Seattle area companies hoping to challenge iTunes for dominance in the music market — Rhapsody, Microsoft, and Amazon. Although the article does not deal directly with illegal downloading, we know that competition breeds innovation, so I’m thinking this could be a very positive development towards putting an end to the rampant piracy issue. Here’s the link: