Friday, October 28, 2016

Lyor Cohen To Mend Relationship Between Music Industry & Youtube

youtube logo

While the music and tech industries have definitely had a tumultuous relationship on issues such as low payouts and other business related tensions, within the past month Youtube has tried to smoothen everything over by hiring a music industry man named Lyor Cohen. Cohen has taken the stage as Youtube’s ‘Global Head of Music,” where his primary goal will be to save the already crumbling relationship these two parties have.

This year alone Youtube has began to become even more heavily involved in the music industry by launching its very own music app. A large portion of the tech giant’s revenue stems from mostly pre-roll :15 to :30 sec video ads that generate billions of dollars to the company. The music industry main argument is that musicians often see a minimal portion of that money in their pockets.

Cohen himself served as a well-respected and effective industry executive for over 30 years, and has worked with a long list of artists of all genres in the music world. Throughout his 30 years as an exec, he has most notably been the chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group. In this role, he successfully navigated the field of recorded music, and has since then founded “300 Entertainment,” which is a music label that is distributed by Atlantic Records.

“Lyor is a lion of the music industry,” said YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl in a statement. “From Rush to Def Jam to Island Def Jam to WMG then 300, he has consistently been a pioneer, charting the course for where music is heading. As we enter the growth era of the music industry, Lyor is in a position to make tremendous difference in accelerating that growth in a fair way for everyone. We are thrilled to welcome him to YouTube.”

In addition, Cohen will also help Youtube in further expanding its involvement in the music industry since videos and songs consistently bring in more views/listens than other platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.

via John DeTitta | Music Original Post

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Virtual Reality in the Music Industry

virtual-realityWhile Pokemon Go is dominating the world of augmented reality, people in the music industry are now trying to break into virtual reality. Virtual reality is paving the way for digital advertising of the future, after all. It has the ability to get fans in the same room as their favorite band without having to leave their home. For example, the popular artist Deadmau5 has released a virtual reality videogame with Absolut, called Absolut Deadmau5. This partnership, and the game itself, is spreading the artist’s reach by allowing him to entertain people from afar.

Virtual reality has been rising in popularity for a while. It is used to immerse people in experiences they may not otherwise have. Additionally, being in the music industry is all about connecting with fans. Every artist is constantly looking for ways to become more accessible to their audience, and virtual reality to them is the logical next step. Deadmau5 is not the only one dabbling in this new medium; even older artists like Duran Duran, and U2 have started to roll out interactive music videos, in which viewers are allowed a 360 degree scrolling view of the performance. It gives the viewer more of an inclusive video-watching experience, and was a first foray into virtual reality shows.

More eclectic singer-songwriters have jumped at the chance to utilize this new combination of art and technology. The famous Bjork, for example, is currently working on a series of videos with virtual reality incorporated throughout. There are even some shots from inside her mouth as she sings.

Popular labels are seizing this opportunity to team up with technology companies, even though their virtual reality projects are not being rolled out as quickly as they had initially hoped. iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises, for example, thought it would be able to have at least 6 virtual reality projects released by the end of the year. Now they have settled on having at least one virtual reality element incorporated into an upcoming Fall music festival. One of the main issues with distributing virtual reality experiences to the general public is, of course, the cost. Even the least expensive of virtual reality headsets are still hundreds of dollars a piece. This is too expensive for the average listener to afford.

Nonetheless, labels and technology companies are still producing virtual reality content in hopes that headsets will catch up soon. I can say with conviction that virtual reality is going to be the next big thing in popular music, if the prices of headsets can be lowered enough to be sold to more people. Virtual experiences of live shows, for example, can help fans feel like they are part of a performance without having to spend the money to go to one, and that is a powerful new way to build an audience.

via John DeTitta | Music Original Post

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Passing of David Huddleston

John DeTitta's latest blog post, please enjoy!

Image from Vanity Fair

On August 5th, the film industry lost one of its most beloved actors. David Huddleston, known for his roles acting in various comedy films, died at age 85. He had been suffering from advanced heart disease and kidney disease. Huddleston’s acting staple was cult comedies, in which he played powerful men. He is most well known for his role as the mayor in ‘Blazing Saddles’ and, of course, as the iconic real Mr. Lebowski in ‘The Big Lebowski.’ He started acting when he was 4 years old in rural Virginia and has since been in several plays, movies, and television shows.

David Huddleston was born the son of a teacher and a steelworker, into a family who did not have the means to afford electricity or running water. His parents had him performing at such a young age for donations. Thankfully, he loved making people laugh, even as a small child. Before he could fully delve into acting, however, Huddleston found himself attending military academy and serving in the air force as an engine mechanic. With the G.I. Bill, he was able to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and graduated in 1958.

Huddleston began his professional career on Broadway. He transitioned to television, then back to Broadway for a short play, of which critics thought he was the only good part. It was on the stage that the Coen brothers found him and hired him to be a major supporting character in ‘The Big Lebowski.’ It is a comedy/crime film that was released in the late 1990s, and has come to be known as a cult classic. The premise is that Huddleston’s character, the real Mr. Lebowski, is a millionaire with the same name as the broke main character who has a strong affinity for white russians. The goofy film developed a following and, in 2014, was added to the National Film Registry. Through this role, his fame blossomed to a point where people would stop him in the street and ask him to recite his Lebowski lines. He was able to connect to an entirely new, younger audience.

Interestingly enough, however, his roles in these cult comedy movies were not his favorite. When asked what he most enjoyed, he answered that his favorite role was that of Benjamin Franklin on Broadway. He seemed to have a special love for live performance, most likely born out of his time performing as a child. Fittingly, his career ended with a stage production.

David Huddleston was known as a generous, friendly soul who could take any role and inject it with humor and wit. He is survived by his wife and son, the actor Michael Huddleston. While the real Mr. Lebowski may have passed away, his legacy will always live on through his fans, his following, and his memory.

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