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Technology News of Note
YouTube, the world’s largest video Web site, will announce a plan to let some video makers charge a monthly subscription to their channels. There will be paid channels for children’s programming, entertainment, music and many other topic areas. Some of the channels — there will be several dozen at the outset — will cost as little as $1.99 a month. If the subscription option catches on, it could herald a huge change for the online video industry, which has subsisted almost entirely on advertising revenue. It could give producers of Web video series a second source of revenue, analogous in some ways to the flexible pay walls that some newspapers and magazines have adopted. It could also put more pressure on the cable television industry, which is fighting off fresh competition from the Web. (Source: New York Times)
The F.C.C.’s attempt to defend its net neutrality rules against a court challenge got major support from the Supreme Court, which ruled in a separate case that regulatory agencies should usually be granted deference in interpreting their own jurisdictions. That has big implications for a separate case, in which Verizon challenged the F.C.C.’s Open Internet Order that an Internet service provider must treat all traffic on its system roughly equally, not giving priority to any one type of data or application as it moves through the provider’s Internet pipes. (Source: New York Times)
Aereo, the company backed by Barry Diller that allows subscribers to record local TV without a pay-TV subscription and watch online has filed a new complaint in New York federal court. Aereo is seeking a declaratory judgment against CBS, in anticipation of expanding its service to the Boston metropolitan area, arguing that Aereo's technology does not infringe upon the broadcaster's copyrights. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)
For anyone who has experienced the frustration and annoyance of having a social media account hacked, there are some simple steps you can take to make those accounts more secure. Twitter, Facebook and other social media services offer two-step verification logins. When you sign on from an unfamiliar IP address, the service will send a code via SMS to your mobile phone and you enter that code to confirm that the account is yours. It is a minor initial inconvenience, relative to the hassle of dealing with the consequences of being hacked. (Source: Beth Kanter’s Blog)
Birmingham Opera Company's Mittwoch aus Licht, a six-hour long opera streamed live from four flying helicopters was honored at the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) music awards. Judges said the performance in a former chemical plant was "bold in imagination and brilliant in accomplishment." It was one of three London 2012 festival events honored at the ceremony. (Source: BBC News)
Blue Note Records, a storied label in jazz, has plans to partner with ArtistShare, a pioneering crowd-financing platform, for a hybrid called Blue Note/ArtistShare. Blue Note will help select the artists, and apply its imprimatur and promotional resources to each finished album. But the costs of recording will be shouldered by fans, in the standard mode of ArtistShare projects. Musicians will retain full ownership of their master recordings. (Source: New York Times)
There are a couple of well-established paths to Broadway for a new play. “Blue Highway” isn’t taking any of them. The new work by David Marlett is being developed simultaneously as a play and as an indie film, with Off Broadway vet Mitchell Maxwell shepherding a Rialto staging he hopes to get up by the fall, and Hollywood-based Richard Middleton pulling together a movie version he aims to start filming next spring. Both the legit production and the film will draw from the same funding pool, currently being raised, of around $4 million. Producers hope at least $500,000 of that will come via crowdfunding. (Source: Variety)
San Francisco Opera wanted to fling open its doors, and find a new audience. The plan it came up with involved the Giants’ stadium – and you could say they hit it out of the park. People from all walks of life huddle on the field in sleeping bags, having a picnic under the stars, and watching, for many of them, their first opera, simulcast in HD on a 31-metre-high video screen – all for free. The Opera at the Ballpark events have attracted as many as 32,000 people a night. (Source: Globe and Mail)
San Francisco Opera has confirmed plans to forge a business partnership with EuroArts Music International for international television and home video distribution of high-definition San Francisco Opera productions. Initial plans include the release of six San Francisco Opera productions—recorded live in high definition at the War Memorial Opera House—over two years on DVD and Blu-ray and international television distribution beginning later this year. (Source: San Francisco Opera)
Facebook is accumulating evidence to make the case that it's become a mobile company. Thirty percent of its first-quarter ad revenue came from mobile ads, up from 23% last quarter. Leading into its fraught IPO last year, the question of how Facebook would make money off users who access the platform primarily from their mobile devices was a serious existential threat to the social network. The company only announced its first mobile ad offering in February 2012. Since then mobile news-feed ads have become ubiquitous, and gaming companies have seized on mobile app install ads. (Source: Ad Age)
The technology giant Google has announced the debut of Google All Access, a subscription music service that provides access to millions of songs for a monthly fee, taking on the likes of Spotify and Pandora and going after the next big wave in digital music: streaming on mobile devices. Google All Access was a preemptive launch ahead of Apple, which is expected to announce its own service soon. All Access builds upon Google's other music offerings, which include a download store and a cloud-based "locker" for keeping personal music collections. The new feature lets users search for songs, albums or artists or different genres and subgenres. It will offer recommendations based on the user's listening habits and personal library of songs. Subscribers also can listen to music in a "radio" format like Pandora, picking and choosing the playing order, or sample playlists created by music curators. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
Don't make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate TedTalk that begins in her days as a street performer, she examines the new relationship between artist and fan. Palmer believes we shouldn't fight the fact that digital content is freely shareable — and suggests that artists who give away their music for free can and should be directly supported by fans. (Source: NPR)
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is collaborating with Picturehouse Entertainment on 'Live from Stratford-Upon-Avon', a new program to screen its productions live across the country. The first live broadcast will be the RSC's upcoming production of Richard II and will be screened into over 100 cinemas around the country, and will also be available in North America, Australia, Japan and Northern Europe. The Company will also work with Ravensbourne College to stream the production into up to 1,000 UK schools, reaching an estimated 60,000 students. (Source: What’s On Stage)
A production of the ballet Swan Lake, conducted by Valery Gergiev from the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, is to be broadcast live using 3D technology perfected by director James Cameron in Hollywood blockbusters Avatar and Hugo in what is being described as “the first ever global 3D live theatre event.” (Source: The Stage)
Beethoven's 9th Symphony (free plus in-app purchases) is an iPad app that lets you explore one of the greatest symphonies ever written in a unique, compelling way. Beethoven's 9th Symphony uses every trick in the multimedia tool box. For starters, you can listen to four different performances of the work, taken from the well-known DGG catalog. As you listen, follow along with the score in real time. The original manuscript displays each page as the music plays, but with modern notation. An interesting feature called the "BeatMap" offers an overhead view of the orchestra, complete with symbols of the various instruments that glow as they are played. The app also features several interviews, both contemporary and historic, with notable people like Leonard Bernstein and Gustavo Dudamel. (Source: Capacity Interactive)
Dan Zarrella recently analyzed 2.7 million tweets and concluded that people retweet when they are asked nicely as part of the original tweet. Conclusion? If you have something you want people to spread, ask them - with a pretty please. (Source: NonProfitMarketingBlog.com)
A new study of 244 nonprofit participants by Avectra and NTEN show that nonprofit organizations are either tracking a lot of engagement metrics ranging from email open rates to activity on Facebook or don’t do it all. Unfortunately, many of the organizations tracking engagement metrics are not applying the data to make informed decisions about their programming, online strategy, fundraising, and outreach. 1 in 10 survey participants said the reason that their organization did not measure correlation was because they did not how to determine it related to fundraising, event participation, donor retention, etc. Another reason why organizations may not be focused on measuring the correlation is due to limited staff capacity. 80% said they had less than 1 FT staffer focusing on this work. This is one of the reasons why a social CRM system like Small Act can be helpful to nonprofits. About 25% of the organizations said they would invest in a social CRM or related product to help collect and analyze this data. (Source: Frogloop)
The market for event cinema is developing rapidly in Europe, with opera the dominant genre on screens, averaging more than one-third of all events in eight European markets last year, according to Screen Digest research. (Source: Brand-e.biz)
Technology News of Note
Washington Post music critic Anne Midgette discusses some of the progress that has been made by orchestras and other music groups, which have found creative ways to use new and changing technology to get more people to hear their music. (Source: Washington Post)
The Supreme Court has sided with a student textbook seller against the publisher John Wiley in agreeing that the “first sale doctrine,” which allows used book and music stores to sell used items without the copyright owners’ permission, applies to digitized textbooks purchased overseas by U.S. customers. Because overseas textbooks are often sold at lower prices than in the U.S., the publisher was concerned that the broad interpretation of the “first sale doctrine” would undermine its business model. (Source: PaidContent.org)
Aereo, a new antenna based service which scoops up the free signals of local television stations and streams them to the phones and computers of paying subscribers, is causing great consternation among executives of broadcast and cable companies. Because Aereo cuts off the stations from the retransmission fees that they have grown to depend on, they are determined to shut down the service — even, the station owners say, if they have to take their signals off the airwaves to do so. (Source: New York Times)
A divided federal appeals court, ruling 2-1 recently, declined to block a unique, antenna-based subscription service that enables the streaming of broadcast television to any internet-enabled device. NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox and others sued Aereo, a subscription service that went live in New York last year and is expanding to other markets. The suit claimed that the upstart, backed by media mogul Barry Diller, had failed to acquire licenses from the networks who deliver their broadcasts over the air. Broadcasters claimed the redistribution of the material, without a license, infringed their copyrights because it amounted to Aereo briefly buffering or copying the broadcast and “facilitating” a public performance without permission. The case is being closely watched as many suspect it could shape the manner and method by which people watch television in the future. To be sure, the court is likely to rehear the case with a larger panel of judges. (Source: Wired)
Thanks to the success of Spotify, a streaming music service that started in Sweden, that country now generates more income from streaming than downloads or CDs. Some 91% of digital income in Sweden now comes from streaming sites, compared with just 13% worldwide:
Worldwide, Spotify now has more than 24 million active users in 25 countries. Six million of those pay for the premium service, which removes ads between tracks and offers mobile access to playlists, even when the user is offline. The question is whether this model can be replicated worldwide? (Source: BBC News)
X5 Music Group, a 10-year-old Swedish company that has built a $14 million business applying the strategies of online marketing to classical music, has spawned numerous imitators and led to a new deal that allows it to exploit the classical and jazz catalogs of the Universal Music Group. X5’s goal is to expand the audience far beyond the typical small group of classical music connoisseurs, through the same techniques that are used to get people to buy a book on Amazon or a pair of jeans from the Gap online. (Source: New York Times)
Musicians looking to finance recording projects on their own, without the assistance of recording companies or banks, are now turning to the Royalty Exchange, a Web site where musicians can sell parts of their royalty income to investors. Performing artist Preston Glass put 15 of his songs on the block and raised $158,000. Mr. Glass retains most of his rights to those songs, but will now share part of the income with an investor whenever they are played on the radio or streamed online. (Source: New York Times)
The Supreme Court for the State of New York (Appellate Division) has now ruled that pre-1972 recordings are not covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), thereby nullifying an earlier ruling in favor of Grooveshark. The ruling, in favor of litigant Universal Music Group, was based on the theory that if Congress meant the DMCA to cover pre-1972 recordings, they would have explicitly stated that. This is a state-level decision, but if applied more broadly, it would throw the onus to every uploaded piece of music back onto the sites themselves for determining whether pre-1972 recordings are copyrighted on a state level. Indeed, this theoretically allows anyone with pre-1972 content to sue on a state level, which should make everyone — including Google — very, very nervous. (Source: Digital Music News)
Digital Theatre has launched its own TV channel in partnership with TalkTalk, offering customers the chance to watch recorded theatre productions through on-demand internet channel YouView. Access to the Digital Theatre Channel, which launched on Monday, starts from £3 and, according to press material, aims to "bring theatre to the masses." (Source: What’s On Stage)
Pinterest had the good fortune of surging in popularity relatively soon after launching its beta in 2010. However, after registering millions of users, the social network still had a lot of design work to do. Pinterest began changing its formula slightly, after rolling out a new design. In the grand scheme of things, the design alterations are subtle — Pinterest eliminated the white space between pins and boards, and cleaned up navigation options. For a synopsis of Pinterest's recent changes, review the infographics, created by PinAlerts, and Avalaunch Media. (Source: Mashable)
The Federal Communications Commission is considering plans to force the users of cordless microphones — not only Broadway producers but also megachurches and the National Football League — to move to a less desirable spot on the nation’s airwaves. The F.C.C., backed by Congress, hopes to auction most of those prime airwaves now used for wireless microphones by singers, preachers and coaches to data-gobbling smartphone companies, potentially for billions of dollars. Broadway producers say that moving to a new spot on the airwaves, or spectrum, will compromise the sound quality of microphones. (Source: New York Times)
Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a new feature so users can reply directly to comments left on their page. Finally. Followings months of testing, the social network aims to make navigating through conversation threads easier with the new Replies feature. This means that, instead of having to leave a response to a friend's comment way after new ones have been added, you will be able to address each individual comment. Responses will be posted under the original comment too. For now, threaded replies will be automatically applied to profiles with more than 10,000 followers and opt in for brand Pages until July 10, 2013. To opt in, visit the Replies option through the Page admin panel. (Source: Mashable)
Facebook has launched three powerful new tools in their advertising arsenal that all arts organizations should consider:
- Conversion Tracking: you can now place Facebook conversion code on the thank you page of your site, which allows you to see the number of sales from Facebook users who have viewed or clicked on your sponsored content.
- Audiences: allows advertisers to import email addresses into the ad tool. Facebook will then match Facebook accounts to the list of emails and advertisers can serve Facebook ads to the email addresses that have associated Facebook accounts.
- Lookalike Audiences: advertisers can import an email list of customers and Facebook will run a magic algorithm to find lookalikes. (Source: Capacity Interactive)
Network for Good held a webinar with technology guru Guy Kawasaki, who provided his top ten social media tips for nonprofits (Source: NonProfitMarketingBlog.com)
Twitter is close to striking partnerships with Viacom and NBCUniversal that would bring content from their TV networks to the social media site. Under the proposed content partnerships, Twitter would stream videos and split the resulting ad revenue with the networks. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)
Twitter is launching its new music discovery app for iOS devices. (Source: AllThingsD.com)
According to a new industry report by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, vinyl record sales in 2012 hit their highest point since 1997. The report tallies $171 million in global vinyl sales in 2012, up 52 percent from the year before. (Source: Washington Post)
A decade ago, iTunes was amazing. Now the music/app/video/iOS wrangler is a bloated mess. The iTunes Store just turned 10, and during this decade, Apple has sold billions and billions of songs and apps out of its electronic storefront. But all those videos, apps, and songs have crippled the once-great MP3 player. Apple can still save its media player–if it follows the advice in this article on changes that are needed to the technology and software. (Source: Wired)
FEMA Forum for Cultural Community this Saturday in NJ
Cultural organizations and facilities that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy have until December 30, 2012, to apply for disaster aid from FEMA through the Public Assistance program. This Saturday, December 15, 2012, from 1-4pm at Monmouth University, FEMA will be holding a forum to provide assistance specifically for cultural organizations applying for federal disaster aid.
FEMA representatives will explain how to apply to FEMA for repairs to structures and the recovery of collections among other topics, followed by a Q&A session. This forum is sponsored by the Heritage Emergency National Task Force in cooperation with the New Jersey Council on the Arts, the Council for the Humanities, the Historic Preservation Office, the Historical Commission, the State Library, the State Archives, and the NJ Association of Museums. For more details, please visit: http://www.nj.gov/state/historical/dos_his_fema-forum_2012-1215.html.
As a reminder, the League maintains a hub of resources related to disaster preparation and relief that you can access online. Also, as we work to improve federal policies for disaster relief, please
to share your experience in seeking FEMA assistance.
The ongoing tug-of-war among musicians, record labels and digital content providers inched a little more towards artists with the introduction of an innovative paid-referral plan from streaming provider Rdio. The new program pays artists a flat $10 fee for every user they refer, a rare form of direct-to-artist revenue in the music streaming business. If artists can help boost Rdio's current 10-million-user subscriber base to challenge Spotify’s reported 33 million users, that should also increase overall payments to artists from royalties down the road. Of course, other than that up-front fee, Rdio’s royalty payments won’t provide much padding for musicians’ wallets, primarily because Rdio, like competing services Spotify and MOG, pays royalties directly to the record labels, not to the artists. (Source: Readwrite.com)
2. Financial Firm Rates Spotify as 'Unsustainable,' 'Alarming,' 'Broken...'
Financial data firm PrivCo raised some serious questions about the sustainability of Spotify's financial model, based on year-2011 losses of nearly $60 million. "Spotify's financials show that the bigger the company gets, the bigger its losses," the company assessed, "...while Spotify's revenue growth is impressive, its overall financial results are alarming….In fact, virtually every new dollar of revenue went directly to music companies as royalty payments, evidencing the fact that the more members Spotify adds, the more money the company loses. No matter how we slice the math, it is patently clear that something's gotta change soon on Spotify's business model if the company is to survive." (Source: Digital Music News)
The coming conflict facing Congress over Internet radio royalty rates looks to be as knotted as any in recent memory. The most pressing issue concerns the wildly divergent royalty rates paid by various radio platforms. At present, terrestrial radio stations pay no performance royalties to artists. Cable and satellite radio pay a statutory fee, which for Sirius XM amounted to around 7.5% of its annual revenue last year. And Internet radio provider Pandora pays well over 50% of its revenue in royalties. Last month, a pair of bills were introduced in Congress that would dramatically change this structure. One, the Internet Radio Fairness Act, would lower the rates paid by webcasters like Pandora to the same "801(b)" rate paid by satellite broadcasters like Sirius. An opposing bill, dubbed the Interim First Act, would take a reverse approach, raising the rates of satcasters and cable stations to the same rate as Pandora's. In other words, the options on the table are as follows: Keep the current rates and let Internet radio feel a disproportionate squeeze; pass the IRFA and put a further burden on already squeezed musicians, who would lose out on significant royalty payments; or raise satellite radio's rates out of solidarity, at the risk of crushing it along with Internet radio. To put it mildly, while all sides can pose passionate, persuasive arguments, none of these final scenarios is ideal. (Source: Variety)
4. Music streaming: what do songwriters really get from YouTube or Pandora?
Song writers are angry about the small royalties they get when their tracks are played on audio streaming services, such as Pandora, and video streaming platforms, such as YouTube. Ellen Shipley, the co-writer (with a 50% share) of Belinda Carlisle's “Heaven Is a Place On Earth” reported receiving $38.49 for the 2,118,200 streams the track had accumulated on YouTube in the last quarter. Now, some may claim that YouTube, Pandora and Spotify are just discovery tools and so, like MTV back in the day, should not be an income stream for artists and songwriters. But, as with MTV, record labels have realized that they're spending millions on the recording of music from which YouTube and others – without having to pay anything for the content it hosts – are earning significant revenue, which they believe should be shared more equitably. (Source: The Guardian)
5. YouTube to charge fee for some content
YouTube will start experimenting with charging subscription fees for some of its branded content following the announcement of partnerships with European TV content providers to feed 60 new channels. The partners themselves -- which at this stage include BBC Worldwide, Endemol and FremantleMedia -- will decide if they want to pursue that traditional pay TV broadcasting business model or stay with an advertising supported approach. (Source: Variety)
6. Changes to Charts by Billboard Draw Fire
Recently, the editors at Billboard, who for decades have defined what makes an American hit, shook up the song charts for various genres by counting digital sales and online streams along with radio airplay in its tallies for most major formats. The results have given stars with a pop-oriented sound and broad crossover appeal an advantage over other artists, upsetting and puzzling some music fans. Bill Werde, Billboard’s editorial director, said the shake-up was necessary to reflect changes in the way people consume music these days. There was a time when radio programmers — and the record labels who lobbied them — largely defined the charts, using surveys of their listeners and their gut instincts to select hits. Now the Internet gives fans a greater say, as people buy music from online stores, stream it through services like Spotify or listen to it on video sites like YouTube and Vevo. (Source: New York Times)
7. DVR changing landscape of smallscreen success
The big question raised by the growing influence of DVR numbers is how the increase in delayed viewing may shake up industry practices -- in everything from how a show's performance is evaluated to how and when networks spin ratings results. Industry insiders say overnight ratings can still clearly indicate whether a show is a big hit or a colossal miss, but for the majority of programs that land somewhere in the middle, the process of determining whether a show deserves a passing or failing grade is getting ever more complicated, as it requires waiting a week or two for the DVR playback numbers to roll in. (Source: Variety)
8. Facebook Accused Of Changing A Key Algorithm To Hurt Advertisers
Two prominent social media marketing executives have gone on record to accuse Facebook of quietly altering one of its key algorithms in September, so that companies with pages that have large numbers of followers can now only reach a fraction of the followers they used to with each post. Facebook can fix this at any time, and may be forced to, considering the backlash they are about to receive from the very advertisers that are practically their sole source of revenue. In response, Facebook said, “We’re continuing to optimize the news feed to show the posts that people are most likely to engage with, ensuring they see the most interesting stories. This aligns with our vision that all content should be as engaging as the posts you see from friends and family.” Facebook is betting that its advertisers either can't or won't stop paying for promoted posts, even if they reach fewer people. (Source: Business Insider)
9. Fight Builds Over Online Royalties
There is a debate playing out in Washington over the obscure but increasingly vital issue of royalty rates for streaming music online. The issue pits the survival of Pandora Media and other Internet radio services against the diminished paychecks of musicians in the digital age. This fight has raged on and off for more than a decade and was renewed recently with a bill in Congress that would change the way digital royalty rates are set. Rates are set by three judges on the federal Copyright Royalty Board, but they apply a different standard to Internet radio services like Pandora than they do to satellite and cable radio outlets like Sirius XM and Music Choice. Sirius, for example, pays 8 percent of its revenue to record companies and artists. Pandora pays a fraction of a cent each time a song is streamed, which last year amounted to about 54 percent of its revenue, or $149 million. The Internet Radio Fairness Act, introduced in September, would move Internet radio companies from their “willing buyer, willing seller” standard — which critics like Pandora say results in an unrealistically high rate — to the one used for satellite and cable radio. Music industry groups also want one standard, but one that keeps rates high. (Source: New York Times)
10. French Music Streaming Service Is Taking On the World, but Omitting America
Deezer, one of the biggest players in digital music streaming, hopes to turn itself into a global powerhouse by ignoring America. Like the market leader Spotify, Deezer, with headquarters in Paris, offers subscribers unlimited access to millions of songs on demand, via PCs, mobile phones and other devices. With more than two million paying customers, Deezer trails Spotify, which has more than four million, but plans to grow by focusing on expansion in 160 countries. Deezer has turned its back on the United States, however, because of worry about competition here, where Spotify competes with services like Rhapsody, Pandora and Rdio, even though their business models all vary slightly. (Source: New York Times)
11. Let’s Get Physical: In Music, Bits Take on Appearance of Atoms
Some in the recording world are trying to increase the value of their intangible digital content by re-imagining it as though it were “ye olde packaged goods.” Singer Ellie Goulding is holding “the world’s first digital album signing” to promote her latest release, Halcyon – the latest high-profile celebrity chat facilitated by Google’s increasingly media-savvy Google+ Hangout team. With physical album sales plummeting, displaced by the success of digital downloads, artists who still attach importance to the physical album hope that “signing” digital content will draw fans to buy the whole digital collection, not just individual favored tracks. That remains to be seen from the Goulding event, when meeting her in a video chat will likely be the bigger draw. The takeaway is this – buyers value an experiential piece of the creator. (Source: PaidContent.org)
12. How and When Should Your Nonprofit Organization Invest in Mobile
Many non-profit organizations are working with very limited financial resources, particularly when it comes to technology. This requires organizations to set priorities in how they will spend their technology dollars. Although nonprofits will limited budgets may be tempted to embark on app development, it may make more sense to first work on responsive web design before moving on to app development. With the growing number of people accessing websites, email, blogs and more via mobile devices and tablets, sites must be equally easy to navigate, regardless of how visitors get there. If this isn’t the case, visitors will leave the site. Although an app may be a valuable tool, the website is probably a higher priority for most organizations. (Source: Beth’s Blog)
13. L.A. Philharmonic kills series of live broadcasts to cinemas
When the Los Angeles Philharmonic launched its series of live broadcasts to cinemas in 2011, the organization touted it as an innovative program intended to broaden the popular reach of the orchestra and its star conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. But two seasons later, the orchestra has had to pull the plug on the series due to a difficult economic environment and an absence of sufficient future sponsorship. The orchestra partnered with NCM Fathom Events, a Denver company that specializes in live cinema transmissions, such as the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series and various sporting events. Although the L.A. Phil Live series reached as many as 460 movie theaters in the U.S., it did not get the attendance that was hoped for. The orchestra said it was considering future presentations on a one-off basis. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
Imagine having every book on your Kindle remotely wiped, with no way to get it back. If you’ve invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars, that may seem frightening, if unlikely. Yet it’s exactly what happened to one Amazon customer in Europe, whose Kindle content was deleted and Kindle account closed, for as yet unspecified violations to its terms of service. It is frightening evidence that when you buy into an ecosystem built on Digital Rights Management (DRM), while you may own your device, you don’t own the data that lives on it. You may think you are buying books from Amazon — and it very much encourages that perception with its language interface that includes elements like “Buy now with 1-Click” — but that’s simply not the case. Apple’s iBookstore has similar rules about content licensing, rather than purchasing. You are buying a license, not a book. In other words, what you are buying is the right to read a book, not the book itself. In response to a request for clarification, Amazon said, “Account status should not affect any customer’s ability to access their (sic) library. If any customer has trouble accessing their content, he or she should contact customer service for help.” (Source: Wired)
Last year, five major Internet service providers and the big entertainment trade organizations announced a joint plan to fight illegal downloading through what might be called a strategy of annoyance. Instead of suing people suspected of copyright infringement, as the record labels have in the past, they would prod and poke people into good behavior through a “six strikes” system that escalate from friendly notices in their e-mail to, ultimately, throttled Internet access. Progress has been slow on the project, called the Copyright Alert System, since it was announced 15 months ago. But recently, the group created to carry out the process said it would finally begin “over the course of the next two months.” (Source: New York Times)
Next month, people who download music illegally may start getting anti-piracy warnings from their Internet Service Providers. If recent research is any indication, maybe they should be getting "thank you" notes instead. It turns out that people who frequently download music without paying for it actually end up buying 30% more music than everybody else, according to a study from the National Assembly at Columbia University. This isn't the first research that has shown file-sharing to be beneficial to artists, but this comprehensive study blows yet another good-sized hole in the conventional music industry wisdom. (Source: ReadWrite.com)
Labels owned by artists are nothing new or niche. Madonna co-founded Maverick, for instance, and Dave Matthews helps lead ATO, the label that has issued music by My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes and South African singer Vusi Mahlasela. Many are coming to realize that little labels started by musicians work now because they understand the music industry and its oft-diminishing margins. From a fan's vantage, band-run labels are also a lot of fun, offering the sort of engagement with a musician that all the meet-and-greets and stock question-and-answer features in the world can't. (Source: IndyWeek)
18. The Space: click here for culture
When online platform “The Space” launched, somewhat gingerly, in in the U.K. in May this year, it was intended as a six-month pilot. Over the summer, Arts Council England's free digital platform, run with the BBC, has carried film and other content tied to events around the UK – providing a record of the Cultural Olympiad for people unable to attend. The Lottery provided £3.7m. In June, the then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the site, urging arts organizations to follow its lead, and floating the idea of "a permanent digital channel with live broadcasts every night." Now Hunt's wish has been granted: the arts council has announced that The Space, due to close at the end of the month, has been granted an extension. The aim is to establish The Space on a "more secure basis", explains Alan Davey, chief executive of the Arts Council: he is setting aside £8m from a digital fund to support the platform over the next two to three years. (Source: The Guardian)
19. Microsoft Makes New Push Into Music
Microsoft has announced it is starting a new service called Xbox Music that will offer access to a global catalog of about 30 million songs. The service will let consumers listen free to any song on computers and tablets running the latest version of its Windows software, as well as on the Xbox console. Microsoft will not initially limit how much music can be streamed, though that could change over time. The service is part of a broad set of bets Microsoft is making this fall to help regain ground it has lost to competitors, especially Apple and Google. Microsoft’s “do-over” in the market is a sign of how a strong music service has come to be seen as a prerequisite for any serious player in the gadget business. (Source: New York Times)
Help for Organizations Recovering from Hurricane Sandy
To our members who may have experienced physical damages to facilities due to Hurricane Sandy, we are wishing you well and want to pass on the following information regarding disaster relief assistance, which may be available to nonprofit organizations.
As of July 2007, FEMA officially issued guidance clarifying that “performing arts facilities” are eligible for disaster relief. The League was a lead advocate for this policy improvement. Please see the resources posted on our website, including a copy of the FEMA policy and links to further background information about accessing disaster relief funds.
New York City has announced briefing sessions for potential disaster relief applicants (see below). To find out the first steps for potential applicants in your area, please consider contacting your member of Congress.
New York City Applicant Briefing
President Obama has signed a Major Disaster Declaration authorizing FEMA to provide Public Assistance to government and eligible Private Not for Profit (PNP) groups.
FEMA is offering four application briefing sessions for organizations that wish to apply for Public Assistance.
There are four upcoming briefings scheduled at 49 - 51 Chambers Street in Manhattan, as follows:
Friday, November 16
Session I: 10am - 12pm
Session II: 2pm - 4pm
Monday, November 19
Session I: 10am - 12pm
Session II: 2pm - 4pm
At the Applicant Briefing, a FEMA representative will provide an overview of its Public Assistance program and eligibility criteria. If you have not already done so, you will also have an opportunity to complete a one-page Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form that will register your organization as a FEMA applicant.
After the Applicant Briefing, and once you are registered, a FEMA representative will contact you directly to schedule a Kick-Off meeting. This is when you will discuss damages and costs specific to your organization.
To RSVP for a FEMA Applicant Briefing, please complete the RSVP form here >>. (Limit two attendees per organization.)
Please note: FEMA determines whether a Private Non-Profit (PNP) is eligible. This is an evolving process, and categories of eligibility may change as the specifics of Hurricane Sandy's impact become clearer. We strongly encourage you to attend an Applicant Briefing regardless of whether or not your organization type is listed as eligible in FEMA guidelines.
Due to the hurricane, the League’s offices were closed Monday and Tuesday. Due to technical difficulties we are still operating at less than full capacity. The good news is that we've all checked in with each other, and everyone at the League is fine. Several staff members are without electrical power but are doing well otherwise. Others are unable to get to the League offices due to public transportation shutdown but may be reachable by email.
The League’s internet service is up and running, but the phone system is experiencing some post-Sandy problems. Those of us who were able to get to the office can call out, but there are no incoming calls at this time. We’re working on getting this problem resolved, but in the meantime, please use email to communicate with us.
Daily updates may be posted on the Hub sporadically, if at all, but we hope to resume full service early next week.
Please note: Several orchestras and concert halls in the region have cancelled performances this week; please check with those organizations for the latest news of concert cancellations and schedules.
Thank you for your patience as we get our operations back to normal. Our thoughts are with all those who have suffered as a result of the storm.