Our next Music Biz 101 & More radio show on Wednesday at 8pm will feature a replay of a cool interview we did a couple months back with Ryan Star, co-founder of Stationhead, an app that lets users turn their Spotify accounts into radio stations. Listen to the replay or…
Listen all of our other on-demand podcasts HERE. If you missed the live shows, go back and listen to these guys. It’s a free way to get an MBA in Music Biz Knowledge.
Now, two big things happened in the biz this week. The first: There was a HUGE merger in the radio industry. We’ll fill you in below. Second, this guy showed up:
The aforementioned “guy” is in the middle, taking part in the action “point” pose we require of all guests and students and, well, human beings. This guy is Dave Katz, who is a mega-successful songwriter/producer. He’s worked with Mandy Moore, Good Charlotte, Blues Traveler, All Time Low, Train, Sugar Ray, and many more.
Dave spoke about how young (or old) songwriters should still listen to The Beatles. He talked about how everything you thought of when it came to songwriting, mainly that it’s just you, or you and your partner, all alone in a room coming up with the next big thing, is a big thing of the past. He recommended you read The Song Machine by John Seabrook. He covers 21st century songwriting in detail.
Keep scrolling down. We have a big analysis of Taylor Swift and her streaming strategy as well.
Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Enjoy and be safe!
Your Professor David Kirk Philp
Here’s a good article about SMG, a venue-management company that books events all over the country for stadiums like Chicago’s Soldier Field and NRG Stadium in Houston. There are some great takeaways from this article:
- How far in advance are major artists booking venues for tours? 18-24 months, according to SMG.
- What happens if a show gets cancelled? You lose money. Plain and simple.
There’s also an interesting story about Coldplay’s Houston show, which was derailed by Hurricane Harvey. Click to read and discover what happened.
Here’s an update from Warner Music Group College Rep Kellyn Barnes:
“Happy almost Turkey Day friends!
“My comrads over at Warner Music Group sent over a stellar EDM band called The Knocks and I’d love to share them with you all! Their new song, “House Party,” is out on Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes! Check out the links below for their groovy lyric video and to listen to this awesome track!
“Keep an eye out for up and coming Country Crooner Devin Dawson. His album “Dark Horse” will be out soon! In the meantime, check out his singles “All On Me”, “I Don’t Care Who Sees”,”Secondhand Hurt” and “Dark Horse” on Spotify! You can also pre-order his album HERE!
“From all of us at Warner Music Group, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!”
The Entercom/CBS Radio Merger: What Does It Mean For You?
THIS may mean nothing to you. We beg you to reconsider. Anyone in the music/entertainment industry should be aware of this development.
Radio is an extremely important broadcast medium. THIS 2013 article in Hypebot states that the United States has 4,728 AM radio stations and 6,613 FM stations. That’s over 11,000 opportunities for music to be thrown around our shared atmosphere.
Now, some stations are obviously more important than others. Even more important, some station owners are more influential than others. iHeartMedia, our nation’s largest owner of radio stations, is arguably the most important radio conglomerate. Pop Quiz: Did you know that iHeart is teetering on bankruptcy? Read THIS article. Here’s a highlight (or lowlight, if you work for iHeart):
“iHeartMedia, which owns more than 850 radio stations and sponsors popular music festivals across the U.S., reiterated its April 20 warning to investors that it may not survive another year. The company has generated negative cash flow over the last two years, meaning that it’s spending more money on its debt and other expenses than it’s generating.”
THIS ARTICLE, by iHeartMedia (courtesy of CNBC), explains all of the major things the company is doing in music and entertainment, notably the iHeartRadio Music Festival, their Jingle Balls, their podcasts, their iHeartRadio Festival Latina, a new TV show coming up for FOX, and connections with Amazon Echo and Sonos smart speakers. iHeart is in terrible financial shape, but it’s a huge company that the music (and entertainment) industry relies upon for promotion and airplay.
What does this have to do with the Entercom and CBS Radio merger? Lots. First of all, as soon as the merger was announced on Friday morning, there was official news that the combined companies’ 92.3 AMP radio in New York City was flipping its format from Top 40 to Alternative. It’s now called ALT 92.3 (so creative!). With the absence of a Rock-leaning major station in the New York market, this fills in a gap and may help artists and labels in that genre gain more streams, sell more downloads, more on-air promotional opportunities, and move more tickets. That’s a first, easy-to-see, benefit.
But if you look at the statement from Entercom President/CEO David Field, you’ll read why they think this is important:
“We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital, and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers. We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars. We also look forward to helping to elevate the Radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 Reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”
What word do you see repeated over and over in that statement? Go back and look. Yes. You are right:
Field, and his company friends, believe the can make more money from their new stable of 235 radio stations than was previously possible before the merger. Somehow, they believe they can convince advertisers – America’s local car dealerships, skin cream purveyors, beer distributors, political campaigns, nail salons, and more small/medium/large businesses like this – to put their dollars either back into radio or into radio for the first time instead of Facebook, Google AdWords, and YouTube. In other words, they believe they can win the war against the internet, or at least win enough battles to make more money than they’re making now.
THIS ARTICLE, in Billboard announcing the flip of 92.3 FM, explains the term “Reach” and why that’s important to your ears. Here’s a helpful excerpt:
“Despite changes in consumer behaviors, radio remains a top medium in terms of reach and listening habits. This year’s Nielsen Music 360 Study, out this week, found that terrestrial and satellite radio comprise 24 percent of listening time in the U.S., behind only the various forms of streaming choices, at 41 percent. That 24 percent is only down 2 percentage points since 2015, even as music streaming service continue to grow. Further, radio continues to have the biggest reach among all music mediums, at 93 percent of the U.S. population.”
No doubt, Entercom will be selling the concept of reach to current, old, and potentially new advertisers in their uphill fight against the perception that online is more effective and can be better tracked.
What do people in the industry have to say about this? Why should college students or young up-and-comers in the industry care? We asked a few folks associated with radio and they shared their thoughts with us.
John Boulos: VP of Promotion, Atlantic Records
John is the 2017-2018 Executive-In-Residence for the William Paterson University Music & Entertainment Industries undergrad and graduate programs.
“(This merger) shows the belief in the traditional radio model. There was major money invested to do this and Entercom did it to strengthen their ability in more markets to compete for advertising dollars against iHeart and Cumulus.”
Elena Lanza: Oracle Entertainment & Marketing
Elena has experience independently managing and consulting on dance music projects, from an operational standpoint. She’ll be a guest, with Lucas Prata, on the Music Biz 101 & More radio show/podcast on November 29th.
“Let’s see, other then the obvious (merger = fewer jobs ) why should college students care about a merger of two of the biggest conglomerates in a dying medium? This can be a loaded question.
“Well, from a promotion standpoint, it gets even harder to “break” new music. These days it’s nearly impossible to put the words “break new music” in the same sentence as the word Radio (Traditional Analog, Terrestrial radio) anyway.
“Think of it this way, back in the heyday of radio, DJs picked the music they played (Yes, there was payola and other factors involved… later call out research and later PPM, but that’s another story). A promoter had endless opportunities to get their music played. Then as things streamlined, Music and Program Directors started picking the music for an entire station. THEN with chain clusters came this invention of the “Regional Program Director” and in turn “National Program Director” or someone who pick the majority of what is to be played on all of that conglomerates’ stations (of a specific genre) throughout the Nation. Yes, each station has a local programing department, but they answer to a higher power, and it makes it that much tougher. I mean (and Lucas, can tell you well) even mix show DJs aren’t event allowed to play a song that’s not on the approved playlist for said station.
“That being said, the bigger the merger, the harder it gets.
“On a high note, if anything its had to make us think out of the box and more creatively.”
Lucas Prata: CEO – Prata Promotions
Lucas has years of experience promoting music to Top 40 and Dance radio stations around the country. Lucas will be a guest, with Elena Lanza, on the Music Biz 101 & More radio show/podcast on November 29th.
“I think college kids should really pay attention to something like this especially if they think they want a career in radio. It just goes to show how difficult it’s becoming to hold down a “career” in the radio space today. It was always a slippery road not knowing what city you would be in next but this is just another level of it. I think if I was a senior in college and I wanted to be in the “music business,” I would focus a lot more on the many platforms out there that are delivering music to us now. I have friends that used to be in radio for decades that now work for streaming services and are making more money than ever and are actually ahead of the curve.
“My advice is look to the future if you want to have a secure job and get involved in new apps and music platforms that are just beginning. Radio is DEAD.”
You’ve probably never heard of John Mathiason and Antony Bland, but they give a great interview here about what it’s like to be an artist manager. Here’s a great takeaway:
“You will always be caught in the middle – between the label and the band. Between the band and their families. Between the singer and the guitar player. Remember that the first responsibility is to the band and their career and that sometimes means you have to disagree with the band in order to truly advocate for them. Sometimes you’re fighting for your artist over things they don’t realize are important, or that they don’t want to fight for. It’s like flying a plane where the passengers are all trying to grab the controls or jump out the windows.”
Click. Read. Grow.
Your Knowledge Presented By:
The book is out! Did you buy it?!?
Investment. Order & memorize this masterpiece HERE. Here, WPU MBA students reflect upon the investment they made by purchasing this book.
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What is the single most important aspect of the music industry an artist manager needs to understand?
Matt Young – EVP Warner Music Artist Services
The best managers I’ve ever worked with realize they aren’t experts in every aspect of a band’s career and they form relationships with agents, promoters, label heads, lawyers, publishers, merch folk etc. to build a team focused on success.”
Podcast of the Week: Matt Young & Dan Goldberg of Warner Music Artist Services
Why not a little bit more Matt Young? We’ve name-dropped him and Warner Music Artist Services twice, we might as well score the trifecta.
Click and listen to hear what the heck this company is and learn some more about Dan Goldberg, who is simply brilliant. This will be worth your time!
Great guests are coming over the next few months to your Music Biz 101 & More radio show.
November 29 – Lucas Prata/Elena Lanza – Independent Radio Promoters
December 13 – Chris Roslan – WP alum; President at Roslan & Campion PR
December 20 – Music Biz 101 & More Live!
December 27 – Ben Weinman (repeat)
Tune in at 8 PM each Wednesday for some great, FREE music biz talk.
For full details about the Music & Entertainment Industries Program, including courses, the minor, and our MBA, click HERE.
For full details about the WPU Pop Music Studies Program, including courses and audition requirements, click HERE.
Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music & Entertainment Industries and Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too). Your favorite professor is also co-author (with Dr. Steve Marcone) of Managing Your Band – 6th Edition. Reach him at PhilpD@wpunj.edu or find him on LinkedIn HERE.