games vs streams

What are the economic prospects for in-game music making?

October sales numbers for video game-related products, set against the background of a 1% overall drop, from

  • hardware sales up 5%
  • software up 35%
  • total up 7%

Not that the news is all good by any means, but relatively speaking it seems to be the cream of the economy. Compare this situation to the one that ad-sponsored music streamers like Pandora and iMeem are facing; the online ad market is in freefall, but the royalties they owe on streams are the same.

Thanks to gurdonark for the link.

unbundling sux

Coolfer is worried about growth of album sales at the expense of singles sales:

In a perfect world (from the artist point of view) bands would sell only albums. More revenue than what they get from unbundled albums. But that’s not how the world works any longer.

Music Week has a report on a Music Tank panel titled “Lets Sell Recorded Music” in which renowned artist manager Peter Jenner lashed out at the changed brought by iTunes. The store, he said, has “had the disastrous effect on the record industry of debundling the album” and letting fans choose two singles instead of a full album.

That’s pretty much the conclusion I came to in a quick-and-dirty Excel computation of album-for-tracks substitution. Since the launch of iTunes, the loss of every additional album (beyond the rate of loss before iTunes launched) was replaced with 1.38 track downloads.

I don’t get it. Users don’t *want* to download singles.

– They don’t want to download at all. What they want is to listen. Downloading is labor.

– And they don’t want to do that labor one piece at a time — much better to download an album’s worth of songs.

– They’re not listening that much less, if at all. The number of listening hours in the day may have gone down, but not at the rate of 1.38 (song downloads now vs album downloads before)/13 (songs per album).

– And they’re not playing the same song more times. It’s not an issue of how many songs they want to listen to, it’s an issue of how many songs are able to motivate people to put up with the iTunes Music Store.

Unbundling should only hurt musicians (and record businesses) who were sneaking crappy songs into albums that contained hits, and this was always an unfair way to make money. Whatever the problem is here, it’s temporary. The market is in the process of adjusting. For now the listeners need to really really love a song for the song to move a lot of transactions at pay-per-download stores.

My best guess about what’s going on is that all the rest of the listening hours are filled with fileshared music. Maybe the deal is that paying is optional, and listeners are only choosing to do it for songs they actively love, meaning that going to the iTunes music store might be a form of tipping.

blip jam NYC

I am super bummed that this is in NYC. It were in LA I would be there from start to finish, but I’m not quite motivated enough to travel for it.

Blip Festival 2008

Archaic game and home computer hardware is recast into the unlikely role of musical instrument and motion graphics workstation in the BLIP FESTIVAL 2008, a four-day event showcasing nearly 40 musicians and visual artists occupying the international low-res cutting edge. The Blip Festival takes place DECEMBER 4—7, 2008 at The Bell House, and is presented by Manhattan art organization THE TANK and NYC artist collective 8BITPEOPLES.

Highlighting the chipmusic phenomenon and its related disciplines, the festival aims to showcase emerging creative niches involving the use of legacy video game & home computer hardware as modern artistic instrumentation. Devices such as the Nintendo Entertainment System, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Nintendo Game Boy and others are repurposed into the service of original, low-res, high-impact electronic music and visuals — sidestepping game culture and instead exploring the technology’s untapped potential and distinctive intrinsic character.

The Blip Festival assembles nearly 40 practitioners selected from the chipmusic movement’s expansive global underground, taking care to represent as many as possible of the genre’s surprisingly diverse styles, geographical and technical scenes, communities, and traditions. The festival’s concert program will be supplemented by daytime events to be announced, including workshops, presentations, and screenings. The Blip Festival’s intended result is to provide a cross-section of a movement currently in explosive flux, teeming with artistic exploration, and poised at the cusp of global awareness.

Question: am I the only person calling this genre “bleep” instead of “blip”?

Other names: chip music; 8-bit music.

gamestrument star

Little Boots on stage

This is the official music video for the song “Ready for the Floor” by Hot Chip:

This cover version played on the Tenori-on has 100,407 views:

Greg describes the situation this way:

I came across the Tenori-on a while back because of Little Boots. She’s a YouTube phenom who use it and quite a strong voice to do excellent covers […]. It’s interesting how the game-nature of the tenori-on masks what is a relatively sophisticated beat programming and singing performance on her part.

More Little Boots:

Choice LB quote: fun is the new cool. Fuck if she isn’t right. Goddamn that’s a great way of articulating the YouTube esthetic.

A LB fan blog:

Let us bask in the glow of Little Boots.

Little Boots is from Blackpool, England.

[…] let’s assume she’s not hiding a debut album of dire, mid-paced, excitement-killing — quote-fingers! — mature songs, throwing it all away already.

Popjustice writes, “Little Boots is a totally bullet-proof 21st century popstar. This is Kylie and the Pet Shop Boys all in one person.”

Little Boots is, in other words, a single girl’s celebration of pop. Modern but not pretentious. Sophisticated but not snide. Fantastic in a bright, talented, left-field, sometimes ridiculous, and promisingly unique sort of way.

Little Boots wants us to believe that she will never let us down.

Little Boots can make pop a better place.

Little Boots says, “Fun Is The New Cool”.

100% fan-crush.