Who are the New Media Moguls?

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They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so here it goes: My name is Andy Carvin, and I'm an Iced Decaf Venti Americano Addict.

There, I said it. Deep breath....

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles getting through an afternoon without some type of dose from their local Starbucks. But perhaps their influence on me and countless other people is worse than I imagined. A couple years ago I suddenly found myself having the urge to by an album by singer Madeleine Peyroux. Her easygoing Parisian cafe jazz with strong whiffs of Billie Holiday was almost as addictive as, well, that iced decaf venti Americano I always long for.

No wonder - not long after Peyroux released her album Careless Love, she entered into a relationship with Starbucks, getting her CD into the ears of millions of my fellow coffee addicts. The model proved so successful that Sir Paul McCartney is releasing his newest album on Starbucks' music label.

Starbucks and Paul McCartney are just some of the "new music moguls" recently profiled by Fast Company magazine. They also take a look at the growing trend of introducing music through video games. Video game maker Electronic Arts expects to sign as many as half a dozen musical acts by the end of the year, while bands like Jonny Lives! have benefited from seeing their songs placed within games. The band also jumped on an opportunity to partner with mobile phone manufacturer Nokia to use one of their video phones to record a music video.

Fast Company has their list of the new media moguls. Who would you include on your own list? Personally, I'd start by adding you and me. All you have to do is look at the number of up-and-coming bands on social networking sites like MySpace and Bebo, you'll get a sense of the power we all have in helping musicians sink or float. And as music-oriented social networking sites continue to grow, our collective influence as music moguls will grow, too. So when the next OK Go single goes platinum, we should all get a framed silvery disc we can stick on our walls, right?

Anyway, enough of that. I need to make another Starbucks run.

NPR Internet strategist Andy Carvin is subbing for Sarah and Barrie while they enjoy what's left of their vacations.



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Its strange and sad what the music scene has turned into and has been turning into over the past years, it hasnt been about the MUSIC, its been about the money. i think people would be suprised to find that when you listen to bands that arnt "popular" or are on the radio, the feeling of the music is there, music has lost its feel.

Sent by Joshua Bertrand | 3:14 PM | 7-10-2007

I find my new music courtesy of the music editors on Rhapsody. It's a great way to get exposed to music across every genre and get a feel for the direction a genre is going.

Sent by Adrian | 3:26 PM | 7-10-2007

My son just bought an XBox 360. He loves it because he can "rip" music to the hard drive and then pair his favorite music with his favorite video game.

Sent by Natalie Bean | 3:29 PM | 7-10-2007

Many times I have heard some great new song on a commercial and wondered who preformed it. Well I have found a website dedicated to people like me: http://www.whatsthatcalled.com/

Sent by Jack from Cleveland | 3:37 PM | 7-10-2007

The first time I ever heard of the group "The Bravery" was on MVP Baseball 2005." Had not even heard of them on the radio, nd then one day I heard the song from the vidoe game in the gym, and then this year, there was a story about the group on MSNBC.

Sent by Bob | 3:45 PM | 7-10-2007

I agree with Joshua above and I am happy when anyone is supporting and playing new bands, since the record labels aren't that interested. My husband's band Vayden tours and uses Myspace to promote their albumn. They have met with label people and they are all busy merging or overmarketing their top artist. As a consumer of music, I find it very difficult to find songs I want, labels don't seem to be putting all artists on ITunes and embracing downloading.

Sent by Michelle | 3:59 PM | 7-10-2007

I and many other people in my social group discover much of our new music via online audio streaming sites such as Pandora (mentioned earlier by a caller) and Internet radio stations; from these, the list of bands I have discovered has become so long that I cannot buy CDs fast enough to keep up with the growing list!

Alas, these sites that expose so many new artists to so many new listeners could be offlined within a week due to a ruling by the Copyright and Royalties Board which imposes a new, pay-per-play royalty rate instead of the heretofore prevailing play-as-compensation and revenue-sharing models.

Even an indie band streaming their own music online would be compelled to pay royalties to the industry-selected royalty administraton firm, and then they would have to file a claim to receive the royalties they'd paid to themselves via that firm!

Of course, this ruling would also effectively shut down all hobby and fan 'Netradio stations -- i.e., the majority -- that don't make a lick of money from their broadcast by which to pay the new royalty scheme.

Indeed, only commercial efforts backed by or contracted with the major corporate labels will be able to afford the new royalty rates, effectively securing the major labels' stranglehold on what artists are played where, thus propping up their increasingly-obsolete business model whereby they pay newly-signed artists huge advances, expecting to recoup those advances and profit further by leveraging their tight control of music outlets to promote mega-million sales of the plastic discs containing their artists' music.

The pending Internet Radio Equality Act introduced in both the House and Senate would resolve this threat by treating Internet radio streams the same as traditional broadcast radio stations, where the boon of promoting the artists to a wider audience is considered adequate compensation for use of those artists' works in broadcast, and where any royalties paid, where applicable, are set as a percentage of any actual revenues generated by the use of artists' works.

See http://SaveNetRadio.org/ for more info on this pending legislation, set for a vote on 15 July 2007 -- "The Day the Music Dies".

Sent by Tyson F Nuss | 4:04 PM | 7-10-2007

Sites like Scissorkick, 3hive, An Aquarium Drunkard and My Old Kentucky Blog generally have incredible selections of free new music even before Pitchfork catapults those sounds to success.

I should know, I made a whole radio show each week of new music pulled exclusively from the blogosphere, and each week I had an overabundance of new, incredible music to pull from. Many of the tracks I played later hit the CMJ charts, and many of those will likely find their way into more mainstream success before long.

I was worried before I started the show, but now I am completely convinced: the music blogs are the new tastemakers.

Sent by Thomas Brownback | 1:34 PM | 7-13-2007

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