Music Business Roundup

As reported at Howard Mandel’s Jazz Beyond Jazz blog, Jazz Times is rumored to be folding.  HM: “…it’s laid off employees, notified writers of waits for May payments, not shipped its June issue to the printers and failed to sell itself to a new publisher.”

Love them or hate them — and their are plenty on each side — this magazine was one of the few outlets that excusively covered jazz.  If the rumors are true, this will be yet another lost outlet for jazz musicians and labels to get their message out to the masses.  Sad news if true.

In other news, the trial with Pirate Bay still goes on.  U2 manager Paul McGuinness gave an interview to CNET last week talking about the state of the business, how “free is the enemy of good,” and how ISP’s need to be pushed into regulating content to protect copyrights.  Whereas I don’t quite agree with the aforementioned quote, the “hippy values” McGuinness talks about are ones that are shaping how consumers of music think about the content they are consuming.

The ISPs as a group make the noises that they are required to make when it comes to what is politically necessary or when there is a scare, say for instance, something about security or pornography or pedophilia on the Internet. That is when you will see a rapid reaction from the ISPs to defend themselves against any kind of legislation or intervention or monitoring. I’m not sure it’s a sincere reaction very often because I think the ISPs, if you take them as a group, have for many years been much more interested in selling broadband subscriptions around the world than they have in doing what is right.

What I think is right for them and indeed the content makers, and that would include newspapers, book authors, movie makers, music makers, sports teams, the people who make the free content that ISPs are pumping through their pipes, deserve to be recompensed. Realistically the only way they are going to be recompensed is in partnership with ISPs, who after all, are collecting revenues from their subscribers.

And I think the tipping point is occurring round about now.  Perhaps broadband subscription sales are saturated in many territories and the ISPs are belatedly but realistically now turning to building revenue collection businesses with the content owners. I just hope it’s not too late.

More on that topic at a later time.  Feel free to agree of disagree with the “hippy values” of free music in the comments section.