The wait is over. The decision is in. The lawsuit that pitted the entertainment industry against the technology industry came to a close. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, voted against Grokster. In their attempt to succinctly express legal concepts they may not fully grasp, many reporters are clouding the facts of the case. Thus, other resources will be necessary for us to get our heads around the ruling and its implications. For the best coverage and opinion on the monumental decision, go to
Corante’s Copyfight and
SCOTUSblog. CNET has dedicated a few writers to the topic. And how can you top doing a
“>Google News search ?
Harcourt & The Rise of Semipopular Music
Before the Internet music was more of a young person’s experience. Labels looked to teens and twenty-somethings in the same way television advertisers cling to the belief that the young make for a better target audience. Then the Internet arrived, got a bit of a toe-hold, and then transformed how sub-platinum musicians find their audience. No longer is terrestrial radio and MTV the lone gatekeepers. Labels are targeting the older consumer in part because it’s easier to find them.
Sunday’s New York Times Magazine profiled Nic Harcourt, the cornerstone of Santa Monica’s renowned KCRW and one of the most influential DJs in the country. (
Read article. Access to the New York Times’ website is free but requires registration—it’s well worth the trouble.) Jaime Wolf’s article is much more than a story about a DJ. It’s a snapshot of emerging technologies and changing consumer behaviors, a convergence that amounts to “an alternative-radio renaissance.”
Wolf tells of how DJs like Harcourt are shifting attention toward what Times music critic Jon Pareles calls semipopular music, or as Wolf wrote music “marked less by style than by a certain base-line intelligence and tastefulness.” It’s no coincidence that many of the band Harcourt has championed have seen success on Internet stores like iTunes and Amazon.com and nontraditional music retailers like Starbucks. The same time-starved adult who buys music online and spends more time online than watching television trust Harcourt’s taste and ability to pick future stars. Unlike teenagers, they don’t have the time to spend searching out bands on their own. Semipopular musicians probably won’t kill off the superstars—Americans are too in love with celebrities for that to happen—but they will continue to quietly build sizable followings and respectable careers outside of the mainstream.
Starbucks Further Proves Its Mettle
If there was any doubt of Starbuck’s prowess as a music retailer—and there shouldn’t be—its first week with Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill Acoustic erased them for good. The coffee chain scored a controversial exclusive on the album and sold 56,000 copies in its first week of release according to an
article at Billboard.com. The album will be available at all other retailers on July 26th.
Glenn works in the music industry in New York City. He writes about the industry and music in general at his blog,