Results for Steve Jobs

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Rock N Roll JesusRock 'n Roll Jesus available on iTunes

Kid Rock Rock 'n Roll Jesus

Kid Rock's 11th album, Rock 'n Roll Jesus, was released last year, but has become the surprising hit of the summer. Atlantic Records is crediting keeping the album out of iTunes with the huge sales, and is looking at this as a new business model. As a Wall Street Journal article explores, avoiding iTunes runs against conventional logic since it's the number one music retailer. But, many labels want to find a way around Steve Jobs' stronghold and begrudge the power of the single. Jim and Greg think some artists only have a single or two in them, and explain that Kid Rock might be one of them. They say there's no reason to add to the 1.7 million copies Rock 'n Roll Jesus has already sold and give the album a Trash It.

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Go to episode 147
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Music News

Earlier this week the music label EMI agreed to drop Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions from its digital music files. In addition, the files will be of a higher quality than those available now. Essentially this means that consumers who purchase EMI tracks from bands like The Arctic Monkeys, Beyoncé, and Nelly Furtado can play them on any player, regardless of where they purchased it. But, there is a catch: these digital songs will be almost 30% more expensive.

EMI's announcement seems to be a response to a plea that Apple head Steve Jobs made earlier this year for all record companies to remove DRM from their digital music. And while these songs will be available for purchase and download from all online retailers, it's interesting to note how much Jobs is thrusting himself into the music industry. In fact, he was posed right next to EMI chief Eric Nicoli for this announcement.

Go to episode 71

Music News

Web developers have finally created a way for iPhone and iPod Touch users to share files. Similar to the p2p file-sharing program Soulseek, iSlsk allows fans of the Apple phone to wirelessly swap music at fairly high speeds. This news comes just months prior to the release of the highly anticipated new 3G iPhone. While consumers are waiting, Steve Jobs is working to extend Apple's lead in online music sales to the mobile market. Jobs would like to get into the ringtones and ringbacks business, but in order to do so he may have to work out a deal with record labels. According to speculation, Jobs may agree to a variable pricing plan in exchange for mobile delivery. Now we'll have to see if digital music consumers are willing to give up low prices for convenience. We predict they will.

Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for swindling investors and major U.S. banks out of more than $300 million. Pearlman made his mark in the music industry after launching the careers of *N Sync and The Backstreet Boys. Pearlman's legal team was looking for more leniency, but Jim and Greg don't think the judge was harsh enough. Jim would tack on a few more years just for kicking off the boy band craze.

Earlier this year rapper Nas raised eyebrows after announcing plans to call his upcoming album "N*gger." He saw it as a way to re-appropriate the word in a positive way. But now, the hip hop artist has decided to remove the provocative word from his release. Nas has suggested that he received pressure from his label to give the album a more retail-friendly title, but both Jim and Greg smell a publicity stunt.

Go to episode 130

Music News

2008 has come to a close, and the numbers are in. According to Nielsen SoundScan's end-of-year report, Taylor Swift was the top-selling artist of 2008. Lil Wayne and Coldplay also had good years, but overall album sales were down a whopping 14%. It's not all bad news for the music industry, however. While physical sales for complete albums continue to plummet, music sales overall are up; more than 1 billion digital tracks were sold. And, profits from concert sales are up 8%. This figure is the result of fewer tickets being sold for more money, and Jim and Greg wonder if consumers will be able to keep up with rising ticket prices in this failing economy.

It looks like digital music sales will only continue to increase. Steve Jobs of Apple has made it even easier for music fans to purchase and download music from the iTunes store by removing all Digital Rights Management software from its files. But, accessibility comes at a price—$1.29 to be exact. Amazon and other online stores have been selling DRM-free files for almost a year, but iTunes was the last to hold out with the labels' demands. So if both Apple and the music industry are winners, where does that leave the consumer?

Pioneering punk guitarist Ron Asheton of the Stooges died this week at the age of 60. While he died at young age, Asheton lived long enough to experience a Stooges reunion and revived fan interest. He is best remembered through his music, in albums like Fun House. And you can listen to Asheton's 2006 interview with Jim and Greg during this Sound Opinions episode.

Go to episode 163

Music News

This week Apple CEO Steve Jobs called on the music industry to start selling songs without copy protection software, or DRM. Right now, music purchased digitally may not be compatible with all music players. And, in an open letter, Jobs explained that this kind of protection is not only a challenge for the consumer, but doesn‘t actually thwart piracy. Jim and Greg never expected to hear this kind of statement being made by a major corporate head, but they wonder what his motivation is. It’s unlikely that the labels will actually follow Jobs‘ advice; more likely they’ll all agree to use the iTunes format.

Target entered the music business this week. In an attempt to cash in on a vital demographic, the retail corporation has started a music label geared at“adult”consumers. While much of the music industry is going digital, there are still older music fans who want to buy CDs. With a roster that includes artists like David Cassidy, Kenny Loggins, and Kris Kristofferson, Jim recommends Target set up kiosks in local nursing homes.

Another slick business move is being made by the "Prince of Darkness." Ozzy Osbourne and wife/impresario Sharon Osbourne announced that tickets for this summer's Ozzfest will be given away for free. Instead of relying on ticket sales, they plan on making up costs through the sale of concessions and on-site advertising. Ozzy will headline the tour, which is in its 12th year of bringing hard rock and heavy metal across the nation, but it doesn't appear that any other big names are on the lineup. Jim and Greg suspect that the Osbournes plan to book smaller acts that warrant a ticket price of $0. But they are all in favor of such a creative business move, especially in an industry that desperately needs a new paradigm.

Go to episode 63