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Amazon High Definition Music Streaming Service

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The competition heats up! That $15/month price tag for "better than CD quality" might just be compelling enough for an exodus (of sorts). Amazon has a pretty extensive library if I remember correctly. 

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Amazon.  Cloud pioneer.  AWS.  Data centers.  Bandwidth.  Profitable.  Hi-res music.  

 

What more can we ask for!


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It could be interesting indeed if they can secure a catalog with the size, depth and variation that Tidal has. At this point, I'll take any number of quality competitors to ensure that at least cd quality streaming remains as an option from here on. And Amazon certainly has the money and resources.

 

JC

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Meanwhile,  at the other members of The Big 4, Google Music (paid subscriptions) struggles:

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-struggles-to-attract-paying-music-subscribers-11557337040

 

While Apple Music makes several moves to catch Spotify (including poaching Google staff):

 

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2019/05/09/apple-music-publishing-hire/

 

Very interested to see if this Amazon Hi-Res streaming thing goes ahead and how the rest of The Big 4 react (if they do...)

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"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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5 hours ago, PAP said:

wonder who will pay the musicians and the composers.....

This is pretty much sorted out. The USA will now have what is common in the rest of the developed world, a collecting society to do this. Up until now America has had several such societies ( ASCAP, BIEM etc.). However these only functioned for the composers. Outside of the USA various such societies in combination  representing all copyright owners have existed for many years ( often meaning up to at least a century). Insofar as artists are concerned their interests are normally part of their contractual arrangements with their record company and/or are individually represented via a collecting society depending upon local copyright legislation.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/11/17963804/music-modernization-act-mma-copyright-law-bill-labels-congress

Edited by PAR
Typo

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On 4/25/2019 at 10:12 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

This could be interesting.

 

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/amazon-is-readying-a-hi-def-music-streaming-service/

 

Note: "It’s understood that Amazon has not partnered with MQA for its own HD tier."


Interesting is one word for it. If this is seriously going to adhere to standards (huge question), can you see the smaller competitors surviving? Perhaps in Europe, perhaps not. And perhaps it won’t be standards compliant, in which case we’re in real trouble.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> router -> 2 Cisco switches connected by optical Ethernet -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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King B would do us a bigger favor by focusing on affordable long term cloud storage of xxTB music collections.  Maybe even tie in HDD purchases that show up to your door preloaded with files in a WCS full/partial rebuild of working copies.

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19 hours ago, PAR said:

This is pretty much sorted out. The USA will now have what is common in the rest of the developed world, a collecting society to do this. Up until now America has had several such societies ( ASCAP, BIEM etc.). However these only functioned for the composers. Outside of the USA various such societies in combination  representing all copyright owners have existed for many years ( often meaning up to at least a century). Insofar as artists are concerned their interests are normally part of their contractual arrangements with their record company and/or are individually represented via a collecting society depending upon local copyright legislation.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/11/17963804/music-modernization-act-mma-copyright-law-bill-labels-congress

This is how it looks right now. Think of the old days when you can be a one hit wonder and still make a million.😗 

''Music Streaming Royalties Calculator
  • $0.019 per stream. Tidal. $0.01284 per stream. Apple Music. $0.00783 per stream. Google Play Music.
  • $0.00676 per stream. Deezer.
  • $0.0064 per stream. Spotify.
  • $0.00437 per stream. Amazon.
  • $0.00402 per stream. Pandora.
  • $0.00133 per stream. YouTube.''
  •                                                       https://www.dittomusic.com/blog/how-much-do-music-streaming-services-pay-musicians

 

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3 hours ago, PAP said:

Think of the old days when you can be a one hit wonder and still make a million.😗 

''Music Streaming Royalties Calculator

Yes, well now you can be a one hit wonder and make several million.

 

I am assuming that your point is that you  think the sums are low?

 

You seem not to appreciate how those small figures accumulate in streaming. In the days of physical sales a fairly successful album may sell, what, 50,000 copies in a year. A hugely successful one from a world class act 1,000,000. Let's say that they earned $2 per copy ( not unreasonable for a big act). So in one year that hugely successful act earned $2M from that album.

 

Now understand that streaming means huge numbers. Last year from Spotify only Beyoncé  alone had over a BILLION streams for  a single new album. Now take your rate per stream for Spotify and multiply it by 1,000.000,000. That's what Beyoncé  earned from a single  service for one  album. She also got sums from all of the other services, plus world sales, plus radio play, plus her back catalogue  , plus , plus.

 

Now , of course an unsuccessful artist will earn significantly less. And these figures hide a major problem for minority interest music genres like classical or jazz where the annual streams per album may be  in single or double figures.

 

But if you consider that the rates that you cite are for streaming services currently in their formative days such rates per stream are generally likely to remain in the same area although the yield will be even higher . If you imagine that they should be significantly increased then , as the streaming service would have to pay them  and that they get their income from their subscribers ,  expect a monthly subscription to be not $9.99 but, what,  $99.90 or $999 or more ? I trust that you can appreciate the existential problem.

 

 

 

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With the purchase model an artist gets paid once and I listen as many times as I want with no more money going to the artist. With the streaming model the artist gets paid forever every time I listen. 

 

Sounds like the lottery. Lumps sum but less money now vs payments for the whole winnings over time. 


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12 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Sounds like the lottery

Eh? A lottery is a game of chance. Royalty payments are defined and, failing payment, legal action may be taken. I don't think any lawyer will take up my action for not winning the Euromillions this weekend 😭

 

Yes, over here in the UK too there is a lottery game where instead of a lump you can be paid a sum monthly for thirty years. At my age I ain't going to be here in thirty years!

 

Anyway my main point is that for very popular artists streaming is an Aladdin's cave. There are, however,  huge problems with specialist genres. I was in conversation with the the chief executive of one of the best known independent classical labels last year. I know some of his costs in producing a single, simple, album ( a piano recital). There is no way that he can recoup his recording costs alone from streaming currently. The outcome is that he currently refuses to licence streaming. However he may not have the option in the USA under the new legislation. This could ultimately mean his company closing as streaming is a direct substitution for sales given the superb quality from e.g. Qobuz.

 

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6 minutes ago, PAR said:

Eh? A lottery is a game of chance. Royalty payments are defined and, failing payment, legal action may be taken. I don't think any lawyer will take up my action for not winning the Euromillions this weekend 😭

 

Yes, over here in the UK too there is a lottery game where instead of a lump you can be paid a sum monthly for thirty years. At my age I ain't going to be here in thirty years!

 

Anyway my main point is that for very popular artists streaming is an Aladdin's cave. There are, however,  huge problems with specialist genres. I was in conversation with the the chief executive of one of the best known independent classical labels last year. I know some of his costs in producing a single, simple, album ( a piano recital). There is no way that he can recoup his recording costs alone from streaming currently. The outcome is that he currently refuses to licence streaming. However he may not have the option in the USA under the new legislation. This could ultimately mean his company closing as streaming is a direct substitution for sales given the superb quality from e.g. Qobuz.

 

Fortunately no label is forced to offer music for streaming. If specialist genres want to sell products people don't want to buy (physical media) that's up the them. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Fortunately no label is forced to offer music for streaming

Unfortunately as far as I can see you are wrong on this. In the USA the new Music Modernization Act provides a compulsory licence i.e. no refusal, no negotiation.

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23 minutes ago, PAR said:

Unfortunately as far as I can see you are wrong on this. In the USA the new Music Modernization Act provides a compulsory licence i.e. no refusal, no negotiation.

Very interesting. Do you have any links about this?


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There are tons of links about his out there. most are written  for lawyers I guess and it is hard to find a clear one for a layman. For example here is one from the US government :

 

https://www.copyright.gov/music-modernization/faq.html

 

And see this link too:

 

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b9456015-b34e-4e7d-9e6e-7a785439c03b

 

You should see from the first couple of paragraphs that they are talking about a compulsory licence. However reading further I may be wrong as it appears that the compulsory licence applies to mechanical rights ( musical compositions) and not to sound recordings. It looks like I may have been  misled earlier by an article written by a non-specialist journalist .

 

However it is not entirely clear as many articles on this matter also incorporate reference to The Classics Protection and Access Act . Which concerns sound recordings and not musical works.

 

This is why lawyers can earn big bucks!

 

 

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46 minutes ago, PAR said:

Unfortunately as far as I can see you are wrong on this. In the USA the new Music Modernization Act provides a compulsory licence i.e. no refusal, no negotiation.

 

That interpretation would seem to eliminate the need for services to sign agreements with labels, so I'm not sure it's correct.

 

I think the compulsory licensing may set the compensation for reproduction in formats a label makes available, but not necessarily require availability in all formats.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> router -> 2 Cisco switches connected by optical Ethernet -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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On 4/26/2019 at 11:12 PM, BrokeLinuxPhile said:

Qobuz got completely ignored in that piece like they don't even exist.  I find journalistic spin fascinating.

Not spin. They are just so small they are ignored. Same thing happens to Tidal in some streaming write ups. 


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6 hours ago, Jud said:

I think the compulsory licensing may set the compensation for reproduction in formats a label makes available, but not necessarily require availability in all formats.

Yes. I hope that I covered this point in my last posting. The compulsory licence turns out to relate to mechanical reproduction rights  and not to the separate rights in the sound recording. That is the right to make a recording ( mechanical copy - the term originated with piano rolls) of a musical composition. That would include making a copy on the streaming services ' servers and may extend to ephemeral copies ( e.g. those made ephemerally in the technology used to provide streaming) if US judges adopt a similar view when  interpreting the law as has happened here in the UK a few years ago.  However I have been away from the music business for some years now so there may well be updates that I am unaware of.

 

 So it looks like there will still need to be an agreement with the record label but not with the music publishers.

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