Pollack Media Group is an international media consultancy with unparalleled expertise in all things music, from global trends to niche markets. We specialize in helping TV networks, media sites, recording artists, radio stations, film companies, and consumer brands grow their audience and revenue by leveraging their content across multiple platforms. 

Pollack Report: Tablets At The Tipping Point

To no one’s surprise, tablets – especially the iPad – are rapidly overtaking traditional computers in many areas. Sales of tablets are brisk, while PCs are down. The Business Insider’s most recent survey on usage of the iPad shows that almost half of the respondents say they use their tablets more than their desktop or laptop computers. Not only that, but the number of multi-iPad households is also about to reach the tipping point. By the end of the year, the iPad – and tablets in general – will be the dominant computing device.

Pollack POV: Albums Reach An Uncomfortable Milestone

 Word came from Soundscan earlier this week that for the first half of this year for the first time ever catalog albums outsold current ones. Catalog albums are those defined as being more than 18 months old. In the first 6 months of 2012, about 2.5 million more catalog albums were sold. The top-selling catalog album of the year? Guns ‘N Roses Greatest Hits. This article from the Seattle Weekly delves into possible reasons why older albums are outselling the newer ones.

Live & Dangerous: Lollapalooza 2012

 The weekend of August 3rd will mark the 16th Lollapalooza festival in Grant Park in Chicago (not counting the cancelled 2004 festival). If you're a music fan, you're already familiar with the festival even if you've never gotten to go. Having featured artists like Rage Against the Machine, Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Metallica, Eminem, The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, and Depeche Mode over the years and filling Grant Park with over 160,000 people in a weekend, it's difficult to avoid hearing about the event, the performances, and the music. This year's lineup is stacked, as usual, featuring bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys and Black Sabbath, along with Jack White, Florence And The Machine, and The Shins. If you can get to Chicago and score some tickets to the sold out festival, do it. Here are my recommendations for three acts to be sure to catch at Lolla.

Pollack POV: iHeartRadio Continues to Get Bigger

Clear Channel has just announced the lineup for its 2nd annual iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas. This year’s show will take place on September 21st and 22nd. The headliners will include Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, Rihanna, Green Day, Brad Paisley, No Doubt, Usher and more. Last year’s initial festival helped Clear Channel re-launch iHeartRadio. The company now says that it has 10 million registered users, and registered users are just a subset of the regular users.

Pollack POV: YouTube vs. The People

  YouTube has long been a popular site for watching and listening to music on the Internet. But now YouTube users around the world have been fighting back against the website after Google (who owns YouTube) and the RIAA threatened to sue YouTube-MP3.orgthe leading YouTube/Mp3 conversion site, last week. That independently run site allows users to extract and download Mp3 files from YouTube videos. Users need to do little more than copy and paste a YouTube link into the site to retrieve a quality mp3 of the video.

  As of this week, Google has blocked the offending site’s servers from accessing YouTube, and is threatening legal action unless it shuts down operations within 7 days.  It’s obvious why YouTube wants to take down this site – it violates their Terms of Service and takes away from potential revenue. This lost revenue is not necessarily from the record labels, but from missed view counts and ad streams. These are 2 factors key in YouTube’s ongoing efforts to monetize content.  

Pollack POV: Deadmau5 Controversy

Deadmou5 is a button pusher, and he’s not happy about it. In a flurry of recent tweets and Tumblr rants, the world famous producer denounces the EDM culture as a mainstream cash-cow that encourages countless numbers of untalented wannabes to jump behind the mixer in hopes of stardom. And while this is a gross oversimplification of the movement, it does have merit. Sold out festivals, appearances on Top 40 radio, and the rise of the celebrity DJ have solidified the once underground EDM movement as mainstream. And, unlike like the years of practice and perfection it takes to achieve this level of success as a traditional musician, a million dollar DJ nowadays needs to possess little more than a basic knowledge of music tech.

Huffington Post: Electric Daisy Carnival

 If you follow music or even just popular culture in general, you've likely noticed the rise of electronic dance music, or EDM. The scene has been bubbling under for years and has recently exploded into pop culture. Today kicks off the biggest EDM festival in the country, possibly the world, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's a three day event called EDC, Electric Daisy Carnival. With 300,000 attendees and official hours of 7:00pm-5:30am daily, it's fair to say it's quite a party. For those not well-versed in the artists and the music, the lineup, featuring well over 100 acts, seems like a blur of references to music, space, drugs, lights, and robots. But talk to an EDM fan and they can tell you which acts are their favorites, which ones "suck," and which ones put on the best shows. Here are three acts that are definitely worth catching.

Check out the full article here.

Pollack POV: Clear Channel & Big Machine’s Revenue Sharing Deal

 The talk of the music and radio industries for the last week has been Clear Channel’s unprecedented new deal with Big Machine Music to pay performance royalties. Many in the radio industry were taken aback by the move, which breaks the previously united front of broadcasters opposing performance royalty payments for over-the-air broadcasts. Many in the music industry, on the other hand, are cautiously optimistic about the precedent set with this deal. However, some criticisms from the music side are starting to emerge. Some don’t trust having the labels be responsible for compensating the artists.

 US radio stations, in a unique arrangement, are exempt from paying music performance royalties for over-the-air broadcasts. In virtually every other country, radio stations do pay this royalty. Also, US radio stations pay the royalty for online and in-app streaming. The radio industry, represented by the NAB had serious negotiations with the RIAA over the topic of over-the-air performance royalties a couple of years ago, but no agreement could be reached.

POLLACK POV: Possible UMG / EMI Merger

The Future of Music Coalition put out an article recently on why the possible merger between Universal Music Group and EMI is bad for artists and fans. The downside (or potential downside) for fans is somewhat obvious: fewer content owners leads to decreased competition in the marketplaces, etc. According to TheFutureofMusic.com, the labels argue that “this merger is necessary given their relatively weakened position in the digital era.UMG asserts that unauthorized distribution and even legal services like Amazon and iTunes are damaging the larger music landscape, and that this merger will help them compete in an ever more difficult music market.”

There is no doubt that the digital age has hurt the major labels and their old model of business. You can argue, and with strong support, that the digital age has also increased music exposure, music discovery, ticket sales, and the variety of music in an individual’s collection, but there is no denying that the drastic drop in physical CD sales has hurt the labels’ bottom lines. UMG views this 1.9 billion investment in EMI (and combined ownership of approximately 40% of the US recorded music marketplace) as a way to gain an amazing roster of artists as well as a little more control in this constantly shifting business. 

MEEKER'S INTERNET TRENDS

Former financial analyst and current partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers Mary Meeker is known for her annual report on Internet trends. She recently presented her findings that, not surprisingly, focused largely on the mobile space, including mobile growth, mobile monetization, and mobile impact worldwide. All Things Digital has her 100-slide presentation up here.   

Meeker's discussion includes:

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