Results for Ethan Smith

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SXSW 2008

Jim and Greg always return from the annual SXSW Music Festival with more than new favorite bands. They always get great insights into music industry trends. One issue that has been coming up for years now is how the music industry will survive in the digital age. This year Jim and Greg heard an interesting solution. Jim Griffin, a veteran music consultant, has proposed that Internet service providers charge an extra fee to compensate music copyright holders. Jim and Greg disagree about how effective this plan will be, but it's certainly nice to hear solutions coming out of the music industry, rather than whining.

Another major industry figure to speak at SXSW was Ticketmaster CEO Sean Moriarty. In a panel led by Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith, Moriarty discussed how Ticketmaster will adjust after Live Nation severs ties and takes away 15% of its business. The ticketing company has plans to get in on the secondary ticket market, which prompts the question: What's to stop Ticketmaster from holding back hundreds of tickets to an event only to re-sell them later at hugely marked up prices? The answer, according to Jim and Greg, is nothing. And for consumers who have already been treated unfairly by the ticket monopoly holder, the future does not appear bright.

Go to episode 121

Music News

Fans of the Sound Opinions “Ticketmaster” drinking game will be happy to hear what's up first in the news. Jim and Greg talk to Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith about his piece on Ticketmaster's secondary ticket market and artists‘ involvement with scalping their own tickets. Smith’s example cites Neil Diamond concert tickets, which he discovered for sale on the secondary ticket exchange the same day as regular tickets went on sale. But he points out that Diamond, whose manager happens to be Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff, isn't alone in this practice. He believes nearly every major arena act on the road today may be getting in on these revenues.

Go to episode 173

Music News

Last week Jim and Greg said they were waiting for the big zeppelin to head to the clouds. That'd be Apple, and this week it did. Apple has entered the final stages of negotiations with the major record labels and music publishers for a service that will allow people to upload and store their music on the web and listen to it on any of their devices. Unlike its competitors Amazon and Google, who beat Apple to the punch, iCloud is in cooperation with the big labels. Because of this and because of iTunes' already huge user base, Apple may again become king of the clouds.

LimeWire has agreed to pay $105 million to a group of major record labels in an out-of-court settlement over piracy. The file-sharing site was one of the biggest and received a court order to shut down last year. The RIAA has been going through sites like LimeWire one by one, and with success. But the rate of file-sharing hasn't slowed. And the real question is if any of the musicians“infringed”upon will actually receive this bounty.

The Smoking Gun has revealed surprising demands in pop singer Katy Perry's concert rider. We suppose it makes sense to ban conversations with chauffeurs. And of course you'd need specially designed furniture. But no carnations! Actually, the biggest revelation concerned the icky practice of ticket re-selling. Perry's camp reserves the right to require promoters to hold back tickets to be re-sold on the secondary market. In other words, Katy Perry may scalp her own tickets. Jim and Greg spoke to Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith about this topic a couple of years ago, but laying out these plans in plain words on a contract is on a whole new level. It makes you yearn for the days of M&M demands.

Go to episode 287