Michael Nelson

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If Rihanna Can Go Platinum Giving ANTI Away For Free, What Does Platinum Even Mean?

Last October, Jay Z was photographed exiting Samsung's Silicon Valley offices, where he'd reportedly taken a meeting with Daren Tsui, the vice president of music…
Michael Nelson | February 2, 2016 - 11:47 am
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Def Leppard – “Dangerous” Video

Not gonna lie, I slept on Def Leppard's self-titled Q4 2015 release. I dedicated a lot of energy last year to waxing rhapsodic about Iron
Michael Nelson | January 29, 2016 - 6:15 pm
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NY Attorney General’s Report Confirms Online Ticketing Is Bullshit

Today, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a new report about ticket scalping -- aka ticket resale -- which is the result of…
Michael Nelson | January 28, 2016 - 12:45 pm
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All Points East: What The Hell Is Going On With Panorama, Governors Ball, & The Battle For New York City?

Earlier this month the world's second-biggest concert-production company, AEG Live, announced the dates and location of its inaugural Panorama festival. The fest would be held…
Michael Nelson | January 26, 2016 - 1:41 pm
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Everyone Is Doomed (Except Adele): The Cold, Hard Truth About The Nielsen Music Report

Last week, Nielsen shared its 2015 U.S. Music Year-End Report, giving a massive statistical overview of how we consume music, how much music we consume,…
Michael Nelson | January 12, 2016 - 11:49 am
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Comments from michael

I mostly type furiously while watching DVR-ed House Hunters marathons.
+11 |
February 2, 2016 on If Rihanna Can Go Platinum Giving ANTI Away For Free, What Does Platinum Even Mean?
Well StubHub doesn't buy or sell the tickets, they just facilitate the resale, and build in service fees. The tickets are bought and sold by individuals. (StubHub also has an almost foolproof system for buyer protection, which is a massive shift from the uncertainty of old-school "black market"-style scalping.) It works the same way as eBay. And both services create a degree of supply-demand transparency that presents new challenges to the primary sellers. Nike has used this to their advantage: Every new pair of Jordans or Dunks is sold in limited editions and unique colorways, so they all get bought up fast on release day by collectors or resellers, and the eBay market is feverish, driving the demand and prices UP. But a stadium can't create artificial demand in the same way. If the Yankees are playing in the postseason, those tickets won't be available at the box office for more than a day (if that). But virtually every regular-season game will have walk-up availability, and StubHub absolutely demolishes those sales. It's not just the tickets being sold at below-face, but virtually EVERY ticket sold on StubHub (the Yankees would rather you buy a ticket at the box office for $50 than a ticket on StubHub for $500). I'm not trying to defend the Yankees' position here though, just explain it a little bit. And again, if every game were sold out in advance and walk-up weren't an issue, this would be a whole different story.
+2 |
January 28, 2016 on NY Attorney General’s Report Confirms Online Ticketing Is Bullshit
Honestly, the Yankees' argument is pretty flimsy -- and I don't agree with it -- but this is it: If every game at the Stadium were always sold out, they'd have no problem with people selling below-face. In fact, they'd encourage it, because it would mean otherwise-empty seats would be filled, and those attendees would be buying concessions, souvenirs, etc. But for any given Yankees game, maybe 60 percent of tickets are sold in advance, leaving 40 percent available for walk-up -- that's factored into their business model. So their official argument is: Our walk-up sales are severely diminished by third-party resellers, and the government needs to protect us here. In fact, initially, there was a StubHub kiosk like a block from the Stadium, and what the Yankees saw was, everyone was going to StubHub instead of the Yankees' ticket window on game day. So they lobbied to have it moved like a mile away. It's a really unsustainable model, because it relies on an artificial supply-demand perception. Your binary is: The Yankees either get one ticket sale and no attendee or one ticket sale and one attendee, and ultimately, the second option is preferable to the first. Which isn't WRONG. But the Yankees' binary is: Either we get one ticket sale and one attendee, or TWO ticket sales and one attendee. And their argument to the city is: We rely on walk-up, and by allowing StubHub to exist in such close proximity to the Stadium, you're killing our walk-up. It's not totally unlike the argument made by the RIAA in their attempts to shut down used-CD stores, although that was actually more reasonable because the RIAA could at least argue it was a copyright violation (but they failed to get any traction with that argument because of fair-use laws).
+1 |
January 28, 2016 on NY Attorney General’s Report Confirms Online Ticketing Is Bullshit
The argument against below-face tickets is this: Let's say I wake up on a sunny Saturday morning and decide I want to go to the game that day; I can go to the Yankee Stadium box office and buy a ticket for, say, $50 or buy a similar seat on StubHub for maybe $25. The seller is incentivized to move that ticket at any cost (because once the first pitch is thrown, its value drops to $0) while the Yankees can't just sell seats at clearance prices and undercut their own pricing structure. But the Yankees want BOTH sales, and they DEFINITELY don't want third-party resellers undercutting their pricing structure. They've gone to pretty extreme measures to fight against this, instituting their own resale operation and pushing the nearest StubHub facility like a mile away from the stadium. It's not illegal, of course, but prior to StubHub, they didn't have to deal with this sort of disruption -- if you wanted a ticket on game day, you bought one at the box office because that was often the cheapest and always the most convenient/reliable option. Now? StubHub offers more flexibility AND greater convenience AND is incredibly safe/reliable.
+1 |
January 28, 2016 on NY Attorney General’s Report Confirms Online Ticketing Is Bullshit
Even if there were incentive to do this -- and honestly the government is strongly incentivized NOT to do this -- it wouldn't really work. Think about it in relation to sporting events (where scalping is much more widespread than in music). Let's say the Yankees sold out Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, but it was an unusually cold or mildly inclement day -- not bad enough to cancel/reschedule the game, but bad enough that sitting outdoors for three or four hours would be pretty uncomfortable. They might lose half the gate on returns. (This is why all tickets say "No refunds or exchanges.") Season-ticket packages (which are huge sources of revenue for sports teams) would be virtually worthless if corporations couldn't hand out tickets to their clients or partners, and fans would buy them much more judiciously if they couldn't sell tickets that might go to waste otherwise. It might work for select events like a Louis CK show because he's got his own system in place and can enforce all sorts of specific regulations, but for the wider market it would be devastating.
+1 |
January 28, 2016 on NY Attorney General’s Report Confirms Online Ticketing Is Bullshit
Oh dang, thanks for the heads up. Yeah it looks like two of the "Special Announce" ticket options are gone, but everything else is available. Anyway I've amended the text reflecting my error. Sorry about that!
+2 |
January 26, 2016 on All Points East: What The Hell Is Going On With Panorama, Governors Ball, & The Battle For New York City?
Thanks, Matt. Because I'm not clear on how Nielsen is differentiating between Beats and Apple Music (and because I was just wrong about Tidal) I amended the text to excise any dubious or unclear implications, and noted having made those changes in a correction note at the bottom of the story. I appreciate you pointing out my error, and I apologize again for any confusion. I totally agree with your point about YouTube's multi-platform accessibility and overall user-friendliness, and I think it speaks to the issue faced by discrete streaming services (at least in the immediate future). But that's not just an important point; it's a whole other story that has to factor in a host of user habits. I'm sure the 2017 version of this story will address that, if we don't get to it sooner. Thanks so much for your kind words, too, and for taking the time to comment!
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January 13, 2016 on Everyone Is Doomed (Except Adele): The Cold, Hard Truth About The Nielsen Music Report
Yeah, that was one of the "complicating factors" that I was alluding to. As far as I know, Nielsen DOES track Apple Music, but only for song streams not videos (which is why "Hotline Bling" didn't hit #1). But yeah, they don't track Tidal. But there are so many unknown factors that it's impossible to calculate, so I was oversimplifying, and maybe in doing so, inadvertently conflating Beats with Apple Music. I think the point stands, though? I was conservative with my Spotify figures, but according to reports they're actually at 30 million paid and 100 million active users. Also I didn't mention Rhapsody, but they grew 50 percent in 2015, with a subscription base of 3 million, and Google Play has a billion users as of September 2015, and the Nielsen numbers account for Beats Music and Rdio, though both were shut down on 11/30/2015, and Deezer (Cricket) still has 3 million active users plus another 3 million INACTIVE users. (This is FURTHER complicated by the fact that these user numbers are global while the Nielsen report is domestic, and Apple Music is available in 100 countries, etc.) The thing I was trying to get across was that streaming services should have seen larger percentage increase simply by virtue of the spotlight they were given in 2015 thanks to the endless media coverage of Apple Music and Tidal plus Spotify's growth alone. But yeah, if the reports I read are wrong and Nielsen doesn't track Apple Music -- and also if I erroneously conflated Beats with Apple Music -- then I apologize, and I appreciate the heads up!
+2 |
January 12, 2016 on Everyone Is Doomed (Except Adele): The Cold, Hard Truth About The Nielsen Music Report
On that note, Billboard just published this a second ago: "Last week, Major Lazer and DJ Snake's MØ-assisted clip for "Lean On" became the 14th music video to hit 1 billion views on YouTube ... Amazingly, there were only two members of the billion-views club this time last year: Psy and Justin Bieber."
+5 |
January 12, 2016 on Everyone Is Doomed (Except Adele): The Cold, Hard Truth About The Nielsen Music Report