For decades we've been hearing how outer space is the last frontier, but that is incorrect; the real frontier is the internet, world wide web...cyber space.
And the way it's acting is much like the gun toting, old wild west days where there is little or no policing. According to Edward Bernays Jr., edstechreport.wordpress.com blogger, "there is a huge lapse in monitoring posts and reviews" that are piggybacking on paid for ad space.
According to edstechreport blog, music companies are hiring "marketing" companies that pay people to post fake reviews on venues that sell music, which in turn are being spammed by other companies. One company that appears to be very prolific is Arctic Silver which is a 3rd party computer accessory company. They use the music companies' reviews and posts to sell their products. Many of these piggybacked posts have links that back- link to other sites.
All one needs to do is type in the name of an artist such as Beyonce, David Bowie or Lady Gaga with "Arctic Silver" next to it and voila. Edstechreport has pages of examples from this company.
On the surface it begins to look like a grassroots movement is occuring by all of the "fake" posts and reviews which equals spam. There are companies that do not use this technique to market their product that are being hurt by the practice of astroturfing and spamming.
According to tech entrapenuer Archie Whitehat "They are muscling out competitors with spam reviews on sites such as Amazon and on forms designed to enable users to chat about a product." Whitehat adds that "Arctic Silver is the most prolific company" that is using the unregulated techniques and that his reputation manager has never seen anything like it.
Bernays states that the technique has gone under the radar for so long because there are no regulations to manage it ergo no problem exists. In essance, no one is watching therefore there is no problem therefore no one is doing anything illegal.
Bernays reminisced that there was a time that getting airplay meant that you were "making it", but now it means the talent that wrote the song is getting ripped off due to outdated regulations which is why music publishers and song writers are fighting in Washington DC to pass the Songwriters Equity Act and revise the Consent Decree.
Going over streaming contract samples on edstechreport, it becomes pretty clear why the talent's revenues have shrunk down to micro pennies. According to Bernays, the talent have been signing off on a "360 Deal" where the streaming services are paying the record companies and the record companies aren't paying the talent at the rate the artists would like to see. "There is even a "breakage" clause in the contract where the talent is charged for product being broken during shipping/handling when that reality no longer exists in the cyber world of streaming music," adds Bernays.
According to Bernays, the new digital business model has changed the game and upped the advertising stakes.
"They are using breakage math as a tool to determine digital royalties, but there is no more physical product so it is taken and rebundled into the digital domain. The record companies are eating up the royalties from ad revenues," states Bernays. This whole issue is fast becoming a many headed hydra that needs to be looked into further. Please check out edstechreport.wordpress.com and edstechreport2.wordpress.com and see for yourself and develop your own conclusion. Also, please refer back to the article regarding the Songwriters Equity Act from 2/2015 and look at S.2321 and H.R. 4079. This issue hasn't been fully resolved as yet and really needs to be.
What happened on the television show "Friends" where the actors went on "strike" to raise their pay scale to $1,000,000.00 an episode due to the fact that the "business" people were pocketing money hand over fist from ad revenue and paying a few thousand per episode to the actors should serve as a cautionary tale for the need to change that status quo of cyber space marketing.
For myself, I've seen pirating on Youtube via my book, Gallerie de Street Art, Paris, where they used my book to create a bogus back-link that asks for private info and takes large amounts of money from the victims' account information. There were lots of links created with that book ad and each by a different person with a bogus name. There is no regulation regarding that type of thing and so no one will take them down or do anything. To me it looks like a copyright violation, but it isn't because there is no legislation regarding it...no harm, no foul. In the matter of my book on Youtube.
Youtube felt that it wasn't a recognizable link/back link so they said there wasn't a real problem and my publisher said the same thing.
In the final analysis, Bernays is concerned that the astroturfing and spamming techniques can be used to drive a political campaign which is not a good thing.
Always on the lookout for a cool neighborhood venue to hang out at, listen to good music and have a glass of wine, I've found the Idle Hour. On Sundays they have bottomless Mimosa's for $15.00 and BBQ and a very good duo called Wynchester that plays 1pm to 4pm.
Wynchester consists of 2 guitarists from a few other acts such as Tenacious D, that won a Grammy last year for a performance of a Dio cover song, and the Kyle Gass Band. John Konesky and Mike Bray perform classic rock, country, and 90's R&B and do take requests.
They have a wry sense of humor which is put to good use and they have a "vintage" hook that feeds on the profile of the "hipster" musicologist who collects 45's and only listens to "deep cuts" states Konesky.
While listening to them I kept hearing a few final chords from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" which Konesky said occurs when they end a song with a D chord...it's an OCD thing he added. They can't be all bad if they know some Led Zeppelin...right?
When I was a kid the 93 bus that went to Hollywood would drive by that barrel building and I always wondered what it was about. Since being restored, it's a very cool venue to hang out in and the people are friendly.
The Idle Hour is located at 4824 Vineland Ave.
For the more discriminating music palate the new, mainstreamed music is boring, banal and vapid and leaves
people wanting to move on to greener pastures and find new music that is creative and enjoyable. One of my buddies since we went to school together is such a person.
She has sent me several links to Korean artists such as Eddie Kim, Park Hyo Shin and Jung Joon Young. These are all very talented young people with a flair for very slick Pop music and reminds me a lot of how much influence Michael Jackson still has on performers.
The stand out talent that she sent me is Japanese performer Miyavi, AKA Takamasa Ishihara. His music rocks and is very energizing. Dubbed the "Japanese Samurai Guitarist" this young man plays with his fingers without using picks. His guitar work is amazing and it's touted that the guitar is what makes the difference in his work..."it's the key."
There are so many great tunes to tout that it's hard to say which one to listen to on Youtube or iTunes, but there are two that'll work; Horizon and The Others. My favorite video is Horizon.
Miyavi has appeared in two films: Oresama, which has a time travel theme and Unbroken. In an interview on the Ellen Show, Miyavi said that Unbroken's director Angelina Jolie found him on the internet. According to the Ellen Show his performance in Unbroken left movie goers raving about how good his performance is in the film.
His gigs in 2015 include a sold out show at the Troubadour and an 80% sold show at the El Rey Theatre, but there is nothing on the books about his coming to L.A. in 2016.
I would love to know who his inspiration is as a guitar player.
Miyavi is represnted by the WME Agency and Red Light Management.