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by NoHo - North Hollywood
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 02:28

There was a time that getting airplay meant that you were "making it"

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the dirty side of internet marketing

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., 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airplay meant that you were "making it", but now it means the talent that wrote the song is getting ripped off due to outdated regulations which is why music publishers and song writers are fighting in Washington DC to pass the Songwriters Equity Act and revise the Consent Decree.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 and 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 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.


idle cafe

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'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.

Read 7856 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 April 2016 05:57
Caroline McElroy

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie's Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and a record by Major Lance titled "Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um". From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked...on Rock N' Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N' Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I've written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers.

For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. 


Leave a comment


  • Comment Link Caroline McElroy Monday, 16 May 2016 15:24 posted by Caroline McElroy

    I've been getting a lot of e-mails regarding my comment about sensing a Michael Jackson influence on Korean Pop music. I said influence and not imitation. It's a given that artist's will find inspiration from another artist's work and will seek to take it to another level and make it their own. That is a compliment to Korean Pop music. I've seen photos recently of Miyavi sporting a Jackson Fedora and using similar poses as Jackson once did. As much as it pains me to say this, even Kanye West will have an influence on future artist's works.

  • Comment Link Caroline McElroy Monday, 16 May 2016 10:07 posted by Caroline McElroy


  • Comment Link Julia Beaurang Friday, 13 May 2016 08:47 posted by Julia Beaurang

    what the hell are the managers,agents and lawyers waiting for??!!!!!

  • Comment Link Julia Beaurang Monday, 18 April 2016 08:27 posted by Julia Beaurang

    @Simone are you the same Simone that used to live in Brentwood with that gray dog?

  • Comment Link Simone jones Monday, 18 April 2016 06:09 posted by Simone jones

    @Leon yes exactly we would have had our lawyers all over this.

  • Comment Link Duke Sunday, 17 April 2016 15:21 posted by Duke

    At least in the uk we have some regulation against astro turfing

  • Comment Link Simone jones Sunday, 17 April 2016 14:51 posted by Simone jones

    I cannot believe that they are getting away with this!

  • Comment Link Simone jones Sunday, 17 April 2016 14:13 posted by Simone jones

    When I was an agent at CAA we would have raised hell over this these people are taking advantage of our talent

  • Comment Link Duke Sunday, 17 April 2016 13:38 posted by Duke

    I cannot believe that labels are complicit in this.

  • Comment Link Amy Reynolds Friday, 15 April 2016 19:10 posted by Amy Reynolds

    As with the frontier analogy, I think growing pains, losses and gains are all part of the process. The wild west was not won without loss and many hardships - why would the cyber world be any different?

    While the hardships placed on musicians and those involved in internet-based venues is not fun nor fair, it also raises the bar for those affected to make changes, step up their game and gain knowledge of both business practices and regulation. Too much regulation might stymie growth and new horizons.

    Basic rules concerning property rights, limits and boundaries, how theft of cyber space and material is defined, plus retribution is all that is needed, in my opinion. Over-regulation has done harm in other areas of business and I see no difference in cyber business.


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