Jeff Price (Founder TuneCore, spinART Records and Audiam) and journalist Ted Gerstein (Author: Bomb Squad, Former Producer ABC News Nightline) explore the behind the scenes mechanisms of the music industry allowing artists, producers, record labels, songwriters and technology innovators to make money off music.
Learn why $30 billion dollars is generated off of music and whose pockets it ends up in.
The Full Brain Workout
Season 2/ Episode 7
Rachel Francine/ Co-Founder and CEO, SingFit
Andy Tubman/ Co-Founder and Chief of Therapeutics and Music, SingFit
If there is one that I have learned doing this podcast for the past two years, it’s that music contains value beyond the cost of a CD, an iTunes download or a Pandora stream.
This show proves that music has a value beyond money.
Rachel Francine and Andy Tubman are a brother and sister pair of entrepreneurs who have taken the best from each of their careers and combined them into a new company with a mission.
Andy Spent years working as a music therapist, working with patients with brain trauma or dementia utilizing difference musical processes to help retrain the brain and to attain clinical goals.
Rachel spent years working in the worlds of technology, media, and entertainment. This particular set of skilled gave her the perfect background to deal with the ins and outs of music publishing and copyright.
A few years back the two realized that both of those parts make the perfect whole. Andy, with a background in music therapy, and Rachel with a background in music publishing. They formed, SingFit, a company with the goal of bringing music therapy to the largest audience possible.
From the Singfit.com…
SingFit™ PRIME is a turnkey solution that allows even those with no musical experience to facilitate group activities, tailored specifically for their participants’ age and musical tastes as well as cognitive and physical health. An award-winning therapeutic music solution, SingFit™ PRIME is created specifically for older adults in senior living communities, adult day programs, and skilled-nursing facilities. The unique Lyric Coach means even those with dementia can joyfully take part in the turnkey SingFit PRIME sessions.
It’s an interview that meanders from music cues for forgetful opera divas, Gabby Giffords love of Tom Petty, and finally ends up on BlueBerry Hill.
A Black Rubber Juice Bar
Season 2/ Episode 8
Sometimes, you just want to sit back, have a cup of coffee and listen to war stories from a bygone era.
This is that kind of Podcast..
Gregory Roach has had an eclectic career.
He worked at "Grendel's Lair", the storied nightclub in Philadelphia, worked as the lighting guy for a comedy club in New York City, went on the road with Billy Joel and Pat Benatar, he even designed a "Rubber Juice Bar" for Studio 54.
It's a conversation that proves that sometimes it's the guys behind the scenes that have all the fun.
A Whole Series of Music Events
Judith Finell - Judith Finell, Music Service
Season 2/ Episode 8
You probably didn't watch, but on a Saturday night in April of 1983, "The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair," aired on NBC. Trust me on this; it was a classic of 1980s television - paunchy middle-aged heroes, central casting villains, backlot sets, stock footage explosions - The 12-year-old me could not get enough.
Our intrepid heroes even cross paths with a fellow spy - a suave Brit, wearing a dashing tux, driving an Aston Martin (complete with the license plate, "JB"). His car featured cool gadgets, he had a starlet on his arm, and there was that memorable James Bond theme.
"James Bond!!! They got James Bond - Cool" The 12 year old me was - again - thrilled out of his mind.
The thing is, "they" didn't, "get" James Bond. They got an actor (admittedly, the actor happened to be George Lazenby, reprising his role as James Bond, so there wasn't much question), they got an Aston Martin, they even got the James Bond theme (sort of). All the clues were there, I was supposed to think it was James Bond, but they never once uttered the words, "James" or "Bond."
The music was the giveaway, it sounded "Bondian," it was almost the famous Monty Norman theme from the 1960s, but it just wasn't. The ersatz, "NBC Saturday Night Movie" music came right up to the edge of being James Bond but was afraid to jump.
That's the subject of this podcast. A few weeks back we pushed our podcast with Judith Finell, Judith was the lead musicologist in the "Blurred Lines" case involving Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and the Marvin Gaye State Estate. This episode is part of 2 of that interview.
When we finished discussing the subtler points of copyright and plagiarism we ended delving into another area of Judith's expertise. "Sound-Alikes." Frankly, since that Saturday Night in 1983, I've always been fascinated by these, "almost" songs. TV throughout the 1980s and 1990s were full of them. Songs where it was clear the producers wanted a top 10 hit but also apparently didn't want to pay top ten prices.
So what does it take to come right up to the edge in music? How can you evoke the James Bond theme, without paying James Bond Prices?
We also discuss Stairway to Heaven, the sound the Transporter makes in Star Trek, the Mission Impossible theme, and a little 45 record McDonald's gave away in the 1990s.
Judith Has Perfect Pitch
Judith Finell, Musicologist, president of Judith Finell Music Services
Season 2, Episode 6
Ever started explaining something to a friend, and you can tell, usually, immediately, this person has no idea what you're talking about (you can see it in the eyes).
When that happens, I always make up a little story...
“It’s like trying to describe the idea of fusion to a clueless platypus.” Or...
“It’s like explaining the theory of general relativity to a stupid rabbit.” Or...
“It’s like discussing the concepts of thermodynamics with a slow turtle. ”
With that in mind, the best way to describe this podcast would be, "Trying to describe Music Theory to a Dimwitted Penguin." And, in this case, the "Dimwitted Penguin" happens to be me.
That's mainly because this episode covers the ideas of plagiarism, music, copyright, and the law. Three things I can't always wrap my brain around.
The background for this episode revolves around the "Blurred Lines" court case from a few years back. It started back in 2013 when the Marvin Gaye Estate sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their single, "Blurred Lines". The Gaye Family claimed that Thick and Williams didn't so much write a song as they just stole the music from Marvin Gay's 1977 song, "Give it up."
To me, it seemed like a pretty straightforward case - they did steal it, or they didn't? But nothing is ever easy. How do you prove, prove to a jury that something is a copy? Two songs may sound the same - but are they the same? How can you prove plagiarism and how can you prove it in a court of law. Can you even copyright a sound?
So, in the case of, "Blurred Lines," the Marvin Gaye Estate turned to Judith Finell.
Judith is a musicologist, and she happens to understand music, the law, plagiarism and copyright better than anyone...
From her website...
She has testified in disputes for Michael Jackson, Sony/CBS, Warner-Chappell, the estates of Igor Stravinsky and Bob Marley and before the Copyright Royalty Board in Washington on behalf of the National Music Publishers Assn. in a dispute with the RIAA.
Ms. Finell’s firm regularly advises entertainment company clients on licensing and risk avoidance in copyright matters, including HBO, Sony Pictures, Disney, Grey Advertising, Lionsgate, LucasFilms, CBS, and others.
It's an insightful conversation.
We discuss the definition of, "musicologist," how Judith, "sees" music in her head, How copyright law forced her to play the piano in court, and how she was able to convince a jury that two songs are indeed the same.
Plus, Judith tells us what exactly is, "Perfect Pitch."
"Blurred Lines" was it Plagiarism?
Paul Resnikoff - Founder, Digital Music News
Season 2/ Episode 5
The second season finale of the original Star Trek back in 1969 was an odd episode. You will see where I am going with this in a moment.....
Yes, Kirk and Spock are in the top of the show, Kirk and Spock are at the close of the show, but the meat of the show, the entire episode, is taken up with the story of some guy named - "Gary Seven." Gary Seven is a human who, as it turns out, was kidnapped by aliens and sent back to earth to protect us from... whatever, that's not the point...
The point is (and was), Gene Roddenberry was using one show - Star Trek, to promote another show, in this case, a show about some guy named - Gary Seven. (In the end the show, something of a Doctor Who Ripoff, never got picked up and the whole affair is now nothing more than a fantastic bit of a Star Trek Trivia... but, again, that's not the point.)
So with all that in mind you will notice that Jeff and I are in the top of today's show, we are in the close of the close of today's show, but the meat of the episode, most of this show is taken up by a guy named Paul Resnikoff.
Paul Resnikoff is no Gary Seven. Paul created and runs - Digital Music News (www.digitalmusicnews.com), the most comprehensive and up to date site on the current state of Digital Music.
"Digital Music News is the information authority for music industry and technology executives."
We’re a highly influential source of news and industry analysis for millions of readers worldwide. Our audience is comprised of highly-targeted decision-makers from every segment of the business, including recordings, publishing, streaming, live concerts, talent development, venture capital, and broader tech.
Digital Music News
Paul also happens to run a podcast of the same name, and if you like 21Khz, you'll love the Digital Music News podcast.
This particular episode we're sharing focuses on the lawsuit surrounding, "Blurred Lines." That was the 2013 Robin Thicke/ Pharrell Williams song that, because of accusations of copyright infringement by the Marvin Gaye Estate, ended up in some five years of litigation. The central issue in that case, Who wrote the song? Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams or Marvin Gaye?
It's one of those stories that hits the sweet spot for music, and business and copyright.
Come back in a few weeks; we'll have our take on the "Blurred Lines" case, we'll have an interview with Judith Finell. Judith was the world-renowned musicologist with the unenviable assignment of having to convince a jury that, the music they were hearing, didn't just sound like something Marvin Gaye might have written. It was a piece of music indeed written by Marvin Gaye.
Really Cool Uncorrelated assets
What a piece of the Merrie Melodies? How about Bette Midler? Etta James? Santana?
Well, they have all been for sale.
One of the goals of this podcast has been to figure out all the ways music can generate money. We know about album sales, we've talked endlessly about streaming rights, we've discussed those "big fat juicy contracts" (that don't exist anymore).
But what about music futures? Ever wanted to be modern versions of Randolph and Mortimer Duke? (Go ahead look it up, I'll wait). What if you could buy the rights to a piece of music that already exists, and is already generating an income? Well, Royalty Exchange, a company based out of Denver, Colorado allows you to do just that.
But buying a song is different than buying Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice futures.
Music brings along its own set of regulations and mechanisms for reporting and tracking sales and distribution. The ASCAP's and BMI's of the world see to it that music is monitored and reported with the idea of eventually paying the owner any particular piece of music. So in the case of a song, past performance may be a predictor of future earnings (with, of course, all the usual caveats).
It's a conversation that fascinated me from the beginning.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Entertaining and educational! I'm looking forward to more episodes. Please make one about the Music Modernization Act / MLC when you have a chance. I’d love to hear Jeff’s perspective on what’s happening. Keep up the great work!
Really enjoyable show. The interviews are a great mix of entertaining and educational. Highly recommend it!
Cool angle on making money as a musician
Shows how musicians can make bank doing things other than playing gigs. Fun, entertaining and informative — learned stuff i never knew as an industry outsider. Probably will learn new stuff from this even if u r an industry insider :)