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Without out a huge preamble or some clever introduction about the sucky year that was 2020 and the hopefully less sucky year that 2021 could be, here are some fairly general and pretty specific thoughts about the music industry and some trends to watch for as we start the new year:

  1. The popularity of podcasts will continue to cannibalize music streams worldwide. What??? You say… Yes, Billboard reported that music streams went-up marginally while the number of new paying subscribers grew. The culprit? Podcasts and video games. Even in lockdown, we have seen that there are a finite number of…

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The COVID pandemic has forever changed the landscape for entertainment and how it is disseminated.

When I speak to my friends and colleagues who work in music, film, TV, dance, theatre, photography, or creating live concerts and events, they all seem to be waiting for things to “go back to normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic finally recedes. I think the assumption that the virus will be cured and dispatched from our planet is an enormous “blue sky” hope that will sadly not happen (in our lifetimes). I contracted COVID myself in April, and with worldwide numbers of new cases surging, I think we will continue to socially distance, work and be educated from home, and…


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Making predictions is dangerous and arrogant. Making predictions almost ensures that the future you see will never actually happen, right? I know. Maybe I have had one too many nights in “self-isolation” during this year’s pandemic staring at a huge screen in my living room…

But, for those of you who are interested in the future of media here in America and you’re not afraid of outrageous statements — even after three and half years of President Donald Trump — here comes one more outrageous statement.

Prediction: The three “traditional” US television networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) will merge their enormous…


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You will decide if Trump is reelected…

Donald J. Trump will be reelected in 2020. My hands shake as I tap out these words on my laptop. However, it is inevitable. You disagree? OK. Good. But I have my reasons and I will lay them out for you…

Before we begin, a disclaimer: I am not a political operative, journalist or someone who has a livelihood effected by me giving my views. I am a Democrat. I am an engaged citizen. I am a Catholic by upbringing and an agnostic by life. I love my country. I grew-up in a very political home where my Republican father…


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Do you Shazam? If so, you’re part of the more than one billion installed users of the audio and image app. Shazam was founded in 1999 by Chris Barton, Philip Inghelbrecht, Avery Wang, and Dhiraj Mukherjee. It was sold to Apple in 2018 for $400 million. In 2019, Apple launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. …


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This week, Netflix (NFLX) reported that it lost 100,000 subscribers (in the United States) instead of gaining the 300,000 in the second quarter that Wall Street anticipated. The reaction to the news was swift and brutal as the stock took a 10% nosedive. In the days since the announcement, Netflix has been sending out “positive” advisories about their commitment to creating “value” for subscribers and stockholders. Some analysts on Wall Street do not see those lost subscribers coming back anytime soon. …


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They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So, I guess that means that having a little more knowledge is more dangerous? I have been called an “expert” on music and digital media rights by people I consider experts. It has been said (by attorneys) that I know more about copyrights than many of my friends who are lawyers who get paid hundreds of dollars an hour to consul their clients. I have helped dozens of my consulting clients, friends and my college students get recording and publishing deals. …


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When I am not making my own recordings & videos or scoring television or films or playing live — I am an artist development consultant. See? :-)

www.artistexpansion.com

Since I have consulted for years, I have noticed there’s some misconceptions on what “AD” is and what it is not. I think there’s been a story engrained into the psyches of you lost and downtrodden artists that you will have to labor like Cinderella until you meet your very own “fairy godmother” (read: music publisher, label, manager, etc.) who will make all your rock n’ roll dreams come true. …


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Now that the hoopla and back slapping are finally over from inside the Oval Office and President Trump’s unusually big signature has been scrolled on the bill, the long term effects of H.R.5447 — The Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) are anything but clear. In the abstract, the intention of this legislation are to “update music licensing laws to improve the future for music creators”. To the contrary of my colleagues in music publishing, I do not believe that this bill will create “fairness” over the LONG term for music makers or the organizations that own and administrate this music. I…


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Yes, all of these women have been victims of sexual harassment too — at the least.

Before we start, just in case you didn’t get the title — I am speaking primarily to men in this missive…

So, let’s do a little math: every single woman I’ve asked (including my 20-year old daughter and my wife) if they have been shamed, harassed, assaulted or raped has said “yes”. That’s 100% of more than 100+ women asked. Don’t believe me? Ask women yourself. You might be shocked that every single one has been sexually mishandled— they might tell you if they feel comfortable enough to tell you the truth. Then ask: “why haven’t you said anything, reported…

Michael Whalen

Emmy® Award-winning composer, record company executive, copyright expert, dad, dog owner and CrossFit newbie

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