Simply Vote!

It is roughly a month away from election day in the United States. This election for many means so much for so many reasons for the Independent voter, and  members of the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s more than important, it’s a mandate from the winning side.

If you like the direction that the country is going.. VOTE !

If you don’t like the direction that the country is going.. VOTE !

If you think your vote does not matter.. THINK AGAIN !

 

If you don’t vote and then you complain about the outcome, it’s on you !

 

President Donald J. Trump has tested Positive for Covid-19

Wow! This is truly ironic. President Donald J. Trump, has downplayed, mocked and trivialized this virus from the beginning  and now has come down with it. His failure to wear masks and to dissuade others to do so as suggested by the Center for Disease Control, (CDC) and others has essentially polarized the issue likening this to the right of free speech.

The issue of wearing or not wearing masks to control the spreading of the virus was further blurred by the President by not adhering to the science of how the spread of the virus occurs.

In practice he went on to hold a few political rallies during the Summer in markets where he was beloved by his base. He was smart enough to have those who attended his rallies to sign waivers to hold him harmless as mask wearing was discouraged.

One of the attendees  of his rallies was the late Herman Cain, former Presidential candidate, who came down with the virus and subsequently passed away.

Reports began to surface about a few of his staffers had come down with the virus in  the White House awhile back.  He still downplayed and discouraged mask wearing in the White House. He wore no masks  at any public events at the White House and encouraged his staffers to follow suit.

It’s been widely suspected that Hope Hicks, his Communications officer in which he maintains a close working relationship has tested positive for the virus. It’s strongly believed  it’s how he and the First Lady, Melania contracted the virus as they were not wearing masks.

The President and the First Lady are now quarantined  for the next two weeks and maybe longer depending how their recovery proceeds.

Now it’s hit you Mr. President and the First Lady, what do you say to that?

Happy International Podcast Day!

 

It’s hard to believe that Podcasting is 16 years old. It’s still a teenager! Although it has grown in fits and spurts, Podcasting is still a viable option to share your point of view with the world. Today is  9/30/2020 is International Podcast Day and it’s a great way to celebrate the medium.

It doesn’t matter if you are a new, veteran, professional, or hobbyist, Podcaster  it’s never too late to begin listening to one, or better yet starting one!

Although many believe  that being on You tube is a podcast that’s only partly true. If you have an RSS  feed, that’s what makes it a podcast. If that audio from the you tube video appears on your website or on a pod catcher i.e. your smartphone then it’s a podcast. If not it’s a you tube video. It’s a subtle, but  discernable difference.

But regardless celebrate the medium tomorrow by listening, telling a friend about it, or better yet create one yourself. The world could be waiting to hear your voice next.

Are The “Big Boys” About To “Take Over” Podcasting?

 

For years since we started Podcasting, we’ve heard many Podcasters say,”If we could get more recognition, Podcasting would be bigger and we all would benefit from it”.

The Groovisphere has been skeptical of that. As a matter of fact, our belief has been, “be careful of what you wish for”.

I remember hearing bout Podcasting as an alternative to Radio and Podcasting was a medium to, “stick it to the man”.

Their position is/was that Podcasters use this medium to develop and produce their own content, and not needing Radio.

Point well taken. The good thing is anyone can start a Podcast. The bad thing is anyone can start a Podcast.

As Steve Jobs of Apple added Podcasting to Apple first on iTunes, and now Apple Podcasts, referred to it as the, “Amateur Hour”. And he was right. When I first Podcasts, they were abysmal. Bad audio quality, three to four folks talking into Blue “Snowball” condenser microphone 3-6 feet away,and meandering thru topics that were only interesting to them.

I’ll say this from my Radio bias. It was terrible! It was Radio guys like Leo Laporte, a  Radio and New Media guy who upped the production values. Along with Adam “The Podfather” Curry, a former Radio and MTV VJ and really invented Podcasting, along with Programmer Dave Weiner, laid down the source code to what is Podcasting today.

That is not to say there aren’t other good Podcasts since it’s beginnings. It’s improved.

There was once a time when all of the original Podcasters actually knew each other! The debate was once, “Should Podcasting be  a hobby or a business”? There was passion on both sides over the issue which was never resolved. Ah, those were the days.

There were many points of inflexion in the growth of the medium. Podcasting began from then Audioblogging in 2004. In the Summer of 2005 Apple adds what’s known now as Podcasting to their iTunes platform. Companies like Libsyn, and later Blubrry began hosting services for MP3 files and RSS feeds for Podcasters in 2004, and 2005 respectively.

Podcasting would continue it’s growing pains in fits and spurts where in 2014 the Podcast Serial, an investigative journalist show which many believe put Podcasting on the map due to it’s impressive download numbers. That’s a debatable point still today.

The number of Podcasts have exploded pushing the number of shows being created   are over  a million or possibly more at the time of the publishing of this blog post.

What was once considered a joke by the mainstream media was being recognized. TV shows about the subject were highlighted including a show by Comedian and Podcaster, Marc Maron’s  show called “Maron” on IFC. The show was about Podcaster, Marc Maron.

Startup Podcast Networks formed from Gimlet, Wondery, and National Public Radio promoted their shows via Podcasting. Advertisers are spending ad dollars on Podcasts and are getting results too.

Then it happened: Other media companies entered the space. Spotify, a music streaming service invited podcasters to add their shows on their platform. iHeart Radio, formerly Clear Channel, a Radio group invited Podcasters to do the same.

Sounds like a good deal right? Well not exactly.

Continue reading

Now the Summer Is Over What’s Next?

Wow 2020 is almost over. It’s been an incredible year, but not all for good reasons. The Coved-19 is still here. People are still dying from it. Major sporting events are returning, but in a different form and maybe the hew “normal” is finally setting in.

Politically, Black Lives still do matter. The continuing assault on people of color has not has not diminished. Whether you think it’s fair or not it still is.

The Presidency is up for grabs on November 3rd so please vote your choice. If you don’t  please don’t complain over the outcome.

For those who think New Media is a flash in the pan, think again. Blogging, Podcasts, and You tube are still relevant if not more so and many entities small and larger are taking notice

Spotify is acquiring more exclusive content for their platform.

This is causing concern to consternation among many in the space. Podcaster Joe Budden who has a deal with Spotify openly voiced his displeasure with the company as his two year agreement may be ending with the company by the end of September.

He is among the many people of color who are citing  inequality of minority creators and their partners, claiming the control and ownership of content they create and not being appropriately compensated .

He’s been criticized  by others in the space,  some who don’t know the specifics of the agreement, but he’s explained himself in a long episode on his show and his points have validity. However, many other content creators do see his point and have concerns about companies trying to re-define what Podcasting is.

If you are in the content creation space and are approached by a big or growing company looking to form a relationship, know what your value is, don’t compromise, and don’t sell out. Spell out everything in the agreement, and keep your intellectual property rights, i.e. show name, rss feed, and all other aspects of your creation.

Keep   moving forward and always be true to yourself. We’ll all get through this together.

 

Spotify: The Next Digital Media Giant?

Spotify, the Swedish music streaming company has shaken up the Digital/Internet world in it’s acquisition of the Podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience in a deal reported to be  over 100 million dollars.

Spotify over the years has been very strategic in acquiring other properties such as  content creators such as Gimlet media, Parcast, and Bill Simmons’s The Ringer Blog and home of his Podcast, the BS Report.

They also acquired a Podcast creation platform, Anchor.

The strategy seems to be simple and apparent. Create synergies with these platforms to add profitability for the company.

Spotify makes money by streaming music to it’s customers either by subscription or ads on its site for those who listen to the site for free.

Spotify does pay music licensees to the record companies for the rights to stream the music.

Contrary to many who have limited knowledge on this subject, this is not new at all.

In the old days before music downloads, file sharing, and streaming, record companies would sign a high prestige artist back in the day, like Paul McCartney, David Bowie, or the Rolling Stones for huge sums of money.

The above mentioned  Artists/Group owned their master recordings and would license them to the new record company for a defined period of time, usually 5 to 10 years. After the agreement ended, the masters would return to the artist after both made profit.

This also happened with Howard Stern and his move from terrestrial radio to Sirius/XM Satellite radio, a subscription radio service. Howard grew tired of the hassles of terrestrial radio, it’s politics and dealing with the FCC. He had proven his worth by providing ratings to his radio stations where he worked, converting ratings into add revenue.

The result of the signing of Stern to Satellite Radio? Subscriptions to the service increased, making more money for the company and Stern.

The acquisition of these properties now exclusive to Spotify are a dream target for a successful ad campaign, increasing revenue.

The Joe Rogan deal is a exclusive license deal with Spotify, where his audio and video content are exclusive for a set period and the rights revert back to Rogan. And Rogan still has control over his content.

Rogan, like the other content creators mentioned, has a huge audience that consumes his content through audio and video. His shows were distributed through the major Podcast listening platforms, his website, and the video sharing site, YouTube.

Spotify is betting that that his audience will follow him to the platform and continue to be profitable for both parties.

With Spotify making the investment, they are looking for a medium to long term return through the lenghth the agreement.

We’ll see as many are watching and waiting over the outcome of this endeavor and how it affects the medium of Podcasting and Video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

 

RIP Little Richard: 1932-2020

The world of music just lost another Icon in Little Richard. Little Richard was one of the pillars of Rock n’ Roll. Unlike the many packaged and manufactured Teen idols of the day, Richard was real and authentic.

Uncompromising in his art and who he was, Little Richard blazed a trail that would influence other Rock/Pop signers like, Paul McCartney, who openly admits to Richard being an influence, David Bowie, Elton John, Boy George, and Glam rock. He also influenced Prince, Michael Jackson and Sylvester. Jimi Hendrix, Billy Preston and James Brown played in his various bands over the years among others.

Little Richard artfully blended Blues, Gospel, and stretched the vocabulary if not adding to the lexicon but creating of Rock n’ Roll.

Born Richard Penniman in the early 1930’s he was the 3rd born to a family of 12 children.

His family was committed in serving to Church with several family members performing in several Gospel ensembles.

Richard was fascinated and later inspired to perform after performing on stage with Gospel singer and Guitarist, Sister Rosetta Thorpe and the preaching of Brother Joe May, The Singing Evangelist”.

After the on-stage performance with Thorpe, she paid him. It was the most money he’d made.

He originally started playing the Saxophone, but later switched to Piano.

By the time he was seventeen, Richard was in conflict with his Father over his personality and behavior. Richard was Gay and his Father could not deal with his effeminacy. He was given an ultimatum and he wouldn’t comply. Continue reading

The World after the Corona virus has passed…

Wow, we are truly in challenging times. The Coronavirus or Covid-19 is now a pandemic and has affected the world in profound ways. It has affected Countries, Economics, and Society at large in ways un-imaginable.

The virus is credited from coming out of a small province in China and spread rapidly. The Chinese government literally locked down the province, quarantining it’s citizens, but the virus had spread to Italy, the US and other Countries to devastating effect. President Donald Trump, who downplayed the viruses potential, literally trivialized it until the numbers in the US began to rise.

The people who are infected with the virus, have lead to many deaths, and have sent states into ordering lock down or stay-at-home orders hoping to lower the possibilities of further infections.

People have been laid off their jobs causing unemployment to spike, and other repercussions are still to come. The world’s financial markets have crashed too as uncertainty prevails. Continue reading

Checkin’ Out Flicks Top 5 Box Office…#20

Here are the top 5 grossing Films in the US Theaters from Monday to Thursday  3/13/2020 to 3/19/2020

 

1. Onward                             Walt Disney Studios

2. Bloodshot                         Sony Pictures Releasing

3. I Still Believe                     Lionsgate

4.  The Invisible Man            Universal Pictures

5. The Hunt                           Universal Pictures

 

 

 

 

Source Box office Mojo.

As this feature evolves, look for more details along with other nuggets, tidbits  and other factoids about the top 5 movies in the US Theatres