Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:
Pandora, Merlin, and the CRB: The Copyright Royalty Board’s final decision about rates for webcasters has continued to send shockwaves through the online audio industry. We’ve had thorough coverage of the impact the new rates have had here on RAIN News, but there are plenty of facets in the story to explore. Billboard’s Glenn Peoples took a closer look at how Pandora’s deal with independent label network Merlin impacted the CRB ruling.
Listening beyond genre labels: Vice interviewed New York Times music critic Ben Ratcliffe about his new book. In it, he suggests doing away with traditional genre categorization in favor of descriptive traits, such as loudness, density, or moods. He was skeptical of practices that stem from music marketing needs, and he said genres are a large facet in how music is sold. Ratcliffe also criticized streaming services’ algorithmic recommendations for the same reason.
Video and the modern musician: A blog post by Cuepoint’s Cortney Harding explored the role of video for contemporary musicians. Although YouTube is the most obvious video channel, Harding explored alternate ways for bands to experiment with video in ways that connect with fans while generating revenue.