No new concerts to report today, so let’s look at some industry news.
Ever wondered why Christmas albums are released in October? It’s all about the shelf space. Christmas albums continue to sell well physically, so artists want their albums in the prime retail locations. This article from Billboard goes on to note that streaming is increasingly becoming important as people tell their in-home electronic eves-droppers (e.g. Alexa) to spin them some Christmas music. Albums were dropped by John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Pentatonix last Friday.
HDD continues its criticism of The Grammy process by noting that the Grammy’s own graphic shows that almost all categories are now subject to “Nomination Review Committees”. These committees attempt to correct wrong-headed voting and increase diversity amongst the nominees (e.g. to make sure that no genre dominates the general categories, music from legacy artists doesn’t squeeze out newer artists and other various goals). Because these committees face no oversight and their makeup is shrouded in secrecy, they can sometimes make even more bizarre choices than the general voting academy.
There is a lot of buzz about the Grammys right now because the deadline for the first round of general voting ended last night. This older article from Variety runs down the schedule for the slowest voting process of any of the major awards. Eligibility runs from October 1st to September 30th. General voting was October 17-31 and now they will take until December 5th to count those votes (voting is on-line!!!!) and futz with the results (how long can it take to listen to 20 songs?) before announcing the nominations. Second round voting runs from Dec 13th to Jan 9th and the winners are announced Feb 10th (what do they do? Print out all the on-line ballots and then pay one guy to manually count the votes?).
Spotify hits 87M paid subscribers up 40% from last year. Still, they are operating at a loss.