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Locked-in on Our Youth: An Inquiry into American Military Recruiting Media

May 15, 2015 Comments off

Locked-in on Our Youth: An Inquiry into American Military Recruiting Media (PDF)
Source: American International Journal of Social Science

As American military branches continue to encounter challenges associated with filling the ranks, recruitment efforts and corresponding media messages may be inadvertently targeting our nation’s youth. Using existing child-development research, along with relevant theoretical perspectives, this article will explore the strategies used by the military for recruitment and the effects those tactics and media have on a juvenile audi ence.

CRS — Money for Something: Music Licensing in the 21st Century (May 7, 2015)

May 14, 2015 Comments off

Money for Something: Music Licensing in the 21st Century (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Taylor Swift made headlines around the world when she, in conjunction with other holders of rights to her music, pulled her entire catalog of music from the digital steaming service Spotify in November 2014. As a songwriter, a composer, and a singer, Ms. Swift is entitled to get paid for (1) the reproductions and performances of the notes and lyrics she creates (the musical works), as well as (2) the reproductions and performances of the sound of her voice combined with the instruments (the sound recordings). The amount Ms. Swift gets paid for her musical works and sound recordings depends on market forces and on contracts among a variety of private-sector entities. These forces and contracts are greatly affected by federal copyright law.

The laws that determine who pays whom in the digital world were written, by and large, at a time when music was distributed mainly via radio broadcasts or physical media, such as sheet music and phonograph records, and when each of these forms of distribution represented a distinct channel with unique characteristics. With the emergence of the Internet, Congress updated some copyright laws in the 1990s. It applied one set of laws to digital services it viewed as akin to radio broadcasts, and another set to digital services it viewed as akin to physical media. Since that time, however, consumers have increasingly been consuming music via digital services that incorporate attributes of both radio and physical media. Under existing law, the companies that compete in delivering music to listeners face very different cost structures, depending on the royalty provisions applicable to their unique business models. The royalties received by songwriters, performers, music publishers, and record companies for one play or sale of a particular song may vary greatly, depending upon the particular business model of the company delivering the music.

The Wearable Future

May 12, 2015 Comments off

The Wearable Future (PDF)
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

There is indeed a wearable future ahead, one that can dramatically alter the landscape of society and business as we know it—and it’s right around the corner. For months, we surveyed consumers and spoke with experts to find out how to navigate the road to the future—exploring the potential benefits as well as the potential drawbacks, understanding why they matter, and how they will deeply shape us as individuals and as a society. Here is a look at some of the strengths and opportunities for wearable tech—and the weaknesses and challenges that enterprising businesses must successfully navigate.

News and Notes on 2014 RIAA Music Industry Shipment and Revenue Statistics

May 6, 2015 Comments off

News and Notes on 2014 RIAA Music Industry Shipment and Revenue Statistics (PDF)
Source: Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

The U.S. recorded music industry continues to experience important changes in its revenue composition. Full year 2014 U.S. recorded music industry wholesale revenues were up 2.0% to $4.86 billion, the fourth year in a row of growth at wholesale value. Stronger overall sales in the second half of 2014 largely erased the revenue declines that were seen at midyear. Revenues at estimated retail value were down slightly (-0.5%) to $6.97 billion, marking the fifth straight year of relatively flat retail revenues.

Broadly, industry revenue composition was more balanced between physical, digital download, and streaming sources in 2014 than ever before. Permanent downloads remained the largest component at 37% of the total market by value (down from 40% in 2013). Streaming revenues grew from 21% in 2013 to 27% in 2014. And physical shipment revenues shrank only from 35% to 32%.

Great Expectations: Students and Video in Higher Education

May 4, 2015 Comments off

Great Expectations: Students and Video in Higher Education
Source: SAGE

There is little doubt that students are accustomed to multiple methods for consuming information, ranging from journal articles, books, and textbooks to lectures, newspapers, blog posts, and videos. They participate in courses that take place live in a classroom on a college campus; they join hybrid classrooms; and they learn via courses that occur asynchronously, with instructors whom they will never meet in person. Their classroom experiences are varied. Students bring their own life experiences with them into the classroom, and they are an opinionated group, regardless of their age or geographic location. Combining previous research on video in higher education, surveys of 1,673 students, and a collection of in-depth interviews, this white paper examines student expectations for use of video within the classroom, how and why students use educational video outside the classroom, how likely students are to watch videos produced by libraries, and what tips students have for libraries about how to reach them.

Key findings from this research are as follows:
• Students are accustomed to watching videos for their classes and coursework in colleges and universities; 68% of students report that they watch videos in their classes.
• In addition to watching videos because they are assigned or shown during class, 79% of students voluntarily watch videos to enhance their understanding of a topic, to better understand material introduced in class, to learn the steps necessary to do something successfully, to understand the practical application of a theoretical concept, and to find a video that they can use during their own presentations.
• Students are largely unaware of resources that their libraries are providing access to and instead find videos either because their instructors pointed them out or they searched YouTube and Google. Only 32% of students report searching for videos in the library or on the library’s website.

State of the News Media 2015

May 1, 2015 Comments off

State of the News Media 2015
Source: Pew Research Center

Call it a mobile majority. At the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of comScore data.

At the same time, though, desktop visitors to these sites tend to spend more time per visit than do mobile visitors. For half of these top 50 news sites – which include legacy print, cable, network, international and public broadcasting outlets as well as digital-only entities – visitors from desktops stay longer than those coming through mobile. The reverse is true for only 10 of the sites, while for 15 sites the time spent is roughly equal.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry publishes Digital Music Report 2015

April 27, 2015 Comments off

IFPI publishes Digital Music Report 2015
Source: International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

Revenues from digital music services match those from physical format sales for the first time, according to IFPI’s Digital Music Report, published today.

Digital revenues rose 6.9 per cent to US$6.9 billion, representing 46 per cent of all global music sales and underlining the deep transformation of the global music industry over recent years. The industry’s overall global revenues in 2014 were largely unchanged, falling just 0.4 per cent to US$14.97 billion (US$15.03 billion).

The new report shows an industry in continuing transition, with consumers embracing the music access models of streaming and subscription. Another steep increase in subscription revenues (+39.0%) offset declining download sales (-8.0%) to drive overall digital revenues, while the number of paying users of subscription services rose 46.4 per cent to an estimated 41 million.

Subscription services are now at the heart of the music industry’s portfolio of businesses, representing 23 per cent of the digital market and generating US$1.6 billion in trade revenues.

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