Greetings, my fellow lurkers, if you are lurking still. Knowing that I haven’t updated anywhere and I’m hardly active on social media, I just wanted to say that I haven’t died and haven’t been swallowed by the Earth. I hope 2020 didn’t wreck you, and that 2021 finds you in a more… calm path.
So it is with great sadness, but hardly any surprise, that I report that Xiami will be no more… on February 5th this year, to mark my 35ths birthday, nonetheless. End of an era for my music streaming, end of the era… of my youth, I suppose. With my only consolation prize that a lot of Chinese music is already available on not only iTunes and Spotify, but also on YouTube. I just need to re-find them and subscribe to whatever their channels are. It will be, of course, a lot more difficult to discover brand new Chinese music.
I’m probably two weeks ahead, compared to my Ballot posting last year, which means my Independent Spirit Awards ballot is still halfway done, but my Academy voting ballot is pretty complete.
I might end up watching The Two Popes, but all I’m really waiting for to open in theaters is Bombshell (which opens this Thursday), Little Women and 1917. Harriet is never going to open down here, but I really got a soft spot for this type of movies.
I’m ready to vote! I received the most digital screeners this year so far, so it’s been easier (and it’s made it lazy-proof) to sit through dozens of screeners. Plus, Netflix has a lot of the nominated movies readily available too. This year is possibly my best award season ballot in my history of keeping up with ballots. lol
There was a time, a long time ago, when I really took to streaming music. My music buying habits, but specially my music download habits, changed to basically streaming to the point when licensing and catalogs began changing, and I found my music collection shrinking. In the end, I started downloading once again.
I have come to the realization that I buy less and less physical albums, or it takes me longer to buy them. :(
As I found myself deeper and deeper into Kpop fandom once again, so deep into Mamamoo fandom that I begun to get irked by fans who publicly post about their illegal downloads AND complain about numbers of comebacks/group activities. I ended up writing this nonchalant post about music earnings, as well as other Mamamoo activities fans can support besides comebacks . Yes, I’ve become that type of fan. The old one. LOL
As a grown-up who loves the arts, I always try to remind people that if they love and support their artists that they should buy instead of stream because streaming doesn’t pay. I was literally shook when Hyori mentioned that she had learned that PSY’s Gangnam Style only made $38k ; even though I knew some of the horror stories like the one of musician Lee Lang (이랑) who, during her acceptance speech for winning Best Folk Song at the Korean Music Awards, stated that she had only made $370 USD in total earnings on the month of January, so she decided to auction her award starting from the base price of her rent .
You can support Lee Lang by buying her album, Playing God (신의 놀이), on Bandcamp :)
And to my surprise, one of my favorite groups this year~~~ the lovely girls from Bolbbalgan4, who are considered digital monsters with their songs almost always charting within the Top10 of Melon, South Korea’s most used music site, had made only $61k USD by August this year . Red Diary Page.1 didn’t drop until a month later, and all 5 songs in the album charted within the Top15. But that’s still besides the point. The point being that your faves don’t make money because you stream music on YouTube or Apple Music or Spotify.
So stop demanding expensive music videos that can cost from $100k-$500k for an average medium size budget, or go up to $1M for the splashy ones that we don’t often see nowadays. At the height of the music video era in the 90s, Michael Jackson and Madonna’s most expensive videos hovered the $5M budget without adjustments for inflation . Stop demanding multiple comebacks a year with infinite number of physical prints (these cost production budgets AND storage budget for large stocks) that you will be waiting for price drops and re-sellers.
So now, let’s do some math~
Let’s say a physical album, a regular jewel case priced at -let’s say- $10 USD. According to prices in 2017— Apple takes a 30% cut , Bandcamp takes a 15% cut for digital sales and a 10% for merch , whereas CD baby takes a 9% cut off digital sales and $4 USD off physical sales . That means that by selling a $14USD album, the independent artist makes $10USD. In the parallel universe in which your fave is an independent, they keep $7 of those $10 in iTunes, but if there’s a label, the artist (meaning singer) probably gets $1 of those $10. If they’re their own lyricist, musician, producer or sound engineer, fees are different.
Streaming is a whole different beast— according to this post on Digital Music News from 2016, to make a single dollar $1 in Tidal, Google Play, Apple Music and Deezer; you gotta play the song +180 times. 196, to be exact, for Apple Music and Deezer. Make that 279 times on Spotify, 483 times on Vevo, 766 times on Soundcloud, and… at the end of the list, YouTube, where you gotta play songs 776 times to make that one dollar. That means a song/music video that has 100 million views on its YouTube official channel, has made roughly $125k USD, which would be made by selling 12.5k physical albums on CD Baby.
So remember, the next time you complain about X official store prices or limited stocks, it’s because all adds up to the price. If you found a cheap album, it’s because someone along the way lost money.
Yes, I’m low-key talking about Bizent LOL I’ve compared prices with YesAsia, and since I don’t get YesAsia free shipping, that’s paying double shipping because the YA price includes the Bizent $20 shipping fee. I’d rather that money go directly to Mamamoo. xD
When I saw that there was a bluray release of The Murder Case of Hana & Alice with Spanish subtitles by Media3 Estudio, and it comes with a freaking disc for Hana & Alice too. I suffered so much when I realized, just a minute later, that the bluray release is Region B for Europe xD
And it looks so pretty too TnT
I had been looking around for an actual region-free bluray player, because I have a bunch of R1-DVD and R4-DVD discs that I’m too lazy to re-watch on my region-free DVD player, which used to be the norm players sold down here. I really don’t look forward to having to import electronics, because I can only imagine the headache it’ll be considering the headaches I get whenever I order my preferred shampoo. LOL
I’m not a social media fan, though I do spend a lot of time posting links on the YAM Magazine Twitter account. Less active on Facebook, though I regularly use my own profile. No Instagram or any other site. I’m mostly active on movie websites— still active on IMDb, because they make searching for stuff easier [year, country, language, etc. filters], still active on MUBI (and helping with profiles and database submissions), and Letterboxd coz they help keeping an orderly diary of movie-watching.
No longer have music sites, and Living Social FB apps have long gone.
I’ve always been reluctant in creating new profiles, new accounts, new emails and different passwords. However, my level of obsession with Mamamoo has reached such point that I finally logged in V Live with my real-life identity, and though I’ve only left like 3 or 4 comments (so far), I’m a Level 5. Each artist you follow starts with a Level 1, adding points by watching videos, leaving comments and who knows what else, but I digress~~~ I wanted to comment on V Live as a platform. I’m amazed by it. I don’t exactly know why. I’ve seen countless of web stream concerts , I’ve seen a couple of Facebook Live sessions, but somehow V Live sessions make me feel closer to artists.
Of course, they can start a random session just like in Facebook, though FB is always a 1:1 ratio, no? There’s comments, and the artist can actually reply to your comments, which is something V Live doesn’t have since comments are live, they scroll as they keep coming just like in a YouTube stream. But YouTube streams always seem so impersonal, more like online TV broadcasts, which is actually GREAT for TV broadcasts [KBS World 24][KBS World]. Add to V Live multi-camera broadcast, HD quality, multilingual subtitles and there’s just this added something to it.
I recently saw Brown Eyed Girls’ JeA’s Orgel Live with JOKER, a 50-min multi-camera phone shot in portrait. I didn’t watch it live, because the show began at 6AM, but the replay was available quite fast — in probably just a few couple of hours — with subtitles in English, Chinese, Viet and Korean; and available auto-translate for others like Spanish. They started reading some of the comments, I lamented not being able to say hi to JeA [this is what I’m talking about], and proceeded to perform a couple of songs, while also going through the live comments.
Fans are also allowed to give ‘hearts.’ Though, I haven’t actually figured out how to give hearts (it’s not by clicking the heart icon, lol), I supposed it’s just pasting hearts in the comments, and that’s why users can give multi-hearts all around. Since a video can have 200k views and one million hearts. :P
And apparently, if you have the V Live App, you can chat with your faves. I don’t have mobile, so……………….
If you could do this for movies, it’ll be amazing. About 8 years ago, I wrote a proposal for screening movies like this xD but I didn’t know how to go through with it. Imagine you have a screening event, fans gather online 30min. before the movie begins, they chat among them. The movie streams, and afterwards there’s an online Q&A with the cast/crew. Because videos from the Q&A and the movie to be screened are different video sources, you can only have the Q&A available for replay instead of the movie.
Sad for this excitement, I know. LOL But I get obsessive-compulsive over these things easily. I took a screen grab because I don’t know whether the count will reset to zero or continue. Back in March when I went to Japan, I told my friend to login for me, so I don’t lose my clocked days, and there was a weird bug that made the counter go back to zero, so we thought for a while that it was done. A couple of days later, it went back to normal :P
I’ve been using Xiami for a lot longer, of course. And gone are the days when you could find everything on the site for stream and download :P Though you can still find stuff and download, it’s often the case when albums are empty. Recently, Xiami has taken to just be able to stream music (which is better than having blank albums), without download capabilities— Faye Wong’s most recent track is only available for stream, so you gotta find it elsewhere if you want it. The site is still a great source for Chinese music, especially from the independent scene. However, now Xiami-approved artists are allowed to mark their music as only-Mi tracks, meaning that you have to have Xiami credit on your account and not download music from your VIP free-tracks perk or use your red envelopes (points).
Having said that~~~ I have like +500 points (you get points for single days and months counted, albums added and music shared, etc.) and haven’t used them in so long. What the heck~ What are the perks of the VIP account if you still gotta pay for the Chinese music that you download; at least make it so that you use twice or thrice the # of downloads for those.
I still haven’t figured out what the note reputation is (eg. Re*), but I’m just a few hundred away from reaching the other level. Increasing my stars is a little trickier because English reviews don’t get as many likes or comments. lol
Last October I reported about Yu-chan returning to the leading-lady gig with Daigo Matsui’s AZUMI HARUKO wa Yukuefumei (アズミ・ハルコは行方不明). Twitter has just shown me a first still. There’s also a music video by Ishizaki Huwie (石崎ひゅーい) titled Flower Vase (花瓶の花, Kabin no Hana) attached to the press release on natalie.mu, but it’s geo-blocked :*(
I don’t know what Sony is doing. But it’s effing it up, I just know it. Head over to YAM Magazine for the full rant and all track/MV info. I’m just going to put this video on here, and bask myself on the beauty of the music.
We all thought Henry Zuo released a good album. Goddamn~ Su Yunying just blew it out of the park~~~ I know it’s not ideal (physical buy is always the best), but do buy the album on iTunes instead of streaming it. xD