Stefan's Naturally Aspirated Blog

No New Products at HMV and Fopp Marks Further Demise of the Guy-Street

Convent GardenFoppHMVMusic IndustryMusic MegastoreMusic RetailOxford StreetVideo Retail+-
2019AfBlgHMVFoppDemise700-min

For the uninitiated, the ’Guy-Street’ is the part of the High Street that generally appeals to male shoppers - stereotypical for sure but it mostly holds up. Around 10-20 years ago there were a myriad of shops for the average bloke to browse through while the more retail-oriented part of the family properly hit the shops. I like to use Oxford Street as a benchmark as it is relevant to this particular article. Over the years it has been home to at least 4 record stores at the same ...

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iTunes No-Downloads Rumours are bad news for both Consumers and Musicians

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2018AfBlgiTunesInFlames700-min

We’ve seen a number of rumours floating about - stating that Apple / iTunes is looking to suspend its iTunes Downloads Store some time around March 2019 onwards. The end result of this being less choice for consumers and still lower revenues for musicians - who already face diminishing returns across the board.

 

It’s likely another nail in the coffin of the Apple Eco-System (for me) and will probably accelerate my departure from the Apple platform - as Music has been one of ...

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Spotify Wrecks User Experience

Apple MusicDeezerMusic DiscoveryMusic IndustryMusic StreamingSpotifyTidalUIUser ExperienceUX+-
2017AfBlgPsotifyWreck700

Some of you more eagle-eyed music fans will have noticed that Spotify changed a few weeks ago. What has long been one of my most significant and favourite ’Music Discovery’ tools has now been changed detrimentally and beyond all recognition (fubar for sure).

 

There are no longer any related songs, no popularity bars next to each song, and worst of all - you can no longer scroll through all the tracks by album in one long list - like you used to. Now you have to dip in and ...

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The Future of Music Online 2017

2017 Album Releases2017 Music TrendsFuture of MusicFuture of Music OnlineMusic Industry+-
2017AfBlgSkott700

2016 was quite the mixed up / messed up year. I spent the first probably 2/3rds of the year listening to Bowie and Prince back-catalogs - every recording made, over and over - to reminisce and celebrate their greatness. The remaining months were occupied mainly by Icelandic Hip Hop and American Hip Hop inspired by the American Honey movie soundtrack.

 

I don’t think there were any main themes last year, most of my predictions failed to materialise, although we did see another music...

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It's Record Store Day on Saturday - Do what you must!

London Record StoresMusic IndustryRecord Store DayRecord StoresSoho Record StoresVinyl MusicVinyl Records+-
2016AfBlgPhonicaRSD700V2

It’s somewhat contrary / incongruous of me - just when the Vinyl industry is in its most rapid phase of growth for many a year - that I’m deciding to sit this one out as it were. I’ve been gradually transitioning more and more to digital music as this is how I typically listen to my music every day - via headphones and iPhone or speakers and iMac. The vast majority of listening I do is on the move though.

 

A few years ago I still bought vinyl fairly regularly - last ...

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Tide turns on Kanye as latest release becomes fastest pirated album of all time

FaceBookKanyeKanye WestLarry PageMark ZuckerbergMusic IndustryStreaming ServiceThe Life of PabloTidalTwitterYeezy+-
2016AfblgKanyeTidal700

Kanye West’s latest opus, name-changed for the 5th time to ’The Life of Pablo’ (after Picasso) was engineered to help sign up more subscribers to Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service. This comes hot on the heals of exclusive releases by Rihanna and Beyoncé which featured for advance screening - solely on that platform. In order to drum up even more support, Kanye announced that the album would never be made available for sale / download on any other platform - that ...

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The Future of Music Online 2016

2016 Album Releases2016 Music TrendsFuture of MusicFuture of Music OnlineMusic Industry+-
2016AfBlgJackGarratt700

Solo women ruled 2015 as far as I was concerned - occupying 8 of my top 10 album spots and topping my tracks chart. Despite ongoing rumblings about the value and viability of streaming services and a strange and disruptive year on SoundCloud, music is very much in rude health. Vinyl sales - supported by humongous Christmas sales of vinyl players are still on the rise (just when I’m buying less and less).

 

Looking at the longlists for new artists for 2016, there is no shortage of ...

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House Music Label Odyssey

Classic HouseDance MusicDance Music HistoryDance Music IndustryDeep HouseHouse MusicHouse Music Label OdysseyHouse Music LabelsHouse Music OdysseyMusic IndustryRecord CollectingRecord CollectionRecord Label OdysseyTechnoVinylVinyl Records+-
2015AfBlgLabelOdyssey480

I was born in the very last year of the 60’s and thus had the good fortune to live through three major evolutions of dance music. First came Disco in the mid to late 70’s and this was followed by synthesized dance music in the very early 80’s; the two would then combine and evolve in around 1983/84 to form the many flavours of House Music. I took dance lessons early - from around the age of 6, and after Saturday Night Fever, lived in the shadow of Tony Manero - I was that ...

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Music Industry Madness - Caveat Emptor!

CD RipCopyright InfringementMP3Music Backup LawsMusic Copyright LawMusic FormatsMusic IndustryMusic PlaybackMusic RestrictionsMusic SalesPhysical Music SalesRight to make personal music backupsStreaming Music+-
2015AfBlgMusicIndustryMadness480

Let me start once more by stating that I am an extremely dedicated music fan, who consumes music globally and at high volumes on a weekly basis, and equally importantly pretty much totally legitimately (paid-for). I subscribe to both Spotify and Apple Music, occasionally using Deezer too, and buy from iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, Juno / Download, Traxsource, Bandcamp, 7 Digital, Phonica, Sister Ray, Rough Trade, Discogs and even HMV. In short, I am a very good customer, upper echelon and ongoing ...

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Apple Music - The Verdict

appleApple MusicBBCDigital MusicDigital RadioInternet RadioiTunesMusic ConsumptionMusic DiscoveryMusic IndustryMusic InteractivityMusic SharingMusic StoreMusic StreamingPlaylistsSocial ConnectivitySocial MusicSpotify+-
2015AfBlgAppleMusic480

I will preface this article by saying that I am a long term music fanatic - having amassed some circa 10,000 12" records over the years, as well as a considerable volume of CDs - music is a constant in my every waking moment. Over the past 10 years I have gradually and almost fully transitioned to digital. I’ve been using iTunes since 2010, and am an early adopter of Spotify. I buy between 2 and 10 albums worth of music on roughly a weekly basis - this comes from a variety of sources - ...

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