Howie’s Hot Five for…30 August, 2012

To stream show go here

5. Low-Five: Piano Tuners…a dying art!

First up – Researchers in the UK this week released findings that say tuning a piano tunes the brain – they can demonstrate structural changes in the brain of professional piano tuners – as they make notes pitch perfect it has a beneficial affect on their brains – notably in the nerve connections and the information processing part of the brain.

BUT, BUT, BUT The US and Australian media has in very recent times featured dramatic photo-diaries of beautiful pianos being rounded up and clubbed to death – surplus to needs… unloved, not needed…these amazing contraptions that have around 100 parts for every note made of felt, cloth and leather.

Which brings us to an aging problem… A drastic shortage of piano tuners…

65% of Australia’s piano tuners are over 50.
95% are male.
And the industry has trained a new generation of tuner in 18 years – simply very, very few places to learn.
With tuning and care a piano can last for a century – and there’s a million pianos in Australia.
It can be done electronically – but for concert pianos – you can’t beat the ear…

Sources: BBC
Sydney Morning Herald

4. Private Jet Hire…a non-tech star-up

Surfair – flat fee, membership airline. No bookings or lines and no huge security malarkey.
So a hybrid airline – small jets and you’ll soon get to know your usual passengers.

Welcome to all you can fly membership airlines.

Pay monthly fee US$1000  – get four boarding passes  – LA to San Fran, Monterey and Santa Barbara. It will then take 30 seconds to book. That’s it!

Note: the model of air travel hasn’t changed since it started in the 1930’s – still a privilege based experience. Not it’s simply catching a bus with wings. But the hassles never stop…

3. Face-Brag…

We thought it was just HH5 getting slightly fed up with Facebook now leaning heavily towards Face-bragging… ugh.

Instagram photos of your dinners … ad infinitum anyone?

“Facebook bragging can be as good as sex.” supposedly a skite on Facebook triggers same response as food, money or sex – and this from a Harvard research neuroscientist studying MRI scans.

The results showed that whenever participants talked about themselves there was increased activity in the mesolimbic dopamine system, the area of the brain linked to the feeling of reward in sex, winning money or enjoying a good meal.

Self disclosure is extra-rewarding with people even prepared to forgo other rewards to talk about themselves.

As a Wall Street Journalist recently wrote:  A generation ago, many such comments about exercise accomplishments, workplace victories and relationships would have been seen as insufferable bragging.  e.g. ‘Best gift ever from best husband ever’

And what do most people do when seeing this stuff… they hit the ‘Like’ button and move on…

Source: The Daily Mail
Wall Street Journal

2. Pandora, Spotify, Music and Money…

Pandora and Spotify = heaps of free listening and they are both easy-to-use.

  • 33 million use Spotify
  • 150 million are registered with Pandora

Major Fact: both services are totally raking in the dough – and totally paying it all out in music royalties.  e.g. Spotify made US$236 million in 2011 and lost US$57 million.

Pandora can’t sell enough advertising to offset the royalty costs – and Spotify neeeds to get more paying subscribers and reach better deals with each publisher.(97% of its revenue goes back to publishers)

Possibility: Major publishers do better deals with Spotify as they are a ‘last hope’…which leads us to…

Now for the more mathematically geeky of you – we’ve attached a short blog by David Touve an Assistant Professor in Management in Washington and consultant to the music industry heavy-weights.

He specifically mentions New Zealand as example of where it’s all wrong…. the subscription services are to expensive so blocking off bigger part of the market – NZ one of the most expensive at $12.50 – he says goes for US$5  and $3 for main and mobile and signups will boom.

Source: MediaDecoder NYTimes (worth it for the responses from readers -wise!)
David Touve

Stealing Sheep… bubbling up for success…

Young, hip, female band…if our predictions are correct… sort of Lykke Li and Bats for Lashes…
Debut Album is The Diamond Sun and the lovey music press are gurgling with pleasure.
All three are the The Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

Source: The Independent

Source: The Guardian

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