Today: Jun 18, 2024

Michael Caplan talks music with SCSU students

Photo Courtesy | Michael Caplan is the president and co-founder of an independent record label, Or Music.

Robin Glynn – General Assignment Reporter

With the current changes in the music industry, the way artists interact with their fanbase to how people get their music has changed since acts such as Aerosmith stepped on the scene.

Record producer Michael Caplan gave two seminars on his career in the music industry and the issues facing the music industry today. Caplan is president and co-founder of an independent record label, Or Music, based in New York. Caplan is the former senior vice president at Sony’s Epic label and has worked with artists such as the Allman Brothers, G. Love and Special Sauce, Tower of Power, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Matisyahu.

“2006 was the beginning of the future,” said Caplan on the music industry changing.

Caplan said that radio used to be the biggest way for an artist to sell records.

Photo Courtesy |
Michael Caplan is the president and co-founder of an independent record label, Or Music.

“Radio still is the single biggest factor,” said Caplan. “It is way down. It used to be 85 percent, now it is 45 percent of how to sell a record.”

Caplan said that artists performing on morning and late night shows and Saturday Night Live do not sell as good as they used to.

“If you do a good one, that could sell you some records,” Caplan said of artists performing on SNL today. “American Idol and all that crap really is a great to get into people’s consciousness, but it doesn’t encourage any artistry. You have these singing heads.”

Solleck said that shows like ‘American Idol’ target a different audience.

Amanda Carrier agrees.

“Shows like ‘American Idol’ and “X-Factor’ are more relevant,” said Carrier.

Caplan said that before starting his record company, he was asked to work on NBC’s The Voice, but declined the offer; he said it was a short-term opportunity. He said there are now plenty of places to hear music

Caplan said that before signing any artists, companies look at the acts fanbase, it is no longer just about the music or number of copies sold. He said that social media plays a major role for artists.

“It is important,” said Carrier.

“It is important because that is how they get around,” said Solleck, a nursing major.

Caplan said that we are in a bit of a period of a revolution.

“What you are going to see in the next couple of years is that music is going to go to a subscription model. It is not going to be about owning it anymore. It is going to be about listening to music on demand.”

Caplan said that Spotify, an app that streams songs on iPhones, iPads and iPods through a free radio or premium subscription, is not quite an elegant system. He sees that in the future, Apple, who is the biggest distributor of music, will have a subscription fee.

Apple’s iCloud lets people access their music, photos, calendars, contacts and more from whatever device they are using.

“Caplan says that Apple doesn’t care about music,” said Caplan, even though he said that iTunes is one of their biggest business. He said that if Apple has music being accessed as a subscription based rather than selling singles or CD’s, they will be the biggest seller; with companies such as Rhapsody, Pandora, REO battling it out against Apple.

As the music industry changes, so is the way that people will get their music, but Caplan said that the changes are inevitable.


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