This means nothing to Gaga and Perry fans, but everything to a sector struggling to win over the artist community.
Now, the late Frank Zappa is preparing to land on streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, and Rhapsody, according to details shared with Digital Music News over the weekend. Zappa, who died in 1993, has a fairly massive catalog of about 60 albums (among other works), and it appears that a substantial chunk of that catalog will soon be available for your on-demand enjoyment.
Exact timetables are not available, though a drop date of October seems likely. The negotiations appear to be happening through Universal Music Enterprises, which negotiated the rights to oversee Zappa's catalog earlier this year. That puts the action around Bruce Resnikoff, a seasoned catalog executive at UMG who has services like Spotify on speed dial.
The news comes on the heels of a major licensing effort involving iTunes, which now has about 56 albums available, many of them remastered.
Another name kept surfacing: Gail. That is, Gail Zappa, who facilitated the massive deal between Enterprises and the Zappa Family Trust after securing the rights to the works. That started a licensing train that started rolling around July 31st, with heavy catalog expansion expected throughout the remaining 2012. "[Enterprises] made us the offer we couldn't refuse, for all the right reasons," Gail relayed shortly after the Universal Music deal was inked.
One source at a streaming service thought the Zappa camp was anti-digital in some way, though perhaps the Trust simply didn't want to deal with the endless negotiation headaches. "I think they wanted to find a partner to do digital for them rather than licensing all the stores direct," said the actively-negotiating source.
Right now, streaming services like Spotify have a smattering of Zappa content. But those are largely reinterpretations, interviews, and other Zappa-inspired releases - not the core catalog itself.
Big Swifty Saturday, August 18, 2012
Turst, I think Frank would've liked that
Visitor Saturday, August 18, 2012
Frank Zappa made a lot of money from the "evil" labels so he would not care about the effect of streaming services on his catalog. He would be able to continue experimenting in the studio, even if only 1,000 people bought his albums.
Bald Headed John Saturday, August 18, 2012
Yeah, Frank really loved those labels and certainly didn't care about his "catalog."
Central Scrutinizer Saturday, August 18, 2012
While I am glad that the vast Zappa catalog is finally available on-line (legally that is), I believe Frank would not have been particularly thrilled.
He was an audiophile and any amount of compression would not have appealed to him.
Also, the majority of his albums are actual albums, not merely a collection of singles.
However, if he collected enough revenue from his "rock" songs to finance his large orchestral works, then he probably would have made the deal with the devil..... i.e. Universal and the like
jw Sunday, August 19, 2012
I think you're flat wrong.
Zappa proposed streaming music back in 1982. If anything, this is overdue. Pretty sure a 320kbps ogg file is a much higher quality than casette tapes dubbed over telephone lines with 1982 equipment.
jjsteich Sunday, August 19, 2012
Completely correct jw. Zappa predicted on-demand streaming services (though envisioned over phone lines, such was the state of the art when Ochiogrosso did those interviews) and would have been at the forefront of the licensing for streaming movement.
Central Scrutinizer Monday, August 20, 2012
Zappa.com already had streaming at zappa radio in addition to downloads.
IMO if Frank were alive he would have found a way to keep streaming and digital downloads in house, not shake hands with Universal or any other loathsome major label lackey streaming service.
For whatever reason Zappa Family Trust has decided to split the take. I just hope that they have learned from Frank's past experiences with the major labels.
jw Monday, August 20, 2012
Zappa.com streams @ 64kbps. Talk about compression. I'm sure the new deal is better for everyone involved.
Visitor Wednesday, August 22, 2012
i think your wrong, as he needs to be out there for new listening to find and turn on to him, even though Zappa radio streams, it does not get paid from these streams, Spotify will turn NEW listeners on to Zappa and will also pay for the streams played, the sound is excellent, i can't see peoples problem with it... its all win win as far as i can see...
Myles na Gopaleen Sunday, August 19, 2012
Zappa's music is finally available on-line because:
1. contract disputes with yet another label have been resolved and
2. IMO the typical Zappa music consumer would rather purchase or stream an "authorized" release from ZFT (for a variety of reasons) rather than download illegal files.
@solipsistic Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thank God! Where would I get music about buttholes?
@fmomboisse Monday, August 20, 2012
ZAPPA sur Spotify!! Si ça signifie quelque chose pour vous, c'est que (comme moi) vous n'êtes plus un gamin.. :)
@chacour Monday, August 20, 2012
Le définitif retour de Frank Zappa.
@doylearmbrust Monday, August 20, 2012
Just made my weekend.
@Funzafunza Monday, August 20, 2012
Det bliver et Zappa-efterår ;-)
Uncle Remus Tuesday, August 21, 2012
To anyone who might read this and not yet know - Spotify right now already has ~55 Zappa albums up (including Mothers of Invention ones).
Frunobulax Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Not on free stream in the US
paul Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I see 3 Zappa albums, not 55. But where are you looking, perhaps there's something I'm not seeing? (I'm looking at Spotify in the US)
wallow-T Wednesday, August 22, 2012
DMN, for the latest news!!!
Frank Zappa !!! (deceased 19 years, R.I.P, has it really been that long?)
The Beatles !!! (defunct 42 years)
Next, the latest news on Glenn Miller and Scott Joplin!! Also, roll over for breaking Beethoven news!!
Beloit College just issued their annual "Mindset List", reminding us that this year's college freshmen class (a central pop-music demographic since the 1960s at least) was born in 1994.
Visitor Wednesday, August 22, 2012
and very few of that class will ever actually pay for music
wallow-T Thursday, August 23, 2012
Quite possibly true. Incoming college freshmen (born 1994) were 5 years old when Napster arrived. Throughout their lives, there has been a steady decline in the opportunities to exchange a young persons' pocket money (not plastic) for recorded music, corresponding with the general ability to listen to music for free online.