THE REAL PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!
I scroll and search the web a lot these days, and in particular forums about what people and fans are talking about within the music industry. Today I came across a topic about “When did music become unimportant?”…..boy, was there a lot of interesting views around this question!
The topic revolved around the amount of music available, how cheap it was to buy, how an artist makes money these days, and the popularity of artists licensing their music to public broadcast to boost their profile.
Here’s a conversation with a selection of people that I have put together for you:
‘The Black Keys struggled for years, but they finally broke through not by developing a fan base from concerts, no, they struck gold when they licensed their music for use in commercials, and their music became familiar as a soundtrack for selling stuff. The Black Keys’ music sold a lot of Cadillacs and seeped into the consciousness of the market. That’s a great way to monetize music, sell it to advertising agencies, TV shows and movies. The Beatles tune “Tomorrow Never Knows” was used in a Mad Men episode, and the show reportedly paid $250,000 to Apple Corps for the song. So music licensing is a viable revenue path, and is helping the business stick around. That’s good because fewer and fewer music consumers are paying the bills.’
‘Music has never become unimportant, people “consume” it more than ever. Unfortunately the unforeseen impact of the internet and file sharing have created an exploitation economy where service providers like Pirate Bay and Spotify have been able to realize profits at the expense of the artist.’
‘If people can get a “Free Lunch” through the internet and rationalize they’re not stealing it, I guess they will. Unfortunately, it’s the real music artists that suffer through this disrespect for their work. Many great artists are surely leaving their craft because of the difficulty of making a career in this once vibrant industry.’
‘Music is an ART that reaches us on an emotional level and it deserves greater respect. It makes our lives better and is more prevalent than ever… What’s on our iPod helps define our personality and who we are… and people are listening to music more than ever before.’
‘Hopefully, a day will return when artists are properly rewarded for their craft, and people will no longer feel so comfortable rationalizing the theft of musical artwork. ‘
‘I think it is a bigger issue than mere piracy or even culture. The major label releases account for the majority of sales, placement and media attention. If you do not know about an artist it is hard to find them. Radio stations are programmed and access to their play-lists is a financial issue not a quality one, internet radio is insignificant in changing the course and pay to play concert venues abound with little to no quality control.; This leaves the public shell shocked and hearing a lot of sub par noise.’
‘So that leaves us with why is this happening. The majors need fast hits because their parent companies demand it. People stopped caring about music deeply when the music they were offered for consumption became the equivalent of fast food. We know fast food is bad for us, yet we continue. Why should music pop tarts be any different. A new business model one based on ROI and realistic profit margins must be found, 18 million dollar a year executives have no place in this business, yet they dominate the industry.’
‘I’m always bothered and actively trying to find solutions to the problem of how can musicians make a living from their music. I can’t say that I found the perfect formula… but at least when dealing with “music licensing” the law is on the musician side and is relatively easily enforceable.’
‘I don’t think ‘people’ have devalued music. It is global brands and corporations, which have out-muscled the majors and major independents to make music a bolt-on to other consumer activities, that have caused its devaluation. Music is still the lifeblood of millions of peoples’ lives. I think there should be a new model for independent creators that tries to recover this lost ground and make the connection between creators and fans in a monetized way. Reinvent the wheel, put music back in its rightful place and THEN trade with the brands and corporations to make the music creators money’
And my favourite…
‘When the Mass-Media Machine started Manufacturing Fake talent.The Kids are taught that IF they have the RIGHT Looks…..that’s all it takes. Heavens NO to the Idea of needing to Apply ones self to the task of actually schooling of playing any musical instrument. X-Box, Wii, Game-Boy just add water & Stir then you are a “Guitar-Hero”‘
‘Professionalism has become the enemy of ideas because it has created uniformity a triumph of packaging marketing and branding that masks the lack of ideas style and content. If you wish to understand the true meaning of style, then look to Kraftwerk, who invented the future over thirty years ago. So it’s all down to style and imagination! yours! NOT someone elses! As the KLF and The MC5 before them said! It’s time to kick out the jams! If you have the wit and imagination to do so!’
‘I think one point that most people fail to acknowledge and consider is that the collective worldwide library of recorded music from all time has grown exponentially the past 30 years or so. This is primarily because it’s so much easier and cheaper to record music and release it worldwide. Yes the internet has created the easy cheap distribution and a conduit for easy piracy. But it’s also true that cheaper home recording equipment and computer software has also made it easy for anyone to make recorded works. There’s just so much music out there, the market is flooded and there is a never ending supply of new recordings. So like any commodity, if there is a glut of supply the value goes down. Like it or not we are now at the point where most music can be acquired for no money and the consumer has to be either a loyal fan with ethics or persuaded by special packaging or marketing or fan frenzy to part with their money and actually purchase a recording. If you can build a loyal following you have more chance of making money by asking your fans for a direct donation to the cause than by selling your recordings.’
‘When there were thousands of independent radio stations, you had an equal number of chances to get someone to believe in your music, now almost all the stations are owed by one of several companies who program nationally a set list that values quality not one bit. Your opportunities are now reduced by at least 90%., Internet radio and peer recommendations are still a huge factor, but the process of “viral” music as it were would not have served Miles Davis very well, though it might have the Monkeys. 13-17 year olds are the greatest consumers of that kind of hype driven music, and they are more likely to love American Idol than Tom Waits.’
‘The reality is that none of this is good or bad, it is fact. Bemoaning the good old days serves no purpose. What is needed is a constructive business model that relies on fundamentals not hope and looks at the real money flow for artists’
And there we have it.
I believe the ‘Independent & Undiscovered’ artist is in a very safe place within The Holding Pattern. We listen to what the people say. More importantly we listen to what the artist needs. We know there is an abundance of music out there, and we know how hard it is to search, discover and find new music as a fan. We know how hard it is for artists to make money from their music. This is the mantra of why we created THP.
We don’t believe in subscription based music platforms like Spotify, Rdio, MOG,etc because an independent and undiscovered artist wont see any money from these models because of the amount of streams (4 million = $1200) needed to see any revenue. Its fine if your U2, Jay-Z, Coldplay etc…but an independent? No chance. It’s not designed for the independent and undiscovered…it’s designed as a cash cow for the majors!
Exposure is king!
Exposure within the public broadcast (Film, TVC’s, Doco’s etc) will put any independent and undiscovered artist on the map, and cash in their back pocket. This is why we have created a unique commercial platform that provides production companies with an automatic license to public broadcast…and this will revolutionise how an artist gets discovered!
And you know what? I’m not the only one who thinks this way…apparently so do you!
- Nick Arnold.