The Album Is in Deep Trouble – and the Music Business Probably Can’t Save it

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by blowtorch, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister

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    The important takeaway here is about the decrease in the value of music through the double-sided bladed of ubiquity. It's everywhere, it's free.
    After recording was improved to the point of commercial viability, an economic music bubble began; it was huge and lasted quite a while. It made stars; it made fortunes.
    It's hard to recognize a bubble that you're living in. But now it's over, the laws of physics have taken over. The novelty is finished; the human animal loves novelty and is easily led by business interests to the next source of it.
    Now there myriad ways to occupy the diminishing attention span of the human race. Evolution has no conscience, no guilt. It just is.
    The music lives on for a few functions: to express the shared emotions of each generation as it reaches puberty and undergoes emotional change (as such, the music changes as well, though the underlying content is similar). To sell alcohol and tobacco. To sell itself (i.e. when it takes a form that is catchy - the ear worm - enough to be marketed as a product itself).
    I say this as someone who has witnessed many stages of the passage.
    I remember gathering around with friends to listen to the only copy of Are You Experienced in my little town. Learning how to play from big band musicians who had experienced their own part of the bubble and retired to cruise ships to finish their stories.
    I lived through the "get discovered" record company bubble. I lived well through the period of double scale sessions that the extra income from CDs - and a gangster led industry - created.
    I went from clubs to cruise ships to clubs to concerts to festivals.
    I still make a living touring and producing... but what a different world.
    And it's fine.
    A match of expectation to possibility is key, as is flexibility: if you don't worry too much about the living you can have a life.
    If no more generations have this life, well, there aren't many blacksmiths and cossacks running around these days either.))
     
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  2. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Stream, not download.

    And they text/Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram while driving, not listen to music.
     
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  3. tery

    tery Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Rolling Stone is still in business ?

     
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  4. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Okay, see I told you an old guy doesn't understand any of it. :lol:
     
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  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You seem to know an awful lot about 'em! Are you? Nah, couldn't be, you wouldn't be able to sit still ling enough to....Wait are you texting and driving? Never mind as you were, wouldn't wanna distract you! :eek::eek::D:D:D:D:D
     
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  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Not myself. Just my son, his friends, my nieces and their friends.
     
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  7. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's

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    Rolling Stone has not been an authority on music in a very long time
     
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  8. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    legacy publication decries end of legacy format. The industry has always fought against what people want, they have always refused to allow people to buy music the way the want, the reaction to napster wasn't to offer music for sale by download but instead to sue their customers. I have no sympathy for them. The end of the album and the album artist was the signing of bands like Boston, they ditched all the artists who could reliably sell 250,000 albums for one artist who could sell millions. And then turned around and told that artist they were a failure when they could only sell 3 million.
    as long as someone buys music in some format the world will be fine, and maybe clive davis will have to settle for a few hundred million.

    This statement was true the day Johannes Gutenberg introduced the printing press.
     
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  9. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    well we are still alive and today ,,,strap your guitar around ya, those going on stages..those going to the studio to record...those going to band practice and those at bedroom level.....do something about it...go make rock n roll....we get to actually go create it..it only die if you let it...
     
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  10. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Don't forget though, CDs saved the music industry when they came out. In the late '70s the bean counters at the majors decided to put all their eggs in the disco basket, since disco music was cheap to produce and the market for it was growing exponentially. Unfortunately for them, the move was short-sighted since disco turned out to be a fad and soon the labels were hemorrhaging money. The '70s classic rock warhorses had mostly broken up by then, and the labels had neglected to develop artists to replace them. Then, CDs came along and the labels were able to sell their entire catalog of the previous 20 years all over again on the new format.

    The lesson was clear- if you're in the music business, you need to take artist development seriously and look at your catalog as a long-term investment, not just a series of get-rich-quick schemes. Of course, just like the rest of corporate America, no one in the music business bothered to think long term and now they're reaping what they've sewn. On the day the major labels finally collapse under their own weight, I will cheer- musicians don't need them anymore, and haven't for some time.
     
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  11. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    45-rpm mini-albums gonna make a come back? :lol:
     
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  12. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Good point and I agree!
     
  13. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You just said that you live in a mess.
     
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  14. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i do, and find my way around it and ways to help.
     
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  15. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Ohhhh, you're the one.
     
  16. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I blame my fellow Canadians for making this such a great place. :)
     
  17. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Makes me wonder at the artists so vehemently opposed to Napster way back when. Regardless of your opinion on the morality of what Napster did (or allowed others to do), the only "victim" would seem to be the labels who would no longer get rich off of selling music. So what were the artists (most of whom, as I said earlier, made next to nothing on music sales) all worked up about? Were they afraid the labels would drop them or cease to exist altogether, thereby hurting their main marketing? Were they luddites, or otherwise ignorant of the potential in releasing their own music online (and therefore mistakenly seeing the labels as their only hope)? Or was it just the few artists who had a better deal than most (Metallica could reasonably have been one of those, and Lars Ulrich certainly seemed to feel like he was being stolen from)?
     
  18. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Without label support, how will musicians earn a decent living? Pubs, clubs, and bars don't pay well enough, and the gigs aren't regular enough.
    A big tour requires up-front investment that an independent artist just can't afford. Can bands and artists earn enough by calling venues and booking their own shows and tours?

    I guess every musician who wants to earn a living will have to develop good internet sales skills.
     
  19. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Don't most people who make a living in music do it without major label support (at least, without needing that, necessarily)? Touring doesn't necessarily mean massive marketing and complex stage production in huge venues, and making a living doesn't mean getting rich.

    I agree that a large investment is needed, and the larger it is the harder it will be and the less likely that any particular artist will be able to afford it. But I'm not sure that "the labels won't pay, and we can't pay for what they can pay for" necessarily means "we can't do this at all".

    I have the feeling your last statement was meant at least somewhat in jest (though I could be wrong), but I think that has been true in music and any other industry that the internet has allowed "the little people" to participate in without necessarily referring to the traditional gatekeepers. But then, I guess that's true of small business in general. Fewer people have to wear more hats.
     
  20. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    No, I wasn't jesting. I think if you want to sell your music independently, you're going to have to sell it online. You can pay to have CDs made, and try to sell them at gigs, but if the gigs aren't frequent enough, then you won't sell many CDs.

    I met an artist recently who depends on Youtube views, word-of-mouth, and digital downloads. She's not signed to a label, and has to organize her own small tours. Her music isn't suitable for club gigs or casino gigs, and her shows are often in unusual venues, like community centres and churches.
    Most of her income comes from working in the film industry, which she got into about 20 years ago. She has a large network of contacts, which new, young artists might not have.
    Also, when I talk about making a living, I mean an income that allows you to live comfortably and perhaps raise a family and not live in poverty after retirement. It used to be that a professional musician or singer or songwriter could live a nice life. I'm not talking about touring cover bands. I'm talking about people who are creating original material that people want to hear. How do those people benefit financially from their craft if the industry collapses and the labels are all gone?
     
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