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Thread: Why the music industry is killing the music..

  1. #26
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skullhead View Post
    Well, what that really means is that the internet
    has allowed amateurs to take over and flood the channels with mediocrity (I'm being nice).

    Ease of accessibility and free downloads did nothing for the quality of music. The music industry lacks true professionals at all levels. Today, everyone is a musician, producer, composer, lyricist, engineer, promoter, tour manager, social media expert. Just as everyone is now a journalist, including me.
    Yes....and this is one of the Benefits of PE! Since we are such Cantankerous Cranky Old Coots who can't agree on anything most of the time....when we do, the talent rises to the top and the chaff falls aside. I check out a lot of the recommendations and while I still can't get my head around some bands / artists....I DO find some real gems I probably wouldn't have normally found by myself here in this factory town devoid of live music.......
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by IncogNeato View Post
    There won't be another Zeppelin. What I mean by that is, another band THAT big, that created THAT big a legend. One of the reasons they were so big was the way record labels functioned when they were around. It was a perfect storm. There very well may be another band now that just as good, just as vibrant, and just as crushing as Zeppelin was in 1970/1971. It's just going to be harder to find them because they won't have a label like Atlantic making sure you hear them.
    True. I've often said that if Miles Davis were alive today and released an album with the import of Kind of Blue, it'd sink almost without a trace. Not because it wouldn't be a landmark/groundbreaking recording; only that, in today's landscape - with so much music being released and most labels unable to provide the kind of marketing required to let the world truly know about it - it'd simply not be possible for the larger music buying public to be aware of it.

    There are many groundbreaking albums being released...they just don't have a chance in today's landscape.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    True. I've often said that if Miles Davis were alive today and released an album with the import of Kind of Blue, it'd sink almost without a trace. Not because it wouldn't be a landmark/groundbreaking recording; only that, in today's landscape - with so much music being released and most labels unable to provide the kind of marketing required to let the world truly know about it - it'd simply not be possible for the larger music buying public to be aware of it.

    There are many groundbreaking albums being released...they just don't have a chance in today's landscape.
    I agree, the opportunities are not there for musicians working with smaller labels.

    I see it as a vicious circle. The music public at large has become very uncultured, dumbed down, musically uneducated which leads to a lack of appreciation even for objective qualities.

    This creates an environment where the music business must cater to these uncultured, dumbed down music fans... so their output is going to be geared toward that target market. That music is the music we hear today on the radio, TV shows and internet sites run by major record companies.

    Local bands can only get so far. Recorded music spread around the internet can only go so far. Every great band of the past was a great live band as well that toured extensively. Small bands don't have the money or funding to do this.. so they get beat up playing dive bars and small venues that can barely keep them alive. With no prospect of career opportunity, then either split up, give up, or have to split their focus too much with other jobs etc. You don't have career musicians on the artistic side that have the backing of a quality label run by professionals that can make sure they are taken care of. So now, everything suffers.

    A contemporary band has to have way too many skill sets to make even a small dent in the culture.... A Jimi Hendrix of today would also have to be a social media expert, master complex programs like Pro Tools, have access to great recording mics and equipment, be a road and tour manager, be able to produce videos for youtube and learn more programs like Final Cut Pro etc.

    You can't do everything, and the more diverse your focus, the less time and energy you can commit to your singular passion, which is usually the breeding ground for true greatness.

  4. #29
    It's quite telling that the report has no authors who are actually artists, just moneygrubbers.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  5. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    True. I've often said that if Miles Davis were alive today and released an album with the import of Kind of Blue, it'd sink almost without a trace. Not because it wouldn't be a landmark/groundbreaking recording; only that, in today's landscape - with so much music being released and most labels unable to provide the kind of marketing required to let the world truly know about it - it'd simply not be possible for the larger music buying public to be aware of it.

    There are many groundbreaking albums being released...they just don't have a chance in today's landscape.
    Quite true. A friend and I, both long-time Tull fans, were reminiscing (our 40th high school reunion is coming up Saturday -- Jesus!), and what we found more amazing than a record company allowing Thick as a Brick, an entire 44 minute album with basically one song, to be released, is that they then allowed the release of an equally long A Passion Play, also a continuous composition without a discernible single. That both went to number one in the States pretty much sums up how much different the musical landscape has changed. You could throw in Yes's Close to the Edge and TFTO, ELP's Brain Salad Surgery or Tarkus, and even incredibly long singles like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Hocus Pocus" by Focus or "Radar Love" by Golden Earring. FM radio stations played whatever they wanted, whole albums in many cases.

    That is not saying the music scene is a desert waste land currently; however, music is now monetized and sold by units in digital downloads. The chances of a new band with the balls of Jethro Tull in 1972 to release a continuous composition the length of an LP (or in this case, a CD or download) and have it get any traction, airplay, or special notice on Spotify or iTunes, is nil. The album will be lost somewhere on Bandcamp without industry backing.

    Whether that is because of a fundamental change in the purchasing habits of music listeners, a concerted effort for decades by the music industry to control all facets of music production, or both, matters little at this point. It is what it is. Instead, you're going to get distorted doppelgangers like Greta Van Fleet playing similar selections lifted from Led Zeppelin's catalog, slickly produced auto-tuned singles from make-up laden mannequins, and repetitive plinking piano and digital drumbeat hip-hop that is cheaper to produce and market than any musician with a bold vision, whether that be Miles Davis or Stravinsky.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  6. #31
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Bandcamp goes some way toward creating a community of artists and listeners. There a TON of music on there, but their articles on "Top (fill in the blank) Albums of the Month" have brought a lot of interesting music to light for me. I think we need more coherent music communities like that to replace the major labels. Not sure if there are more on the horizon or not though.
    "Of course you are allowed to trumpet your profound ignorance by disagreeing with me." -- Facelift

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    True. I've often said that if Miles Davis were alive today and released an album with the import of Kind of Blue, it'd sink almost without a trace. Not because it wouldn't be a landmark/groundbreaking recording; only that, in today's landscape - with so much music being released and most labels unable to provide the kind of marketing required to let the world truly know about it - it'd simply not be possible for the larger music buying public to be aware of it.

    There are many groundbreaking albums being released...they just don't have a chance in today's landscape.
    And this is good news since more good music is being released than ever.

  8. #33
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^

    Jed,

    Now BandCamp, by their pointing you in a direction, or pointing things out to you, are doing the same things that labels previously did (for good or bad); CURATION.

    IMO
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  9. #34
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    ^^^^^^^^

    Jed,

    Now BandCamp, by their pointing you in a direction, or pointing things out to you, are doing the same things that labels previously did (for good or bad); CURATION.

    IMO
    Yes, exactly! But since everyone is more or less welcome at Bandcamp, it's not just pandering to the mainstream. It has a very wide range of artists to "sell," and I think they do a good job of it.
    "Of course you are allowed to trumpet your profound ignorance by disagreeing with me." -- Facelift

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...-sales-706746/

    A documentary on the Eagles (now on Netflix & Amazon) makes clear that the contract the Eagles signed with David Geffen’s Asylum Records allowed Geffen to take all of the recording revenues.

    Geffen made so much money off of the Eagles that he gave Jackson Browne a percentage of his own recording revenues as a gratuity for bringing the Eagles into the Geffen stable. Jackson confesses he understood why Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Don Felder were pissed off about that arrangement. Henley and Frey were later sued by Geffen for performing their own songs…
    Geffen always struck me as a greedy, arrogant prick.

  11. #36
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    Yes, exactly! But since everyone is more or less welcome at Bandcamp, it's not just pandering to the mainstream. It has a very wide range of artists to "sell," and I think they do a good job of it.
    It has anyone who wants to be there. There is no obstacle to anyone being on BC. That is the good thing.

    The bad thing it that it has anyone who wants to be there.......
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by SunshipVoyager1976 View Post
    Geffen always struck me as a greedy, arrogant prick.
    Don't know how true it is, but Neil Young once claimed that his dispute with Geffen led to REM deciding against a record deal with them and signing with Warner Bros instead.

    Geffen has given away a ton of money to charitable causes but he does seem to like having his name appended to whatever it is he's sponsoring.

  13. #38
    Pull all music from digital sources. Remix albums with better dynamics. Sell as physical product like download cards with gatefold. All the artwork, no hassle. Push all products at independent stores. Of course those seeking 'profit pools' may not think this will work, but it totally would!

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by zumacraig View Post
    Pull all music from digital sources. Remix albums with better dynamics. Sell as physical product like download cards with gatefold. All the artwork, no hassle. Push all products at independent stores. Of course those seeking 'profit pools' may not think this will work, but it totally would!
    And as soon as legal downloads started happening, they would he shared all over the planet. Downloading is something that is never, ever going away. That bell cannot be unrung.

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by IncogNeato View Post
    And as soon as legal downloads started happening, they would he shared all over the planet. Downloading is something that is never, ever going away. That bell cannot be unrung.
    But, as the initial report linked to implies, the distribution of profits from them could be changed so that more gets to the artist.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  16. #41
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    But, as the initial report linked to implies, the distribution of profits from them could be changed so that more gets to the artist.
    For fringe music - the music we generally are speaking about here - the problem is not the distribution of profit. The problem is that there is no profit in streaming.

    I and my artists, who split all digital income in a 50/50 manner, each make significantly more money if we sell 100 copies of an album on BandCamp than if we stream one million times on any streaming service.

    Selling 100 copies on BC is not so easy to do, but a well liked album can do this; we've (Cuneiform and an artist) have done it many times with a specific release. [We've also NOT done it on some releases, but that's another story]

    To get 1 million streams of arty rock or jazz or bluegrass or any limited interest music is impossible or nearly impossible; it just won't happen.

    Hence, BandCamp works for musicians and labels and streaming doesn't. And it doesn't work financially for anyone who isn't selling pop music or 'would be' pop music, whether or not they participate in streaming or not....

    It might drive people to concerts and it might sell apparel, but it does not make money on its own for the musicians or the people who released it. It only makes money for the streaming service.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    For fringe music - the music we generally are speaking about here - the problem is not the distribution of profit. The problem is that there is no profit in streaming.

    I and my artists, who split all digital income in a 50/50 manner, each make significantly more money if we sell 100 copies of an album on BandCamp than if we stream one million times on any streaming service.

    Selling 100 copies on BC is not so easy to do, but a well liked album can do this; we've (Cuneiform and an artist) have done it many times with a specific release. [We've also NOT done it on some releases, but that's another story]

    To get 1 million streams of arty rock or jazz or bluegrass or any limited interest music is impossible or nearly impossible; it just won't happen.

    Hence, BandCamp works for musicians and labels and streaming doesn't. And it doesn't work financially for anyone who isn't selling pop music or 'would be' pop music, whether or not they participate in streaming or not....

    It might drive people to concerts and it might sell apparel, but it does not make money on its own for the musicians or the people who released it. It only makes money for the streaming service.
    Yeah. Good post. Streaming is something that is also not going away. The income distribution and royalty rates for streaming desperately need to catch up to the tech. The tech outpaced everything so quickly.

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    For fringe music - the music we generally are speaking about here - the problem is not the distribution of profit. The problem is that there is no profit in streaming.

    I and my artists, who split all digital income in a 50/50 manner, each make significantly more money if we sell 100 copies of an album on BandCamp than if we stream one million times on any streaming service.

    Selling 100 copies on BC is not so easy to do, but a well liked album can do this; we've (Cuneiform and an artist) have done it many times with a specific release. [We've also NOT done it on some releases, but that's another story]

    To get 1 million streams of arty rock or jazz or bluegrass or any limited interest music is impossible or nearly impossible; it just won't happen.

    Hence, BandCamp works for musicians and labels and streaming doesn't. And it doesn't work financially for anyone who isn't selling pop music or 'would be' pop music, whether or not they participate in streaming or not....

    It might drive people to concerts and it might sell apparel, but it does not make money on its own for the musicians or the people who released it. It only makes money for the streaming service.
    Steve, if you could wave a magic wand and start or reset the entire music business over again.... how would you lay out the foundation for moderate success for both label and artist? Certainly digital allows for easy pirating compared to vinyl or generation losing tape duplication, but is there a way for digital not go down that road of "free"?

  19. #44
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skullhead View Post
    Steve, if you could wave a magic wand and start or reset the entire music business over again.... how would you lay out the foundation for moderate success for both label and artist? Certainly digital allows for easy pirating compared to vinyl or generation losing tape duplication, but is there a way for digital not go down that road of "free"?
    I can't be bothered to deal in magic hypotheticals. Sorry.

    At least half the blame lies with the 'fans' who say they care and say that they are angry that 'the man' rips off their musician heroes, but who also don't give a fuck about ripping off their heroes themselves via streaming and get angry when you point out to them that it makes no money for the artists. Period.

    "You can not compete with free. There is no business model that allows you to compete with free and right now (and possibly forever more) the default is free."

    Those are the wisest words I will ever say and they are 100% applicable.
    Last edited by Steve F.; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:31 PM.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by IncogNeato View Post
    Streaming is something that is also not going away. The income distribution and royalty rates for streaming desperately need to catch up to the tech. The tech outpaced everything so quickly.
    That's the undercurrent of the report. What I found particularly interesting in it is that total music-related revenues are high. They've shifted from CD sales to streaming subscriptions, but someone is making money from streaming. Given streaming and digital aren't going away, the question therefore becomes whether the wallets of Spotify etc. can be prized open and the rewards distributed more equitably?

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  21. #46
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    Given streaming and digital aren't going away, the question therefore becomes whether the wallets of Spotify etc. can be prized open and the rewards distributed more equitably?
    Only if all artists and labels walk away and negotiate.

    Since the majors get significant income from streaming whether or not their artists are played (they have deals that guarantee them a certain amount daily, whether or not their artists are streamed), they aren't gonna walk away.

    And the fringe players (raises hand) have no leverage.

    So, it isn't gonna happen anytime soon. The best you can do (imo) is to do what we've done and decide that that game (streaming) can NOT be won by someone in our position and to walk away from streaming and to walk away from any artist who wants streaming and deal with what is left in terms of the market as best we can.

    AGAIN, imo.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  22. #47
    [QUOTE=jkelman;858296]
    True. I've often said that if Miles Davis were alive today and released an album with the import of Kind of Blue, it'd sink almost without a trace.
    If Miles was alive today, and he was signed to...is it Sony now who are the corporate descendant of Columbia? Anyway, if Miles on a major label today, he'd not be allowed to release many of his classic albums. Kind Of Blue, Sketches Of Spain, Miles In The Sky, Bitches Brew, etc would all be deemed too "uncommercial" and to have "not obvious hits" or what-have-you. If Miles had handed in a record like Bitches Brew, the A&R guy would tell him go back into the studio and come up wtih something a little more "smooooooth, something like what Kenny G does". And then the A&R guy would find himself laying on his ass with a sore jaw, feeling like he just got hit by a Mack truck, because I'm sure Miles would have told you, in no uncertain terms, what you can do with your "smoooooth jazz shit".

    As far as rock music is concerned, the way a lot of the legendary bands (apart from The Beatles) became as big as they were was just from dragging their asses around the US and Europe multiple times a year, typically going broke and in debt to their manager and/or record company, playing show after show after show. You also had radio stations that weren't run by some corporate home office in NYC or LA, so each city had a different play list. And if you figured out that your latest record was getting a lot of airplay in, say, Peoria or Cleveland or wherever, you'd go back to those particular cities three times a year, and use it as a springboard to try and expand your audience.

    And if you got lucky, you might be able to build it up to where you put out a record that would take over the Eastern seaboard, or maybe even the whole country. Providing of course that someone bigger than you didn't put out a record during the same week. I remember Michael Stanley saying on his radio show once that his second album got squashed like a bug because, although MCA were willing to put a big promo push behind it, it came out the same month as both Quadrophenia and the first Lynyrd Skynyrd record, both of which also got the big promo push. Talk about bad timing!

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    even incredibly long singles like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
    Remember that Queen had to fight tooth and nail to get that out unedited, though. EMI wanted to edit it down because they didn't think anyone would play a 6 minute song, or that it had "too many different things in one song to be successful as a single" or that radio audience's attention span or whatever would accommodate a 6 minute song on the radio or whatever lame excuse whichever A&R henchman was throwing at them.

    Supposedly, one of Freddie's friends was a disc jockey (I wanna say it was Kenny Everett, but I'm not sure) then took the song as it was on the album, and played it on his radio show, and it got such a big response that the record company finally relented. If that hadn't happened, the label probably would have issued an edited version, and in fact, I think Dr. Brian May said that someone actually do an edit, that basically cut out the entire opera section and heavy rock bit, apparently it went straight from the guitar solo (or possibly even straight from the second verse) to the coda. Oh, the horror!

    One imagines that Jethro Tull probably had to put a similar to fight to get Thick As A Brick and A Passion Play issued as they were, too, to say nothing of all the other similarly "not ready for airplay" music that the big labels put out.

    I'd still love to have been a fly on the wall during the A&M meetings where their involvement with Magma was discussed. I know I've read Herb Alpert (the "A" in A&M) was directly involved in getting them on the label, but I just can't imagine anyone thought MDK was going to be a Stateside hit. Maybe Herb was thinking "Look, the Carpenters are doing well enough, we can afford to put out something that has no chance of being a hit". Maybe he wanted A&M to be known as a label to handled all kinds of music, not just MOR pop confections tailor made for AM radio. But I'm sure Jerry Moss had to have been thinking, "This time, you've gone too far, Herb!".

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    AGAIN, imo.
    Thanks for your insight. I will go buy more albums on Bandcamp.

    Henry
    Where Are They Now? Yes news: http://www.bondegezou.co.uk/wh_now.htm
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog: http://bondegezou.blogspot.com/

  25. #50
    I think what this article says to me is that if you are a musician/songwriter you are better off NOT digitizing your music, and selling it through the web, but just playing live at any venue you can find.

    If you go out and play someone else's music (as in a cover band), you are wasting your talents promoting something that you dont benefit from - aside from a potential income playing whatever is demanded of you. I think there is room out there for good, well written music to be performed live, and then Not released through "the beast" (Itunes - Amazon) which if you are a small artist, they will simply take your music, no thank you, and surprise - no royalties. Why get involved in that losing game? Just play your music live, and if someone asks you (on rare occasion) for a copy for their own, you may want to self market - cd or mp3, DVD or , or just invite them to come to another show. There is no reason to participate in a marketplace where you automatically and emphatically lose. If you do get noticed, you may actually have some leverage to make something good happen. - in my opinion, Digital is death. If its good music, they steal it, if its bad, they thankfully ignore it. You just have to face that reality, and take what is available, without selling your soul to the beast. Start local, build a following locally. It doesnt cost much to just play locally. Use local means to advertise (in the old days it was putting up posters on power poles).

    This whole "listen to any song you want in the universe for 10 bucks a month" thing is a model for complete desolation of future music. - In my opinion. My smartphone takes every opportunity to invite me to do this, and I have to keep saying "NO". I just listen to the music I own. Most of that listening these days is via smartphone. I noticed that some bands are not available on the Amazon service - like King Crimson - I actually had to buy their CD to listen to it. What a concept!
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

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