1. You’re gonna keep your mobile handset a hell of a lot longer. With T-Mobile shifting the tide to non-subsidized handsets, many people are going to balk at paying $649 for a new iPhone, they believe it’s only $200, the same way some people believe the handset they got for free with a two year contract is really free. If you’ve got an iPhone 5 or the latest Samsung, with LTE connectivity, there’s no reason to get a new one, not a good one, just like there’s no reason to upgrade your computer.
2. Steve Jobs was all about usability. Somehow this message got lost on Spotify. Although their new interface looks cool, it’s much harder to use, and not intuitive. If you’ve got to Google for instruction, the developer missed the boat. And remember, Jobs was all about REMOVING functions as opposed to adding them like Microsoft. And look where Microsoft is today…
3. You don’t need a connection to use a streaming service on your smartphone, you just sync playlists and it’s like owning the tracks (as long as you pay the monthly fee!) But most people still don’t know this, they’re worried about nonexistent data fees, proving that people are stupid and the streaming companies are doing a bad job of getting the message across.
4. Red Bull has a record company. And is heavily involved in music. I know this because my inbox is filling up with people telling me. They got their message across, have you? And are you giving back, doing something that is not your core mission, in order to burnish the image of your brand?
5. Quarterly numbers are for Wall Street only. Just like debut sales are for the music industry, but not the consumer. Publications are migrating to printing the streaming chart, so get people to listen, not buy.
6. Phenomena still exist. I.e. “Frozen.” Sure, it’s a target audience of kids, sure, parents will buy anything for their children, but I haven’t found one person who says the film sucks, and the album is a souvenir, and repeat play builds loyalty, the more you hear it, the more you like it. We had the same phenomenon in the music business with Adele’s “21,” but so far no one’s replicated it. Because in music, unlike with Disney and Pixar, it’s not about getting it right but about getting it out. If you do something superlative, truly better than anything else, it will break through and sustain. Instead the music business is selling good or intermittently great, with all focus on touring revenue. This is a mistake, the same way focusing on production does not add longevity to your concert career. It’s about music, the way it makes people feel, it’s about involving someone as opposed to spectacle.
7. People are victimized by the silos they live in. Most have blinders. If you’re not getting your news from multiple sources, you’re missing out on huge swaths of information. Fox News people should watch MSNBC, and vice versa. And “New York Times” readers should peruse the “Wall Street Journal,” and vice versa.
8. There’s a new rock star in town, he’s Thomas Piketty, a French economist. His book came out in his native language eons ago, but it’s just been put out in English and it states…when return on capital exceeds the rate of economic growth, income inequality is the result. The book is number one on Amazon. This is the issue of our day. While “artists” keep flaunting their wealth, kissing up to corporations all the while, their audience is waking up to the fact that their future is hampered. Want long term success? Raise the difficult questions, get on the side of the people, but it’s all meaningless if you don’t have music as good as Adele, we don’t care what you’ve got to say or your charitable contribution if your music sucks. Your music is your entrance ticket, without it, you’re nothing. No one would have cared that John Lennon said the Beatles were bigger than God if the band hadn’t put out “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Eight Days A Week,” none of which were social commentary.