How the hell can we solve the world’s problems if the music business itself can’t do what’s right for the populace?
Sixteen years after Napster, after living through P2P, track sales and now streaming, blind greed continues to reign in the music business. People do what’s right for themselves, never mind what’s good for the customer, never mind what’s good for the business.
You’re not that fucking good. You’re not the Beatles. We can live without your music. We just focus on you because everybody else is so bad, everybody else is whored out to the corporation and bitching they can’t make the money people do in the tech sphere. Even Bono’s off the rails, forcing an LP upon those who don’t care and then going on the road and not even going clean in arenas. That’s right, after selling out stadia, U2 can’t sell every ticket indoors. Because the music just ain’t that good. And it’s all driven by the music. And we’ll find out what the people think, a year from now, when we see if they’re still listening, on streaming services, which is where “25” will be after this dash for cash is done.
Hell, we’re not even going to have this fourth quarter madness a year from now. Because physical will be dead and track sales de minimis. I’d say this is the last gasp of a dying industry but the truth is music will survive, as it has the past sixteen years, because people love to play it and the public loves to hear it.
Who needs this money? Adele, you played small venues last time around, you didn’t take all the money from the corporations. Why this turnaround? Are you that ignorant? Even car companies are hipper than you, they’re leaving CD drives out of their vehicles. My new computer has no disk drive, even though I bought it a year ago and it’s state of the art. But forget my iMac 5k, did you ever try to play a CD on a tablet? Never mind a mobile?
We live in a mobile world where few have a ton of storage, but I’ve got to make room for your album?
Oh, the truth is I already have your record! It’s been flying around the internet. And I didn’t listen to the whole damn thing because it didn’t immediately grab me and I was more interested in hearing Amy Schumer on Alec Baldwin’s podcast. That’s the world we live in, where you compete with all entertainment, which is accessible at the touch of an icon. There’s plenty of money if you get mindshare. But you want to give up mindshare?
But you’re dumb and uneducated, living in the bubble. Give Taylor Swift some credit, at least she thinks for herself, however wrong she might sometimes be. And the truth is Apple was about to cave, Swift had almost nothing to do with getting acts paid during the trial period. But an ignorant press that says “Billboard” sold out their Jones Beach gig when they gave away thousands of tickets doesn’t know the inside story. And therefore people have no idea that acts scalp their own tickets and Ticketmaster is a front for performers’ greed.
That’s right, in an era of transparency, in the music business there is none. You want to be paid better by the labels? Why should they come to the table and be fair, they’re greedy just like you! When the biggest act in the business sees the world through her own eyes only, why do you expect anybody else to act differently?
Tom Petty agitates for a lower vinyl price. That’s right, he didn’t want MCA to use his new album, which people were salivating for, to rip off customers. And now Adele leaves the customer behind.
Oh, what a long strange trip it’s been. One in which the Beatles enraptured a generation, got everybody to pick up a guitar, where music changed the world, into an era where tech changes the world.
Because the techies are educated and smart and are all about disruption and the future.
Your album comes out tomorrow. You waited to this late date to reveal this info? Why? You knew forever. But you employ duplicity, smoke and mirrors, manipulation as opposed to forthright honesty. How can we believe in your music if we don’t believe in you?
Adele, you could have done good here. You could have driven listeners to streaming services, you could have bumped up subscriptions. Instead, you’re just muddying the water. Keeping people in the past. Where the media is, which will say how much product you sold as opposed to how much people accessed.
If you think sales are where it’s at, you don’t know Major Lazer and DJ Snake’s “Lean On” is the most played track in Spotify history, with 526 million streams in eight months. Not only is there money in that, there’s cultural impact. “Lean On” gets little press, but actual listeners know it’s genius and can’t get enough. Whereas you’re appealing to doofuses who don’t listen, just blindly buy because the oldsters tell them to.
Listens, not purchases.
Impact, not cash.
Careers, not short-term thinking.
Do the right thing, don’t selfishly stand up for yourself only.
How can we move forward, how can the music business be healthy if the leaders don’t agitate for the right thing?
Damned if I know.