Credit Edgar Bronfman, Jr. He SHAMED Doug Morris into making a deal with YouTube. And not wanting to be left out of the party, SonyBMG signed up too. As for EMI? They had already partnered with the net video service, it’s just that they’re so small, and without Ted Cohen or another figurehead trumpeting their actions it’s like they don’t happen.
Could the balance of power be shifting in the music business? From the old guard to the new? Could Doug Morris, famous for his get it on radio see if it sells philosophy, be losing his stranglehold on the industry’s direction?
Edgar Bronfman, Jr., having gotten fucked in the ass by the old guard, has left the music people behind. He’s now thrown in with the MONEY people. And the money people can see that playing by the old rules is akin to flushing your business down the toilet.
Having lost so much of his family’s fortune in the Vivendi fiasco, giving up control of his operation to a charlatan, Edgar is now taking his own counsel, calling the shots instead of listening to the usual suspects.
Wall Street knows what the four major label groups don’t. That their business model is broken. Rather than decry the state of the business, lament the theft of music by his customers, Edgar is trying to show the investment community that he gets it, and wants to move into the future, the PRESENT, and save his business.
What story does Doug Morris have to tell? A suddenly cold Jimmy Iovine dedicating time to the floundering movie business? More rappers feuding? It’s the wild west over at Universal, and the Street has got no tolerance for it. Worried about safety at their estates. They don’t want to die in the crossfire, they want to live to spend their MONEY!
So what’s next?
If we can have a legal YouTube, we can have a legal P2P service.
Oh, I’m not talking about that phony iMesh and the Wayne Rosso ramblings. Wherein you pay a buck a track for a WMA that won’t play on your iPod. I’m talking about an easy way to get a ton of music cheaply.
The labels are going to have to do this. It’s their only way out.
Enough with the distribution hype. That’s what all this MySpace bullshit is about. Young whippersnappers with their venture capital money are creating systems for acquisition. That’s EASY! What’s hard is finding good talent.
The business writers have got this all wrong. I don’t care how many Facebooks or other ways to break bands emerge, there aren’t that many good bands TO BEGIN WITH!
If it were easy to make good movies, why do almost all of them suck?
Same deal with music. Sure, anybody can learn to play the guitar. Can rap over a beat. But how many of these people have talent and are GOOD??
The problem wasn’t that there was a plethora of undiscovered talent that can now reach customers via the Web, but that there’s so little good talent TO BEGIN WITH!
Believe me, labels comb the country, the WORLD, looking for good talent. Sure, there’s been a major crisis in the narrowing of what’s deemed acceptable, WORKABLE, but it’s not like THOUSANDS of acts have gone by unnoticed. As the parameters of exhibition widen, different genres will be exposed. But STILL, very few good acts will exist.
Yes, it’s a long tail world, but it doesn’t go on FOREVER! To the point where there’s demand for Little Johnny’s keyboard work.
Just like in the blog world, a handful of acts will get MOST of the hits.
So please don’t inundate me with your schemes on how you’re gonna distribute music. Because you don’t have the one necessary element. The LABELS do.
And historically the labels won’t let you have it.
Now’s the time for the labels to do a 180. Just like they’ve done with YouTube. And make their wares available.
Sure, they’ve got to choose a system. Maybe even a few systems. But without the talent, every one of them is a no-go.
Historically Doug Morris has been about the check. That’s the story with SpiralFrog. Doug doesn’t give a shit about whether it’s successful, as long as he gets PAID!
But SpiralFrog is ridiculous. How about changing the paradigm. Making it about the long money instead of the short. Investing in something that might really work. Like the original Napster.
Yes, now is the time. For Edgar Bronfman, Jr. to authorize a P2P service. He should take an ownership position. And allow trading of Warner product.
Watch the rest of the sisters fall into place.
And then we might have what we COULD HAVE HAD in 2000. A way for more people to get more music for less money. Making music exciting again. Getting everyone to participate. Building acts.
It’s not the distributor’s move. It’s not the venture capitalist’s move. It’s the INDUSTRY’S move. SOMEONE has got to open the gates. And feed those iPods. It’s happening already, just illegally. As YouTube has been functioning for a year. Having seen the light, can’t Edgar start the ball rolling on a new acquisition paradigm? One the Street he’s beholden to will understand? One their kids will UTILIZE?
It’s time to square business policy with reality.
No one interested in buying music is listening to Mitch Bainwol.
Stop the insanity and give the people what they want. A ton of unprotected MP3s at a low price.