If you’re waiting for a woman to take over Universal Music or Live Nation…
First and foremost, Marissa Mayer is an engineer. A far cry from the contestants on "Idol" who can’t write songs, the wannabes with no experience who believe they should be at the top of the pop chart. Hell, in music it’s now less about individuality than submitting to the starmaking machinery. Rape me, remake me, I’ll do anything to be famous.
Meanwhile, fame is overrated. And whatever power today’s musical artists have they tend to leave at home. Yes, Gaga stood up to Target, nobody in Nashville will stand up to anybody, for fear of being excommunicated by the cabal.
I’m not sure Yahoo is savable. Then again, they tend not to hand the keys to a woman on the first go-round. Then again, women are better consensus-builders. Better a woman than a man who’s more interested in his pay package than the destiny of the company.
Yahoo is like a British Invasion band whose hits dried up and whose market share was usurped by more profitable upstarts. If only the company could go on a nostalgia tour, reaping bucks from people who remember the nineties, who’d buy merch and then go home self-satisfied. But there’s no nostalgia in tech. Hell, you don’t want to use the old Nokia that’s stuffed in your drawer.
It’s interesting that so many acts are women. But other than Monica Lynch, who worked at an indie, and Julie Greenwald, they’ve never gotten a top gig at a label. You see in music, women are second class citizens, it’s a boys club.
But it’s not like I can point to a woman who’s been overlooked. Who’s ready. Then again, Dolan did give the Madison Square Garden job to Melissa Ormond. Isn’t it funny that the most hated man in New York is on the cutting edge of women’s rights? Hell, he gave his wife a ton of power too.
But all upward mobility at the labels has stopped. It’s all about turf protection now. In this game of musical chairs, if you didn’t have power before, you’re certainly not gonna get any now.
One can only hope that women will get a toehold in the new world. Built utilizing digital tools that too often the old men just don’t understand.
But that will require not only street smarts and political efforts, but training.
Marissa Mayer did the hard work. She paid her dues at Google.
No one wants to pay their dues in music.
Which is why if they break through at all, they don’t last. There are no underpinnings.
The longer it takes you to make it, the longer your victory lap.
Digital is a meritocracy. And if you’ve got no merit, you’re never going to make it and maintain it.
As for those acts who complain they’ve got talent, paid their dues, all I can say is to wait, it takes longer than ever to get consensus, for everybody to agree you deserve attention. As for the old school top down marketing, sure, it might work in the short term, but the public is sophisticated, they know it’s not real.