Live by the data, die by the data.
In other words, Jay Z’s not so smart. He may have been able to extract cash from Samsung, but he’s living in the last decade, if not the last century.
You remember the 1990’s, don’t you? When the music business was controlled by labels and you couldn’t play without radio, money and MTV, when acts were invulnerable and there was a clear distinction between them and us.
Once again, Guy Oseary screws up. I wonder if anybody at Artist Nation has a clue. Bring back Paul McGuinness. There were never these missteps when he was involved. He knew it was about hustle more than the big idea. I say dissolve the organization and make these managers sink or float on their own, because they’ve positively lost track, if they were ever on it at all.
The days of hype are through. You can throw it against the wall, but it’s never gonna stick. It only sticks through hard work, a ground effort wherein you bond with your fans in mutual respect as opposed to bitching that you’re poor and you’re gonna save the music business when all you’re really interested in is saving yourself.
When you read the above article, you’ll learn that the Tidal app fell out of the top 700 on the download chart. If you had a number that low on SoundScan, you’d be selling enough copies of your LP to keep you in Coke. And I mean the drink, not the drug. Today opinions don’t matter, facts do. And the fact is the public is not embracing Tidal. Jay Z’s army is composed of those on stage with him, there are limits to his power, despite a fawning press eating up all his prognostications. As for the brain dead “artists” in business with him, their image has taken a hit. Whereas Marcus Mumford looks good by pooh-poohing the moribund music service:
We’re at an inflection point. Where you have to decide if you’re a musician, or a business…man.
Turns out musicians have to love the music. Have to do it for the experience, not the cash. Because they just can’t make as much as their heroes, the corporate fat cats who rain down a couple of dollars in sponsorship money now and again. The artists’ power is in their believability, their credibility, pop may be heading for the cash register, but now is the time for real artists to grab the reins and head off into the stratosphere with their fanbase intact.
You know your fanbase… The people who go to your shows, who stream your music, who follow you online.
That’s all that matters when we discuss winners and losers, the data. Don’t complain about your Spotify payouts, trumpet how many people have actually listened to your music. Enough do and you’ll have a career. You’ll have enough dough to eat, sleep and drink. And if you’re looking for more, you’re in the wrong business. The Beatles didn’t get into it to be rich, the English musicians who created classic rock were just desirous of avoiding a life of drudgery in the factory. Stop complaining that someone stole your income and start creating. When did the United States become a nation of whiners? Bitching that someone not only moved their cheese, but stole it too. Music burgeoned when we were all in it together, an alternative to the crass corporations, the establishment, the man. Now Jay Z is the man, and that’s not very appealing to the populace.
Nor is the prospect of viewing exclusive content behind a paywall. When you’re used to seeing it for free on YouTube. You mean I pay a hundred bucks for a lousy ticket in the back and you’ve got to dun me for more? I’m struggling too!
And you’ve got to struggle to make it. You don’t get a million YouTube views overnight. You’ve got to find your groove, flesh out your act, maybe music is not your metier.
But once you’ve broken through you cannot break the bond with those who put you there. And the bond is not with the press, but the paying audience. We can see the smoke behind the mirrors, and we can see whether you’re real or not.
And Tidal is not real.
What if you gave a press conference and the press gave you a pass, doing no analysis, and the public rejected your offering?
Then you’d be living in the modern world where the media is in bed with politicians, corporations and the famous and the public is alienated.
Once upon a time, the public relied on the artists to salve their wounds, to point the way. Now they rely on each other.
That’s right, it’s more entertaining to correspond on Snapchat or Instagram than to listen to the words of blowhards. And even if we’re talking about you, you may not know we’re laughing behind your back.
No one wanted to do the hard work at Tidal, no one wanted to do the heavy lifting.
Spotify was in the States for three plus years before Taylor Swift blinked, before most people even knew what it was. But Tidal thinks it can jump-start success?
Apple’s got a head start because it’s got a platform already, that people are visiting, and it’s got everybody’s credit card number. That’s the heavy lifting.
Spotify is trying to convince people to pay for music.
What is Tidal doing? TRYING TO MAKE ITS OWNERS RICHER!
Saving the pocketbooks of the artists. Who cares about that.
Fans are already giving artists tons of money. What is up with the wealth transfer? It’s no wonder the public rejected Tidal. Just like they reject everybody who talks down to them. Can you hear me Mitt Romney, chiding the 47%?
It’s a new world baby. To last you need a foundation. And that foundation is quantifiable. Either you’re gaining streams and views and fans or you’re not. And if you’re not, it’s your fault. You don’t make mainstream music. That’s cool. BUT YOU DON’T GET TO BITCH THAT YOU CAN’T GET PAID!
And if you’re lucky enough to have made it, know that your artistic capital is not forever. You’ve got to think about your audience first. Instead of ripping people off, figure out a way to get the true fans in the good seats. A fan will pay for decades, and without fans you’re nothing.
So the curtain has been pulled back.
And what we’ve found out is the music business is populated by greedy artists and business people who care not a whit about those propping up their culture.
Yes, Guy Oseary can get Apple to push U2’s new album to everybody, but he can’t even get the band to sell out arenas:
And sure, not many tickets are left. But this story broke because the data’s freely available, you can search Ticketmaster and StubHub and LivingSocial. We know what’s hot.
And you know what isn’t?