Allmans/Cheap Trick/Sony

What a fucked up country we live in.

Let’s start with the net neutrality debacle in Congress.  Can you say "Clear Channel"?  How come these paid-off pricks, uninformed as to reality, too busy lunching and trying to keep their jobs to actually know what they’re legislating about, constantly vote against the public’s interest?  The telcos and cable providers are pissed that they’re not getting some of that Google money.  It’s just like Tony Brummel saying he wants a piece of every iPod sold.  Somebody else comes up with a good product, and the toll takers come out and say PAY ME!  Does it remind you of independent radio promotion?  It should, because it’s the same damn thing.

Oh, Congress would say that there are no barriers to entry, that this is good for the public, but that’s a fiction.  Just like new technologies were going to immediately eviscerate Clear Channel, et al’s, monopoly.  Well, if there’s no agreement for the price of Internet streaming of music, and then when there is it’s exorbitant, and when fat cat record companies want to constantly extract a pound of flesh from satellite radio, you end up with homogenized stations on the conventional band and ultimately EVERYBODY loses.  The public tunes out, and then terrestrial radio’s ratings and revenue crash.

But that’s the government for you. The same one that refuses to employ a national broadband strategy.  SOUTH KOREA has broadband multiple times faster than the U.S.  As does FRANCE!  But, our government says leave it to the open market.  So, there’s no investment and focus is on making more money with what the providers have already got.  Let me spell it out to you.  This video revolution on the Web?  Not gonna happen.  It’s already crippled.  Because the pipe isn’t FAT ENOUGH!  And that’s bad for the economy.  Time Warner is limited in what it can make because not enough people can watch enough of their shows online.  THAT’S why we need fatter pipe.  But the President isn’t even dicking around in this sphere.  He’s just trying to burnish his image, as he was doing as New Orleans sunk.

Same deal here with the major record companies.  They’re SO busy trying to get laws passed to keep them alive they miss the point.  People HATE major labels.  It’s worse than in the days of Napster.  Just ask a person on the street.  Even the casual fan will tell you everything good is on an indie.  And perception ends up BEING reality.  Not that these imagemakers/starmakers seem to know this basic rule of their world.

Record companies have screwed artists from the dawn of the recorded music era.  That IS NOT going to stop.  Actually, that’s why the major labels fought Napster, et al.  Because they don’t want transparent accounting!  They want mumbo-jumbo numbers, which they can then use as an excuse not to pay people.  But the digital era gives ACCURATE sales numbers.  So, what do they do?  Pay bupkes.  Essentially nothing, for those yiddish-challenged.

The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick are not going to get any more significant money.  But now the average person is gonna know on a 99 cent download the artist doesn’t even make a nickel.  And that just gives them more incentive to steal.  Hell, the artists are not getting paid ANYWAY!  How many times have you heard THAT excuse?  Oh, tell people all the time how expensive it is to break an act, but they can’t see that, they know it’s a trumped up number because they see the execs’ lifestyle all over the media, they know major labels screw them and the artists just like they know rappers shoot rivals.  It’s ingrained in the system.

Believe me, sale by track will not prevail in the future.  It’s economic suicide.  You can only profit by selling the bundle.  But, since Apple came up with a solution which the labels authorized, and what a story THAT is, just speak with Roger Ames and ask what it took to get Universal on board, it’s the only real game in town.  Oh, believe me, the labels thought the iTunes Music Store would be a joke.  And didn’t come around to hyping it until it was successful.  And then, like the telcos and cable providers, wanted more of the action.  Not caring about a nascent business, or the customer, but their bottom line, their survival.  I’ll tell you this.  The major labels will survive as catalog licensing entities.  If they purvey new acts at all, they’ll be the blandest pieces of crap made for the mass market.  They’ve squandered their stranglehold.  Their only way out is through innovation.  Like Apple Computer, which emerged from the doldrums via great products.  But that ain’t ever gonna happen.  Because just like legislators and other entrenched entities, they’re only interested in holding on to their power.

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