The flaw in the hiring of Terry Semel has finally been revealed.  Believing the Hollywood hype that the future of the Net is entertainment, Semel invested in content and not only lost track of Yahoo’s soul, but its number one competitor, Google.

Google does one thing very well.  Search.  You wouldn’t use anything different unless you happened to be on somebody else’s site.  And this search has been tied to targeted ads, driving Google’s revenue, as Yahoo was partnering with retailers, trying to take a cut of their sales.

In other words, Terry Semel is Internet clueless.  But the fact that he was successful in another business meant he got a pass on Wall Street.  Oh, he could ORGANIZE the company, he just couldn’t LEAD it.  And never will be able to.  Because he just doesn’t understand the Net.

Yahoo is so nineties.  Passe.  It stands for nothing.  It’s a behemoth akin to General Motors.  Which will fall off a cliff soon, as it has already begun to do

Stock Overview for ‘YHOO.O’

Semel hired entertainment cronies, driving the operation in the wrong direction as Google stole its thunder.

Not that Google is perfect.  How badly did they fuck up video?  With their own format and a sliding scale of charges.  Trumpeting an ex-Hollywood quasi-player as a visionary.  It IS about relationships.  But the way you convince Hollywood is to SCARE THEM!  That they’re going to be left out.  That if they don’t do it with you, they’re going to be left behind, as renegades not to be trusted steal their wares, creating a quagmire that’s going to COST money as opposed to delivering revenue.

Bet on people, not history or stock prices.  Bet on the guys at Google, bet on Steve Jobs and his team at Apple.  Don’t bet on Semel and the Yahoo troops.  They lack the vision thing.

And if it weren’t for their lock on operating systems and productivity apps I’d say not to bet on Microsoft either, their revenue is primarily derived from monopolistic practices, not an assessment of the landscape and the future.


All you have to know is it comes in brown.  What did Frank Zappa say almost FORTY years ago?  BROWN SHOES DON’T MAKE IT!

Brown has NEVER been cool.  Maybe UTILITARIAN in the case of UPS, but utilitarian never made headway in tech.

But the story here isn’t Redmond’s potential challenge of Apple but the backlash it’s causing in its own backyard.

Microsoft is a business of standards.  They establish them and their partners follow them.  Sure, success wasn’t garnered in the MP3 player field, but how much of that is attributable to Microsoft’s lame software?  Media Player and Plays For Sure/To Go.  None of which deliver seamless operation.  That’s why Apple dominates, IT WORKS!  Microsoft has a reputation for NOT working, only maintaining its dominance because people are LOCKED INTO their eco-system.

But that eco-system has been invaded.  By iTunes.  The app.  Which works better on Windows than MICROSOFT’S applications do.

So, Apple has no worries.  The iPod juggernaut will continue.  Not only because of its competitors ineptitude, but their INFIGHTING!

Microsoft launches Zune and Real Rhapsody says it’s going to write its OWN software featuring seamless integration with SanDisk players, ending up with a system INCOMPATIBLE with Microsoft.  (Furthermore, Zune isn’t compatible with services that use Microsoft’s OWN secure music software, like Napster, Yahoo and Rhapsody.)

SanDisk is the number two seller of hand-held players.  They’re not going down without a fight.  Nor is Creative, emboldened by their Apple payoff.

No, Microsoft hasn’t taken steps against Apple, it’s started a CIVIL WAR!  And nobody profits when there’s infighting.  It costs a lot to do battle, to try and leap above the fray, and all the while there’s a calm alternative on the side, Apple.

Wall Street has got this one wrong too.


Anthony Burbidge:

Re: your latest email mention of the band called Hinder, all I can say is – I watch MTV, MUCH Music, various "Entertainment News" programs, surf the net, AND, until January 05, I worked/managed an independent record store for 10 years and I HAVE NO IDEA WHO HINDER IS! lol (not that I probably need to based on your assessment!)

Pat Pierson:

Who is Hinder?

That’s a Top Ten record you’re talking about there.  Number 9 LAST WEEK, number 10 this week, only pushed down the chart because of new releases.

But nobody except those who’ve actually PURCHASED the record seem to know who the act is.

This is not the way it used to be.  Used to be you knew EVERY record.  Because you were a pro.  And the amateurs?  They knew the hit acts, first from Top Forty radio in the sixties and then from MTV in the eighties.  But now with so many alternatives, people have tuned out.

Oh, it’s not only more records, it’s more media.  The assault is overpowering.  To the point where you can’t comprehend it and tune out.  And since music hasn’t had a good track record recently, many aren’t even paying attention.  Not that it’s much different in the movie business, I don’t even read the reviews anymore, the flicks come and go so quickly.

The chart no longer matters.  Oh, it’s a reflection of what’s selling most, but it’s got no cultural INFLUENCE!  What’s a chart worth if it doesn’t reflect most people’s listening habits?

Maybe we need a new chart.  One that reflects mindshare.

Then again, we’re going to have to calculate how that mindshare was achieved, and the negative effect of the saturation marketing employed to achieve ubiquity.

It’s a free-for-all.  If you don’t know this, you’re just not paying attention.  The mainstream business has lost hold of its customers.  Only a small fraction of potential buyers are paying attention to the major label/MTV/terrestrial radio circle jerk.  And so many of those who’ve abandoned this paradigm are NEVER coming back.  You can kick and scream and tell them they must return, but this hasn’t brought people back from P2P to buying discs.

The RIAA companies are employing a disinformation campaign equivalent to the one utilized by George Bush.  No wonder, since the organization is headed by smiling-faced/evil under the surface ex-Republican lobbyist Mitch Bainwol.  They’re not curtailing online piracy, they’re not even making headway.  Maybe they’re exerting a slight drag on progress, freaking out those who WOULD buy music if it were cheaper and more accessible online, ultimately leaving them with their money still in their pockets, but so many consumers have left the building and just laugh when the endless edicts are issued by the trade organization.

YouTube is one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to music.  Only eclipsed by Napster before it.  Footage that we didn’t even know EXISTED is easily viewable.  Just plug in your favorite band’s name and be STUNNED at what comes up.  I’m into 10cc.  There’s a BUNCH of footage of the act on YouTube, and I didn’t know ANY of it existed!

This is what creates excitement.  Stoking the fire.  Getting people excited about music. Satiating fans.  It’s THIS the RIAA wants to get rid of.  Doug Morris, only looking for a payday, wants to hold back the future of the industry.  How dare he.

Suddenly music is in the forefront, and the people in charge want to bring it back to the rear of the bus.

MySpace.  YouTube.  They’re generating heat about music that eclipses, BY FAR, the iTunes Music Store.  The only thing rivaling them is the iPod, which is a HARDWARE device.

But the majors are afraid of losing control.  Because that’s their ONLY control, distribution.  They want to make sure YOU can’t exhibit your wares, never mind get paid.

Turns out you can’t stop Internet copyright infringement.  Your only hope is to make everyone legal, by licensing their usage.

And after doing this, you’ll find that new acts emerge, that people believe in, started in places you didn’t even know existed, growing solely on the tunes/tracks themselves.  Acts that aren’t one hit wonders, but ones people want EVERY track of.  THIS is what the majors are trying to stop, can you BELIEVE IT??

(Product note: I’m not sure I knew the following existed, hell with so MUCH product out there.  It rings a distant bell in my memory, but for a minute there, I thought it was freshly-unearthed from the vaults.  Now I’ve seen it, and been enraptured.  Imagine unlocking product from disc.  Allowing MANY people to see it at a low price, or free if supported by advertising.  Good for the Doors?  Think about a band that’s still ALIVE!

Doors Hollywood bowl

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