We’re looking for transparency and effectiveness. And he who delivers same will rule in the future.

Transparency. When you deal in bits and bytes you end up with a real answer. Something the labels hate. Because they’ve profited for years by stealing. How many tracks have been downloaded? Pay me my share. And that share must be fair.

Heritage acts are still smarting from giving up royalties to fund the introduction of the CD. They got whacked then, and now they’re getting a double dose with low iTunes payments. In return for helping their business partners grow, they’ve gotten less.

The deal had value when majors could make acts stars. But now, the majors can only make vapid popsters successful. With radio in the doldrums and MTV effectively out of the music video business, the benefit of signing with a major is close to nil for many acts. Furthermore, their rights are tied up for eons. They can’t get off the label even if their record is shelved, and they don’t own their masters.

Ownership. That’s coming. Acts pay for their records and then the majors STILL own them. This doesn’t instill trust as much as hatred. The new model will be akin to Don Henley’s with Irving Azoff. Complete trust. And someone akin to the manager will rule. And an entity like Frontline will emerge as the new powerhouse.

The old model is dead. 360 degree deals will be the norm. But with WHOM?

New entities. Just like Microsoft supplanted IBM, just like Google supplanted Yahoo, just like Apple supplanted Tower Records, unforeseen entities will eclipse the usual powers and rule in the future.

We’re in an era of chaos. But it won’t last forever.

Just like only a handful of the millions of blogs get a disproportionate share of the hits, new companies will control the music sphere. They’ll have money. Their charges won’t starve on the street. Musicians will give up income to get the reward. But they’ll believe they’re getting a fair deal. And, they will know exactly what their deal and revenue are.

This is what is going to appeal to the musician. This transparency.

We’re not talking indie labels running on a shoestring here. Rather, well-financed companies that control talent. A veritable cabal out to rape and pillage traditional powers all in the defense of the artist, for the benefit of the fan. You’ve got to reference Irving Azoff again here. What did the aforementioned Mr. Henley say at the Eagles’ induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? "He may be Satan, but he’s OUR Satan?"

You want Satan on your team. Someone who has a direct interest in your success. And no one at a major label fits this paradigm. Hell, they may not even be there when your record comes out, never mind your fifth. And what can they do for you anyway?

The new company, probably controlled by a youngster, will OWN Facebook. I don’t mean literally, just that it will be wired in the online sphere. The new company will have a database of every music fan in the genres within which it operates. It will know how to solicit and motivate without overpressuring. It will be in the long haul business, not solely desirous of instant gratification. Career management will be paramount. "No" will be heard more than "Yes". The new company will be on the same team as the act.

We’re just waiting for these trustworthy effective companies to raise their head. They won’t be like Starbucks, a retailer with tons of cash. Rather, they will be run by fans, who understand both technology and tunes.

LiveNation could be a factor, since it’s such a force in the physical world, the live business can’t be replicated on the Net. But LN promotes so many acts, that it will be an arm’s length negotiation, about the advance. Certainly as long as the company is beholden to Wall Street. Good for Madonna. But for the next Madonna, starting from scratch? Probably not.

Some things never change. There are businessmen at the nexus of art and commerce. But there’s no guarantee that those businessmen will remain the same.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.