"The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in July 2008. By 2012, the next presidential election year, non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The Tea Party movement is virtually all white. The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935. Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded."

Frank Rich

The Rage Is Not About Health Care

"A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday took a look at the Tea Party members and found them to be just as anachronistic to the direction of the country’s demographics as the Republican Party. For instance, they were disproportionately white, evangelical Christian and ‘less educated … than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack.’ This at a time when the country is becoming more diverse (some demographers believe that 2010 could be the first year that most children born in the country will be nonwhite), less doctrinally dogmatic, and college enrollment is through the roof. The Tea Party, my friends, is not the future."

Charles M. Blow

Whose Country Is It?

Does it remind you of the music business?

In other words, are the major labels the Tea Party?  Wanting things to return to a past that is so far distant that not only is it never coming back, many people aren’t even aware of it?



Files rule.  E-mail me all you want about how you love the silver discs, but you’re in the minority, you’re a Luddite (and don’t cite sales statistics, illegal acquisition of files online dwarfs ALL sales.)


Gone.  Yes, you can reminisce, wax rhapsodic about the concept discs of yore, but you’re never going to get people to pay a lot to get an hour’s worth of unheard music again.

Terrestrial radio.  People hate ads.  They’re a tune-out.  The concept that people will willingly sit through minutes of unwanted sales spiels is gone.  Lobby against the DVR while you’re at it.  And the iPod.  Oops, rights holders tried that, didn’t work.

We’ve got a generation that believes music should be plentiful, and cheap.  And no matter how much you want to deny it, their ranks are growing every day and baby boomers inured to the old world are dying.  Or, to quote Bob Dylan, "He not busy being born is busy dying."

Doesn’t matter what Doug Morris says.  Nor Lucian Grainge.  Nor…does Mitch Bainwol still run the RIAA?

As for Bono and his manager protesting that people must pay for music…  Compare the number of people who go to the U2 show to the number who listen to music…  Even Sarah Palin has fans.  And Susan Boyle sold a hell of a lot more albums.

In other words, if you’re lobbying to drag us back into the last century, you’re fighting a losing battle.  Doesn’t matter if you believe you’re right, if you think file-traders are thieves, your minions are dwindling.  Hell, elected officials would rather take the money of Silicon Valley and the electronics manufacturers than that of the content creators…hell, they’ve got more of it!

Don’t get emotional.  It serves no purpose.  Don’t lament your job is evaporating.  Figure out how you can function in the new world.

There will always be people who shepherd talent to the market.

How will they be remunerated and how much?

Interesting questions.

The old days of the label getting the lion’s share of the money are dead.  Forget 360, that’s a tiny minority, how many people even have a major label deal?  360 is with the manager.  Who may take fifteen or twenty percent, but no more. Talent is in control.  How do you get a share of talent’s upside?

Major labels have historical rights that are worth something, but they might as well shut down new music development. Or restructure it with a lot less cash involved.  Because it’s a losing proposition.  There’s less revenue coming in and acts are doing it for themselves.

As for exhibition…  The concept of keeping the listener prisoner is gone.  You’ve got to entice people, prove your worth, there can be no bait and switch, you’ve got to be a partner with consumers.  How long has it been since the industry’s done that?  Not only the labels, but the touring outfits.  You can’t get a good ticket and you never know what the final price is until you’re just about to check out.

But the touring business thinks the gravy train will last forever.  Not noticing that fewer people paying more money for fewer shows is not a paradigm for ongoing success.

Then again, how many superstars do we have left?  How many acts that can truly live like rock stars?  You’ve got to be a musician today.  There may never be a rich and famous contract.  Only drugs and groupies and the high of playing live music on stage.

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