Carney vs. Parker

Why are artists so damn ignorant?


"Mr. Coben says he just wants what any writer wants – more readers.

‘The most annoying and full-of-crap thing a writer says is, I write only for myself, I don’t care if anyone reads it,’ Mr. Coben says. ‘A writer without a reader doesn’t exist.’"

Harlan Coben Floods the Zone

Harlan Coben has sold 50 million books. He sells 4.5 million a year. If he was a musician, he’d start attacking his audience immediately. And thereafter rail against his publisher and Amazon and anybody who keeps him from feeding his family.

But first and foremost, Mr. Coben is an artist. And the main goal of an artist is to have more people experience his art. If this is not your goal, please give up immediately. You’re just a money-grubber cocking up the works.

Prior to the Internet, only a limited number of musicians could get their music heard. And only by a limited number of people. Now all musicians can get their music heard by everybody. The downside of this? Those who won under the old rules find it harder to succeed under the new. Not if you’re exceptional, like Adele, but if you make music that does not reach ubiquity. Used to be radio and television jammed songs down people’s throats. Now, it’s hard to get everybody to pay attention.

Change always creates new winners and losers. If someone is complaining loudly, it’s usually because he used to win or desired to win under the old rules.

As for Mr. Coben… See the movie of his book "Tell No One". Sure, it’s got French subtitles, but it’s as good, if not better, than every movie nominated for an Oscar last year.


Beating up on Sean Parker is worthless. If you believe he and Shawn Fanning are responsible for destroying the music business, you know nothing about invention.

Study the history of invention and you find out "it was in the air". In other words, if one person didn’t invent the breakthrough technology, another person would. Which is why there are always disputes over who is responsible for inventing radio and other technologies.

In other words, if Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker had lost Internet access, we’d still have had Napster. The underlying technologies were "in the air".

I’ll give you an example you can understand… Didn’t MySpace precede Facebook? And didn’t Friendster precede MySpace? Social networking was in the air.

Read Malcolm Gladwell’s article:


That’s Spotify’s main target.
The music industry played Whac-A-Mole, poorly, with every wannabe file-trading outlet. Did you see the recent report that the Pirate Bay wants to use drones?

Even the head of Vevo said combating piracy was an unwinnable war.

"’Piracy is a bit like the war on drugs, it’s an unwinnable war in my opinion. But that’s not necessarily the opinion of the industry, but I think the solution is to provide access to entertainment to as many people as possible, through a variety of different models- including the free models.’"

Rio Caraeff

Vevo CEO: The war on piracy is like the war on drugs…’unwinnable’

You’re victorious via business solutions. Spotify payments are low for the free service. When people pay, payments go up. You can’t get Spotify for free on your mobile handset. And all data says that’s where we’re going. To complain that Spotify is free in its lo-fi ad-supported version on computers is to bitch that you’re getting ripped off in the world of tube television. Can you even buy one anymore? How come musicians are blind to the future?


The fact that labels take the lion’s share of royalties is not Sean Parker’s fault, it’s the artists’ fault. Now you no longer have to sign with a label, if you do so and get ripped off/ have low royalty rates, you only have yourself to blame. If you’re a legacy artist, I feel sorry for you.


How many people said Apple was worthless in the nineteen nineties? How many people said Apple would soon be out of the computer business, even after the launch of the iPod? How many people said the iPod would fail because it was too expensive?

Now Apple is the world’s most valuable company.

You start small and build big with great products.

This is the way it used to be in the music business.


The only difference between Rhapsody and Spotify is the latter offers a free version. And as a result of being free, user adoption has grown. It’s kind of like dealing dope, people don’t know what they’re missing until they experience it.

Furthermore, Spotify has better functionality than previous streaming offerings. The songs begin sooner and you can fast-forward/reverse just like with ownership.


People bought videotapes then rented them then rented DVDs then bought DVDs and then rented DVDs and now stream movies. To the point where Netflix now wants to get rid of its disc-based offerings. Don’t tell me the public knows what it wants. If you believe the AAC files of the iTunes Store will be the format of choice a dozen years from now you’re probably going to the Apple Store and stockpiling the computers that will be needed to play them.

But isn’t it interesting that Apple is moving to a cloud-based system, where ownership is registered and the songs are streamed to devices…


Beating up on Sean Parker is like beating up on Lou Pearlman for inventing the boy band paradigm. There were boy bands before Pearlman and now after. He just seized the moment.

Sure, Parker has gotten rich, but if you think it’s all about money, maybe you shouldn’t be a musician.

Musicians are so damn stupid. They want someone else to pay for their production, they want to make full-length albums and they want to get hit singles on the radio. This is akin to shaking down fat cats to invest in cartridges for ancient Nintendo gaming systems.

The paradigm keeps shifting. Why do artists refuse to play along?

Furthermore, why is it always the uber-rich who complain? Black Keys sells out Madison Square Garden and then bitches that they aren’t making even MORE money!

As for Metallica’s stand… All these years later we can see their hearts were in the right place, but their heads were clouded in ignorance. Files are not conventional physical property, they can be reproduced at almost no cost at will. It’s not like stealing a couch.

In other words, if you’re ignorant, become informed OR STFU!


If musicians had their way, they’d kill Spotify and make everybody buy CDs. Give the power back to the dreaded major labels and keep newcomers out.

Maybe that’s why so much mainstream music today is so bad. There’s no innovation, just endless repetition of the old formula, trying to milk a dying cow.

The Black Keys make innovative music. As a result they’ve been successful. But just because Patrick Carney knows how to make music, that does not mean he knows anything about technology or money.

The problem is not Sean Parker. As if he were Al Gore and invented the Internet. Mr. Parker has seized tools to try and change the paradigm. The fact that he’s been smart enough to see the future and capitalize upon it is anathema only in the music business where we want to depend on a byzantine system where most of the money goes to intermediaries and the artist is screwed.

We now have more transparency. Artists can do it for themselves.

Technology begat this.

And if you abhor this, please turn in not only your computer, but your iPhone and iPad.

As for Mr. Carney saying Apple will ultimately create a better service…a decade ago wasn’t Apple the enemy?

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