The News

This is exactly what happened in the music business. Fat cats inured to the old ways could not handle change and after a decade of turmoil they realized the only way to cope was to throw in with the disrupters.

Music has been the canary in the coal mine for disruption. It’s just that the rest of the media believe the rules don’t apply to them, that music is a second-class citizen with no gravitas and that they’re educated he and she-women of the universe who will continue to triumph.

Hogwash.

The people rebelled against one good track on an album. The usual suspects thought it was about theft, just like the news people believe it’s about fake news when the truth is it’s a wholesale rejection of what once was. Newspapers are too narrow a sieve beholden to the fat cats. The past fifteen years have been littered with stories that developed online and were then picked up by the mainstream, is it any wonder the public doesn’t trust the papers? As for television, there’s no reporting, just holier-than-thou anchors, the same old acts who were plowed under by Napster, et al, paying fealty to the old ways they want to jet the public back to the past, but this cannot be done.

The newspaper is a bad paradigm for the new world. It’s dependent upon advertisers, businesses and personal, which know their customers no longer read it. Classifieds moved to Craigslist. And we’re bombarded with targeted ads online, why would someone advertise in the newspaper? And the web is infinite and the paper is limited. If we want to go deeper the paper won’t let us. Turned out we wanted not only the outtakes, but the live versions too. All the stuff the labels used to keep in a vault customers wanted. But with the audience spread out over many verticals there was less money for so much, so costs were cut, the same computer tools that enabled file-trading enabled the cost of production to go way down. The truth is it’s never been cheaper to make music, it’s just become harder to get it heard, the same way it’s become harder for the truth in papers to spread and take hold. There’s just too much information. To believe that fake news will be eviscerated and the truth will be revealed is to believe that suing file-traders will get rid of piracy. The solution is to reach into the future and get ahead of the public, something that both print and television news refuse to do.

Maybe we don’t need newspapers at all, not in their present form. Of course we need people to collect and disseminate the news, but maybe it’s individuals with online empires of acolytes. Kill the newsroom. Get rid of layers of infrastructure, now it’s all about going directly from the writer to the reader. As for TV…with GoPros available for barely three figures, with iPhones having a 4K camera, why do we need expensive productions with expensive equipment? You can edit on your computer, even on the phone itself, do we really have to pay all the overcompensated people now working? NO!

Don’t tell me right or wrong, just face the truth.

It’s harder than ever to get your message across. Which is why major labels sign fewer and fewer acts, and do their best to record the best tracks and promote those heavily, they know how heavy the competition is, but the present news media believe the alternatives online should just roll over and let them do their jobs, ha!

And in music you have to prove yourself first.

Which is why papers should comb the web and find those who already have traction and sign them up. Maybe the old farts working at the paper today are out of touch and need to go. Online there’s somebody who lives for the subject, is reporting on one topic 24/7, whereas reporters at papers have a new beat constantly and are asking who, what, where, why and when and are clueless!

Polish is unnecessary. It’s about the song, and it’s about the news. Learn to tell a story differently, it’s about zing as opposed to building a pyramid with a headline and then a recitation of facts thereafter.

The album is dead and so is the paper. People don’t want general info, they want to go deep in the verticals that interest them.

As for needing to be informed…

You’d be surprised how much today’s young people know, because there’s news online 24/7, they rarely watched TV news but they do consume stories online. Maybe there’s no need for news on TV anyway. We tune in to video online when something happens, when nothing is going on we don’t pay attention. Whereas in the paper and on TV they have the same news hole every day, as if everything is equally important.

But it’s not.

The election is just the beginning of the revolution. The press, like the Democrats, want to maintain the status quo, they want us to trust them, when all they’ve done is demonstrate how out of touch they are, and they’re untrustworthy to boot. No one’s going to trust the mainstream news outlets ever again because they called the election so wrong, they can’t regain trust, they’ve got to revolutionize themselves.

All the old musical acts no longer bother making new music, no one cares. They make money on the road. Maybe all the columnists would be better off going on the road, they’d make money and get their message out. And they’ve got to get out of the way and allow new voices to speak.

As for distribution… News outlets should stop bitching about sustaining the paper and TV stations, they should be looking for new ways to get the message out, new distribution platforms. Sure, Facebook is one, but we need one news site akin to Spotify, something with everything, that we can delve into in depth. Apple tried with its News app, it’s just that execution was not stellar and it’s a secret whereas today execution must be seamless so the people can spread the word.

We live in the information age and people are consuming more than ever.

But they don’t need to get it the old way.

And what we’ve learned from music is…

Streaming has eradicated piracy but no act is as big as it was in the pre-internet era. Most people can’t sing two Taylor Swift songs, most people can ignore Drake, just like they can avoid the “New York Times,” CNN and Fox. The old institutions get smaller. Their reach declines. Everyone can find them online but fewer people partake.

Meanwhile everybody in news is bitching and pointing fingers like their predecessors in the music business. Where did it get the label execs? NOWHERE!

Music learned it was all about distribution and they’d lost control and the startups could do it better. The paper and TV station are obsolete, but news is not, what’s the best way to get it to the people, who do the established outlets need to get in bed with to get the story out?

You made fun of music.

Now we’re making fun of you.

You’re in denial, and what we learned in music is when we got to the other side other entities were in control, the majors still existed, but they were changed enterprises, the papers and TV need to change.

The irony is the public knows all this. Just like people knew Napster was better than anything the labels provided, despite the fat cats saying people should prefer the perfect CD!

Clayton Christensen teaches us that established enterprises are overthrown by imperfect enterprises that start off being laughed off but then get good enough that they topple the icons.

The news icons are falling. And their courtiers who keep telling us to support them…

FORGET IT!

Don’t buy the paper unless you want to. Don’t watch TV news unless you want to.

And most people don’t want either the paper or the TV news. The reach of both is anemic.

Of course we need reporting. And reporting is not free.

But you cannot fight the tide of disruption, your only option is to grab hold and try to get ahead of it, to put customers first instead of blaming them.

Come on, all the media keeps doing is blaming Trump voters for being ignorant.

How did that work out in the music business?

IT DIDN’T!

Turned out the public knew more than the business people.

Investigate why people abandoned the traditional news outlets and you’ll gain an inkling of insight, a starting point.

People want truth. They want to believe you’re listening to them. They want to be titillated and entertained.

And if their beliefs are wrong…IT’S YOUR FAULT! You didn’t do a good job of spreading your message!

We need music.

Just not from the usual suspects.

We need news.

Ditto.

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