Beyonce/Jay Z Album

Money or mindshare, that’s the question.

In case you didn’t know, “Everything Is Love” is only available on Tidal, although a single is viewable on YouTube. Distribution is king, and Tidal ain’t got none.

Now let’s go back to the last decade, when the issue was early release, theft of product. Boy have times changed. The issue now is being ignored. And the hip-hop acts have all learned that advance promotion is worthless, you’re squandering attention when you need it most. Best to start at the same starting line around the world on the same day. Ergo, today’s surprise drop. If people are paying attention to you, this is the best way to do it, because news outlets all over the world will detail the release. You could never get this amount of promotion the old drip-drip in advance way. And the public is excited, wants to spread the word, but you can’t LISTEN?

We learned with the launch of Tidal that acts are not as big as they think they are, cannnot overcome market forces. When Tidal was launched, YouTube was still the standard for music. And then Spotify made inroads by having a free tier. And now Beyonce is dissing Spotify in her lyrics, it’s as if someone told you not to buy a Prius because they’ve got a personal beef with Toyota. Consumers don’t have a problem with Spotify, they love it, it’s only acts that are stuck in the past.

Furthermore, ‘Lemonade” is still not available on Spotify, begging the question how big an event Beyonce’s performance at Coachella truly was. You could see it, but not stream it other than live. And you’ve got to strike at the moment. Being available thereafter is so twentieth century.

But you’ve got to applaud Jay for dissing the Grammys. But wouldn’t it be better if this message was available everywhere, so it could have impact? Believe me, if “Everything Is Love” were on all platforms, all streaming services, it would go to number one and maybe even stay there for a while, gaining even more publicity. But now it’s hobbled. By distribution. Kanye’s album got mediocre reviews, but it was streamed ad infinitum. And let me tell you, anybody who’s buying should be forgotten, they’ve missed the memo, they’re not active customers, tracks and CDs are going by the wayside, going down, down, down, furthermore you only get paid once on them, whereas with streaming you get paid in perpetuity.

But Jay wants to prop up Tidal, which he owns. Ever hear of cutting your losses? Learned about sunk costs? Every investor has losers, even Warren Buffett. And Buffett famously stays out of technology and plays for the long term. He isn’t in early, but late. And of course there are exceptions to this game, but Jay made a mistake, and should admit it, at least to himself.

So he’s all about the dollars, when today it’s about cultural impact.

We keep hearing about challenged news outlets, that there’s not enough money in them. But the truth is they run the country. They decide what to write about, what to promote. And they used to own both content and distribution and the recent hubbub about Facebook is a challenge to their distribution model.

Meanwhile, peeps keep thinking the internet is free, that you can play and win online, but that’s so 2009, you can create it, but you can’t make people read, watch or listen to it. Which is why it’s such a conundrum that the Carters didn’t realize while they had the floor, they should give everybody a chance to partake.

So what we’ve got now is a Tower of Babel society where everybody’s in their own niche and inaccurate information is consumed. But Jay speaks the truth on the Grammys and…

If I were the Grammy organization, I’d just ignore the pressure, it will be forgotten. I’m not saying rap should be marginalized, that rap does not deserve awards, but that those in the marketplace infrequently send messages that fade, and the key is to play long enough to outlast them.

Ain’t that a head-turner.

That’s right, it’s a game. You have to learn how to play it, with modern tools.

Trump learned he could win with Twitter, something the oldsters like Hillary completely ignored.

That’s right, you cannot live in the past. Like the Trump voters mad at those who supposedly stole their cheese. The immigrants, the Jews, the Asians, the blacks… It’s the last cry of a dying constituency, when “”Black Panther” is one of the biggest grossing movies of all time, you know that racism has declined and the only ones who have not gotten the message are the racists themselves.

So, when the whole world is watching African-Americans, when hip-hop rules, you can either move the needle, illuminate issues, focus on change, as MTV did in its heyday, featuring a rainbow of colors, or you can look to your pocketbook, a failing strategy employed by the movie studios, the networks and the record companies,

Thats right, the last shoe has not dropped, the labels are about to take a huge hit. Once Spotify starts giving advances…

We learned in the past that the labels can be trumped. By MTV. By iTunes. You’ve got to play the long game. But Sony blew out most of its stock in Spotify immediately, and now the value of the streaming service has gone UP! And why has it gone up? Because of the advances to artists, which they said they were gonna give in their roadshow! It’s not like it was a secret. And if you think Rob Stringer, et al, are any match for Wall Street, you don’t realize Spotify is more valuable than any label and you cannot take away something the public has already become accustomed to.

It does take money to make it, now just as it did in the twentieth century. But money has no loyalty, you don’t need to get it from some specific place. And if you do a deal with Spotify you get much more than you did from the label.

And if you’re exclusive on Tidal, you’re playing that old Billy Preston song, “Nothing From Nothing,” which equals nothing in case you’ve forgotten.

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