1/6 Hearings

Conventional wisdom is they’re irrelevant, that they have no impact, cannot reach core Republicans, but that is plain wrong.

This is a lesson in media most performers have not learned, even studios have not learned, even TV streaming outlets have not learned.

It’s not about dripping out episodes once a week so people don’t cancel, that’s torture, it’s about having so much new product that people constantly come back to your site to see what’s happening. That’s Netflix’s secret advantage, the sheer amount of product. I’m not canceling my Netflix account, I know I can always find something to watch on the service. AppleTV+? I just canceled it.

Disney+ has one or two hit shows that don’t appeal to me. I outgrew “Star Wars” long ago, I’m looking for something more gritty, something more real, which means I only subscribed to Disney+ when I got it for free with my Verizon Wireless account. I wanted to see “Hamilton.” I have no kids, I need no babysitter. That’s Disney’s ace in the hole, kids’ programming. But most of us are not kids.

As for HBO Max… They’re doing a bad job of telling people that there’s more product on the site than that which was aired on HBO. All kinds of Time Warner product. But they still have a dearth of worthwhile new product. The outlet is still skewed to the older TV viewer, who still has a cable subscription, those who are inured to the week by week release that younger generations cannot cotton too.

As for performers…

There’s a tsunami of product, more than anybody can pay attention to. Drake released a new album on Friday. You’d be stunned how many people don’t care, are not even aware. And this isn’t a diss of his music, but a statement that he reaches only a fraction of the audience.

That’s the new paradigm. You’re in business for yourself. Everybody is cottage industry. That’s what the social media influencers realize, they can only rely on themselves, and their only way of getting ahead is to drop product every single day, to get people coming back, so they’re not one and done.

Maybe you’re big enough, from the pre-internet days, to put out no new music and still sell out halls. Good for you. But this does not work with the younger generations. Out of sight, out of mind. I’m not saying you need to make social media a job, I’m just saying you’ve got to post enough content to keep people coming back on a regular basis, afraid of missing out, looking forward to being titillated. It can be a cover song. It can be a video sans music. Fans are hungry for connection, and if you don’t provide it someone else will.

And know that you’re only appealing to fans. Nobody else cares. Your only hope is your fans are so attached to you that they keep bugging their friends about you. Publicity?

Maybe you followed the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard story. Read this article:

“The Mainstream Media Lost the Depp-Heard Trial – And the lifestyle influencers turned court correspondents won.”: https://nym.ag/3OmEx0Q

The pro Johnny Depp narrative was built by online influencers who were doing it for clicks, irrelevant of their inner beliefs. And mainly, it’s only the college educated who are reading the “New York Times,” “Washington Post” and “Wall Street Journal.” You’re getting your story in one of those rags and believing you’re on the road to success. WRONG! Unless you can move the online needle you’re nowhere. How do you trigger your fans?

The most important words in the above article are these:

“The more you publish the more successful you are. Nearly every influential success, from Trump to the “New York Times” to DeuxMoi, is based on frequency and constancy.”

This is why the 1/6 hearings have such effect and you don’t.

Let’s see, the oldsters lost the Napster war and then the streaming war and keep dreaming that we can all go back to 1972, when labels paid big bucks in a controlled environment with limited product. But those days are through! Sure, coast on fumes if you want to, if you’ve got enough career momentum, great. But if you want to grow your audience, you’ve got to produce, regularly.

Yes, an influencer can reach more people than the “New York Times.” A teenage TikTokker can reach many more people than supposed “hit” artists. I’m not equating the nutrition of the influencer with the artist, but the influencer doesn’t post once and then come back three years later… The influencer keeps posting, regularly. Hoping to bond those who have watched their videos to them.

And the truth is the major labels have lost control of the game. They were asleep at the wheel. They don’t realize they’ve been marginalized. They represent an ever-shrinking share of new music. You see the youngsters creating online have established a whole new paradigm that the majors don’t understand. It’s not about repeatability of the song so much as repeatability of the experience, of going to someone’s site on a regular basis to see what they’re delivering today!

Uvalde? Once it was announced the right and left had agreed to a bill, it fell off the front page. Despite the fact that the bill, if ultimately passed, will have minimal effect. It’s a step in the right direction, but the underlying problems? Those are going unaddressed. The story has been buried.

But 1/6? They’re having hearing after hearing, week after week.

You know why Fox doesn’t want to talk about them? Because they’re afraid their audience will become aware of them! I mean these people have been gaslighted so bad, but once confronted with the truth, again and again, it will become much more difficult to maintain their position.

Everybody’s talking about 1/6. To the point that the hard core Trump fans/election deniers are hearing about it.

Liz Cheney had it right. These Trump supporting doofuses in Congress don’t realize that the sands of time, history, won’t be kind to them. This is the story again and again, whether it be Joe McCarthy, Lee Atwater, even Newt Gingrich. When the tide turns, you don’t want to be caught out to sea.

Which means there may come a point where the elected officials cave, wake up and say they had no idea, now they know that Trump is a criminal, that they were being fed false information.

But it’s the people who are moving the needle. The same people the writers at the major publications are out of touch with. Wanna know what’s going on? Don’t go to lunch with a fat cat, spend that time online.

The 1/6 story won’t die.

And you’ve got to give the committee credit, they’re constantly revealing new nuggets. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, BAM, they release something new. Come on, admit it, you thought you knew everything about 1/6, that the committee was just about apportioning blame, you really didn’t think they were going to come up with something new, BUT THEY HAVE!

So you follow the story. It’s everywhere. You’ve got to be everywhere if you want to grow your audience today. I’ll admit it’s gray, you can’t write it down definitively, you’ve just got to walk into the wilderness and experiment, and hope to get lucky along the way.

There are very few through-threads in society today. Stories that continue for years that we can all pay attention to, that we can have a viewpoint on, that we can argue about. That’s what we’re looking for, we’re looking to ENGAGE!

And we’ve lost all faith in the elected officials and those making seven figure salaries appearing on TV. They’ve got no clothes. They’re out of touch. They were made for an old world, with limited outlets. Give Tucker Carlson and Rachel Maddow credit, they’ve established identities, you know what they were selling, they’ve got rough edges, and that’s what hooks people to them. That’s why musicians have lost, their music doesn’t evidence the outside creative spark that will bond people to them. We’ve all got our Velcro loops looking to be snared, you’ve got to provide the hooks!

Commentary is nearly worthless, other than to keep the story alive. It’s only the facts, they stand on their own. And it’s a small subset of the population which watches cable news and even reads the newspaper. The committee has made the facts so clear that they’re easily understood, everybody feels like an expert, therefore everybody has got an opinion and wants to talk about it.

Give Trump credit, he understands this. Which is why he constantly tweeted, he provided train-wreck value, people couldn’t take their eyes off him, even if they disagreed. And he got everybody talking. And he’s still employing the same playbook, being in the news, fighting back, otherwise…

You lose.

Do you want to win or lose?

If you want to win you’ve got to play online. That’s your base. And it’s comprised of many elements, not only all the streaming services, but YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, even Facebook. Figure out where your people are and go there. And know you’re investing in yourself. The old days of casino careers is over, trying to get noticed so someone will buy and now stream your song. That’s just one of the building blocks. It’s got to be about you, you’re more than your songs, people want to believe in you, especially if you’ve got credibility in this sold-out world. 

Go your own way, but make sure you’ve got followers.

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