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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Your thoughts on the modern music business?

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I just read an interesting interview with Glen Frey who said that he thought that there was still plenty of options left in the music business for CD sales etc rather than it moving to a stage where artists made the bulk of their income from playing live shows and tours. He talked of the woes of downloading and all the difficulties with copy protection these days also.

I was personally hoping that we would move into a new era where bands did make their income from playing live. I'd like to see more artists that can actually put on a live show and have a catalogue of strong songs. It pains me to pay up for an album without hearing it first that ends up only having one decent song on it and the rest is just "filler". I borrow a lot of stuff from friends or listen to it round their house first as often I find there's only one or two track worth owning and £12.99 is a lot of money for two songs. I think this is the reason a lot of people are illegally downloading music.
Youtube is also great for these purposes and you don't need to get into the shady business of downloading the music. For example I've recently watched a load of videos and live performances by Ritchie Kotzen. I feel I've seen enough to go out and happily buy his back catalogue and not worry about getting ripped off as a customer. However there are a number of artists who ask youtube to take stuff down due to copyright infringement. I'll have no chance of finding out whether they deserve my money or not unless I can hear them.

My own moral conundrum lies in this analogy though .......

You can't expect to walk into a restaurant and ask for a small serving of the steak and sauce as you'd like to try it before you spend your money and order it, it's just not realistic. You need to take advise from trusted friends who have eaten there already to give you a description of what it's like. At some point though somebody has to take the risk and spend some money there first. He/she may have liked or disliked it for personal tastes that may conflict with your own.
However, if the restaurant had an open plan kitchen where you could see the chef cooking live and experience the sights and smells whilst you had a drink at the bar you may feel a lot more secure with the purchasing decision you were about to make.


Anyway, the interview with Mr Frey was very interesting and I was wondering what you guys thought about the current state of the music business.

Eggy

Last edited by Eggy; 02-18-2008 at 05:56 AM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 06:51 AM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

Eggy, where can we read this interview?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

It was in Classic Rock magazine (the recent issue with AC/DC on the cover).
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 07:44 AM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

I'm decidedly ambivalent.

On one hand, you have an artist whose music is being ripped off without any compensation - that applies just as much to Metallica as to smaller artists - by illegal downloading. At the same time, the same artist is being ripped off by his label, which gets the lion's share of income.

On the other hand, music labels lay out a fair amount of money on A & R and putting albums into production which will run at a loss; that's the nature of the business, and losses don't get passed on, although artists pay for the cost of their own successes.

In general I have very little sympathy for the distribution side, but musicians deserve to be compensated for their efforts (even when they suck [except when R&B is involved, in which case they deserve to starve]). The whole shape of the business has to change, but it's going to take some very clever restructuring. No doubt the companies will come out ahead.

B.T.W. Eggy, if you could see the kitchen in 99,99% of restaurants you'd become a firm advocate of home cooking.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 07:47 AM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

The problem is that most modern mainstream music is produced with a product lifecycle and everything. The producers even do not try to make "stars" as this would be unproductive for new products.

The second problem is, that most music is like fastfood. In this crap music cycle of course people download. I pay as little as I can to eat ****... Preferably nothing.

Back in the time when music was still music and no internet was happening it was pretty much the same. For music that was like fastfood to you, there were markets filled with copied music cassettes. But most people were buying Albums of their favorite band. People were proud to own albums and there were lots of special editions and picture discs that actually deserved the name.

Today you get a cheap CD with a crappy booklet with some psycho photo shots. The special edition is the same crap with a underperformed bonus song in a tin can (that is actually cheaper than the CD case).
Look at my The Who Tommy special edition picture album. Highest quality vinyl with picture on it. Velvet enclosure with gold embroidering. Original pinball in the box. Set photos, one authographed, etc. etc. etc. This thing deserved to be called a special limited edition.
Hell from one limited edition Madonna CD my CD store even had 2 times the number 786 in stock

So what's the moral of the story:
The music industry actually plays both sides. They think their customers are stupid peons and their artists don't deserve any money for making music.

Hence I pray for the day that the music industry selfdestructs and is forced to try to saddle the horse from the right side.
Or if someone outside the music industry picks this up and makes something new which benefits artists and musicians.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

Trouble is most people who download illegally won't give a crap about getting it for free and will see no need to buy the CD. We as guitarists/musicians/performers (tick appropriately for your own wishes ) can have respect and admiration for our peers and fellow artists and are therefore happier to buy their material.

But i do agree......the amount of cd/albums i own where a portion of it doesn't live up to the hype is off-putting.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

I think you can get a decent taster of potential purchases from the iTunes preview. Plus the choice is much much wider than your usual HMV store.

I bought a Neal Schon album on iTunes last week that I would never be able to buy on the High Street
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

As someone who has found herself somewhat entrenched in the Biz, I have tons of thoughts, but I'll keep it simple.

Find a genre of music you actually like. Find a good, free, internet radio station that plays said type of music. Listen to the new releases played on said station. If you think you like someone, go to their myspace page. Listen to the 4-5 full length songs they have on their page. These are usually the best of the bunch. If you like all 4-5 or at least most of them, then you'll probably like the album. Then you have a choice... if you LOVE it, go buy an actual CD that you'll cherish always. If you like it enough to pay a bit for it, but not so much that you HAVE to have it, then go to itunes and pay 50-75% for the album. If you don't like the artist enough to buy it, but you kinda like them enough to at least keep an ear out for their future projects, then add them to myspace and check back on occasion.

This isn't rocket science people. I don't want to hear about the label screwing artists, or distribution places making money for nothing. This is a business! These people run it like a business. If they aren't making money overall then they will move onto something else. Many of the indies actually LOVE the music they put out and don't care about that mass money making machine.

I'm not going to complain about mainstream music. I didn't like it, so I stopped listening to it entirely about 6-7 years ago. www.dividingline.com has just about everything I could ever need... I buy music from artists on myspace when I find really good ones that speak to me. Don't just sit around and complain that music sucks these days, because honestly there is SOOOOOOOOOO much music out there to please anyone's tastes. You just can't expect it from your traditional radio stations. Big deal.

Mostly I will say, that most artists in this game put plenty of music up for people to listen to via their website, myspace, or friendly internet radio. I personally don't care if someone downloads a crappy mp3 version of an artist to determine whether they like it or not. What I don't like are those who find artists they truly love to listen to, and then never buy any of their albums. I know people are broke, and no one has much money to spend on music. But do you honestly think that truly great music is going to be made if the artist has to hold down a regular job, feed the family, spend time with the kids... AND find time to make music? Not bloody likely.

And PS... tours are usually determined by the number of album sales a bad has in a particular area. If they only sell 4 CDs in London, they aren't going to tour there over the 6000 CDs they sold in Manchester. Illegal downloading skews the number of fans in a location so that loads of places get passed over for tours even if the fan base is fairly strong. But then again, if the artist isn't even breaking even on their investment, why should they be forced to spend thousands more to put together touring equipment, rehearsal space, touring bands, take time off work, hotel rooms, flights, shipping equipment around etc... if they aren't even sure anyone is going to be there when they tour? That sort of system would be fine for well established bands who can almost always sell out an arena. But for those poor guys bustin their humps in 500 capacity clubs and hauling their own gear about, it is downright cruel and counter productive.

Okay... I should just shut up before I say too much.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

My fiance works for a Music and DVD distributor. She says DVD is the cash-cow while the music industry is sucking wind. The national music business will die, and rightly so! They've lived with the expectation that they deserve things to remain the same. That people will deal with records nowadays that have only one decent single and 8-9 other crap songs. Illegal downloading is wrong, no doubt, but IMO selling a CD for $15 that is mostly crap is also theft. Consumers deserve a chance to listen before they buy these days. Places like Amazon do well with that sort of thing. I bu lots of CD's from Amazon mostly because they also have hard-to-find stuff too.
Overall, the music business is a bloated beast that won't be able to sustain itself. IMO, we will see what we haven't seen in over 100 years; regional or local acts dominating! Sure, there might still be a few big acts. We can't live without Britney, eh? I think the big labels would be suited to reselling local acts, kind of like a graduate system for acts that can break through at the lower levels. The big labels still have the mechanism to distribute nationally, promote, and maybe for once put better bands and artists in the forefront.
But the record companies WON'T change... and that's why they'll snuff it!
Kampai!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike570 View Post
My fiance works for a Music and DVD distributor. She says DVD is the cash-cow while the music industry is sucking wind. The national music business will die, and rightly so! They've lived with the expectation that they deserve things to remain the same. That people will deal with records nowadays that have only one decent single and 8-9 other crap songs. Illegal downloading is wrong, no doubt, but IMO selling a CD for $15 that is mostly crap is also theft. Consumers deserve a chance to listen before they buy these days. Places like Amazon do well with that sort of thing. I bu lots of CD's from Amazon mostly because they also have hard-to-find stuff too.
Overall, the music business is a bloated beast that won't be able to sustain itself. IMO, we will see what we haven't seen in over 100 years; regional or local acts dominating! Sure, there might still be a few big acts. We can't live without Britney, eh? I think the big labels would be suited to reselling local acts, kind of like a graduate system for acts that can break through at the lower levels. The big labels still have the mechanism to distribute nationally, promote, and maybe for once put better bands and artists in the forefront.
But the record companies WON'T change... and that's why they'll snuff it!
Kampai!
+1 to that, very well said
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2008, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

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Originally Posted by mike570 View Post
Illegal downloading is wrong, no doubt, but IMO selling a CD for $15 that is mostly crap is also theft.
I totally agree. I also have no sympathy for the record company who has spent millions on marketing to try and dupe people into buying such records.

The sooner the current music business dies the better. Perhaps then we can get back to people who can actually play and sing being mainstream again.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 02:09 AM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

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Originally Posted by Eggy View Post
I totally agree. I also have no sympathy for the record company who has spent millions on marketing to try and dupe people into buying such records.

The sooner the current music business dies the better. Perhaps then we can get back to people who can actually play and sing being mainstream again.
That won't happen as long as young people are told it is the best to be 10 ft tall and to have 20lbs, watch MTV 24/7 because THIS ARE YOUR STARS. (We know they are idiots on a stick, but hey they have their own reality show duh?)
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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Re: Your thoughts on the modern music business?

well there are a lot of outlets available distribution-wise for musicians who don't want to go through the song and dance of getting signed to a large label. someone mentioned indie labels, which can definitely get good distribution, but let's not forget outlets like cd baby which allows anyone to sell their own stuff without being signed at all. i think i read an interview with lynch where he said that an independent artist who sells a mere 10,000 will make more than a signed artist who goes platinum.

of course illegal downloading hurts, but even that is better than the current state of the music business. it needs to be demolished like an old building and rebuilt completely from scratch.
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