Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Music Business Intellectual Deficit
Over the last couple of months I've been really busy, as usual, dealing with my duties in this industry. I operate on two tiers, one as musician and the other as administrator. Not many people know much about the latter as it relates to my experience and I find it makes it easier for me to fly under the radar and get to the truth because people don't see me coming. I've also been advising an up and coming pop group. I've had a few conversations with some so called managers and taste makers and let me tell you the fix is in people. We all know that the industry has changed but do we REALLY know HOW it's changed? The powers that be would have us believe that since sales are down and the Internet provides so many, sometimes too many, options that we should resort to giving our music away for free. In my conversations with these management types they are in the game of selling success. It's now a pay to play game all the way around. I had one guy tell me that kid acts have to pay to get on these so called educational tours to gain "EXPOSURE". Keep in mind that not only do they have to pay the organizers to be on the tour but they also have to pay their way there and their hotel costs all while the organizers are getting paid to provide talent but not paying these young artists a dime. This is happening through out this "NEW" music industry. Managers are asking for money up front before they agree to represent an artists. We are suffering from an music business intellectual deficit. By participating in these types of arrangements we are teaching the next generation of artists to value fame more than finance and we are not educating them on how to make others place value on their talent. The truth is that the only people that have a problem with things changing are the old label types who were use to making ninety percent profit on a project and not paying the artist. Now with the Internet giving more distribution access to us all, these people have to be fair in their dealings with us but they know that ninety percent of us are still not willing to do the work or learn this business for ourselves so they have just flipped the script. Instead of raping you from record contracts and sales, they are now charging for admission. I remember when a manager was a person that believed in an artist and invested time and money into growing that artist's career all the while knowing that he/she would only make money if he made the artist money. Now it's being sold in quite a different way and a lot of us, young and old, are falling for it hook, line and sinker. WE DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE OUR MUSIC AWAY FOR FREE!!!!! No one else in this industry is being asked to work for free so why are we told that we should. The studio time still costs, publicists still want to be paid, manufactures and designers don't work for free, SO WHY SHOULD WE!? It's time that we stopped drinking the cool-aid and make these people place a value on who we are and what we do. We have to build our music business intellect. Enjoy the journey.
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