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ARSCLIST  May 2007

ARSCLIST May 2007

Subject:

Re: Record Business vs. Music Business: The Shakeout Continues.

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 14 May 2007 07:50:54 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (137 lines)

Hi Dismuke:

The business you are describing is a cottage industry of small, local sensations with perhaps a few 
thousand non-paying fans spread across the YouTube world. I can't see how too many people would want 
to do this. If I'm musically talented and have ambition, I would look at this model and think it's 
idiotic to bang your head against the wall for little money and no hope of wide, long-lasting fame 
and monetary success. So I'd just accept reality and write video game soundtracks for much more 
money.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dismuke" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 1:22 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Business vs. Music Business: The Shakeout Continues.


> --- Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>>
>> And where exactly do you propose that artists are
>> likely to get this money
>> not to mention enough experience to learn how to
>> communicate effectively?
>
>
> They will get the money from concerts and live
> performance engagements which are ALREADY the primary
> source of income for most musical acts.  VERY few
> musical acts outside of the lowest common denominator
> hit recordings put out by the RIAA lables make much
> money on sales of CDs.  Indeed, many of them never see
> a cent from CD sales because most recording contracts
> deduct production and promotional expenses before any
> royalties are ever paid.
>
> Part of of my premise that the above question
> overlooks is the fact that producing and distributing
> such recordings is VASTLY cheaper than it has been and
> the cost keeps getting lower and lower.   These days,
> even tiny, obscure small time groups who probably have
> no busniess being anywhere near the big time are able
> to afford to put out their own CDs.
>
> Now, it is very true that producing recordings and
> promoting ANY business, be it a band or anything else,
> is a specialized skill and not all musicains may have
> that skill.   But so it is with cutting payroll,
> keeping books or attempting to book engagements.  To
> the degree that a band is successful, it is able to
> hire a professional to take care of such things.  To
> the degree that the band has yet to acheieve such a
> level of success - well, the lack of a musicians's
> ability to multi-task could very well impact his
> ability survive in the marketplace.  Again, this is
> nothing new.  Bandleaders such as Fletcher Henderson
> were very talented artists but their careers were
> limited by the fact that they were not very good
> businessmen.
>
> Musical acts, like any other business endeavor, have a
> need for capital.  Earning and saving up that captial
> through enough bookings or through having members work
> day jobs in one way of getting it.  In the past,
> record labels made such capital available. Indeed, the
> ONLY reason an artist in his right mind would sign up
> for a major record label is the promotional support
> the label provides and the hope that it will result in
> FM airplay and make him famous.  An artist gives up a
> great deal of control with such a contract - and there
> is nothing wrong with that because the record company
> is the one taking the financial risk.  If (or, more
> precisely, WHEN) record labels cease to exist, musical
> acts will still have a need for capital.  And there
> will still be investors who will wish to invest in and
> share the profits of talented acts.
>
> The upcoming new era will be WONDERFUL for a great
> many musicians.  The current system basically caters
> to a handful of lowest common denominator superstars.
> There will probably be far fewer superstars in the
> future. But musicians who cater to specialized
> audiences and niche genres will have a much rosier
> future than they have had in recent decades.  Venues
> such as myspace, Internet radio and even p2p file
> sharing enable new audiences to discover and find them
> - venues which simply did not exist before and
> audience which were impossible to reach on AM/FM
> radio.
>
> Like I said, the vast majority of professional musical
> acts make jack diddly squat in the scheme of things
> from CD sales.  Many ALREADY view CDs primarily as a
> way of gaining visibility and, therefore, interest in
> their live concerts and other profit centers such as
> sales of tee shirts and such.
>
>
>> My
>> guess is that most will choose a different career
>> except for the few who can
>> attract corporate patronage. To a great extent this
>> has already happened and
>> the result is the new music that nobody considers
>> worth buying we hear on
>> commercial radio.
>
>
> Actually, the stuff you hear on commercial radio is
> primarily the lowest common denominator stuff that the
> RIAA lables are trying to push on people.   There are
> LOTS of other musical acts out there who most people
> have never heard of and who perform every night and
> have loyal and dedicated fans.   Just go to
> myspace.com sometime and you will see them - there are
> LOTS of them out there, including some who play music
> from the 1920s and 1930s decades.  Yet to someone who
> only listens to AM/FM radio, they are all but
> invisible.  Thanks to the Internet, such acts ARE
> gaining visiblity and, along with it, new fans.   The
> demise of the RIAA and the diffusion of traditional
> AM/FM audience concntrations across thousands and
> thousands of Internet stations and other venues will
> be the best thing in the world for musicians - with
> the exception of the small but fortunate percentage of
> RIAA acts who have been able to  achieve FM airplay
> and have benefited from such audience concentrations.
> Those artists will not benefit because there will
> suddenly be many, many more competitors out there who
> will now have ways open to them in order to gain
> visibility and fans.   But if you are an act that
> spcializes in something different or in a niche genre
> - well, the future is very exciting indeed.
> 

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