Amongst the busy chatter of digital DIY dudes and galloping gurus it’s easy to forget that there is a major, multi-million dollar music industry that already exists. That’s because we seldom hear from the major players outside the sanitized propaganda sheets of Billboard and Music Week.
But this week we can read their views in a Music Tank report by ex-EMI head, Tony Wadsworth. It’s not free, though, which is a good indication of the unapologetic content. It’s worth viewing, check out how at http://www.musictank.co.uk
For me the omissions speak volumes: there was no real appraisal of Youtube as a primary source for pop music. And there was no mention of the new generation who have grown up getting and expecting free music, or how their money can be used to help develop the artists who will eventually replace the old gits who languish under the title ‘legacy’.
Overall, the mood of the report is upbeat and particularly supportive of the labels who are happiest to push the 360 degree deals and/or the partnership or ‘joint venture’ (JV) deals. There’s some interesting appraisals of the influence supermarkets have in the new world order and encouragement for the labels who are busily hiring people from other connected sectors to enable the 360’s (merchandising/placement etc).
The report doesn’t really address artist’s concerns thrown up by the changing situation, beyond a mention of some ‘grumbling’ about packaging charges and the authors seem to think that the lot of artists hasn’t particularly changed in relationship to major deals, which, perhaps, shows a telling lack of empathy.
But what it does stress is the continuing need for the industry to be the major investor in new artists. In fact, it recognises that the recording companies are the only investors of note, which I agree with.
Read as a balance to some of the more loonily optimistic views seen on this site and its sister at Hypebot, it’s a sobering portrait of an insecure industry, continuing to do what it knows best (exploit musicians for all it’s worth) whilst cherry picking some slightly out of date internet visions to indicate it exists in the same century.
None of you will be surprised that it’s last instruction for the industry on a short wish list at the end reads (& I don’t think I’m giving away too much here):
“legislation to curb online piracy has to be swiftly implemented”