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« Spotify isn't available in the states yet. Can someone please tell me what's so earth-shattering about it? | Main | Your digital music industry future… »

the economics of American Idol - based upon your experiences, does the music industry operate like this or not?

Loren Weisman just published a detailed post on MTT Open that dissects the American Idol dream and the underlying American Idol money machine. Click here to read the entire post.  Thanks Loren for another thoughtful post.  Here’s a quote:

“As long as you have …. business people who can create profits off of both the artistic elements and the art itself by offering a mixture of false promise with that small inkling of hope, there will be American Idol or something similar.

As long as you can deliver the words that spur the dreamers to dream beyond the end result, there will be those who will jump through flames to achieve the dream.

As long as you are maintaining an empire and a people who will forgo the best route for the greatest hope in star emulation, there will be an audience.

Create the world where the business is in control and can make the decisions about the placements, the profits and revenue streams and you’ll have the branding to get the purchases that will at least cover the costs with no consideration for the artists, but still beneficial to the business.

The funny thing about all of this is that it’s not new. It didn’t come out of thin air. The larger scale medium has been doing this to artists for years off camera.

It’s called the music industry.”

Reader Comments (5)



August 5 | Registered CommenterChris Bracco

The easy answer is yes, but it's not an honest answer, either.

Sure, there's bullshit artists and con-job factories to spare, but in my mind, that's not really the music business, those are hustlers and thieves. The real music business is professionals, doing business: promoters putting up big money for festivals, hiring security, hiring a stage crew, hiring lighting, hiring sound systems and engineers, booking bands. The real music business is rap artists who've got their money up buying beats at a fair price, paying to get their samples cleared, and paying a company to print up the CDs.

Let's be clear about why people would answer yes, though: (aside from bitterness about their own mediocrity and failure, of course) ...the fact is that hustlers and thieves operate at the highest levels of the business.

Warner Music? Bronfman money, "earned" smuggling booze into the US with gangsters during prohibition. Less documented but just as true -- plenty of Bronfman money was tied up in cocaine during the 80s salad days.

Clive Davis? Fucking mafia, broken the law repeatedly, currently an honored Old Dog of the industry for exactly that.

EMI? Currently held afloat by hustlers and thieves from an even less ethical line of work: High Finance.

But on the real, operational level, far from the NYC/LA fiction factories where they airbrush Akon's until he actually looks like a criminal and make Rick Ross into a coke lord....that's the real music business.

It's where all the business gets done.

So sure, the hustlers and thieves distort the industry but they don't own it, they don't run it, and they don't know how do to actually do anything.

Your local sound guy who you're relieved to see because he knows his shit? That's the real music business.

August 7 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

Speaking of the real music business, I probably earned a libel/slander suit from some rich dudes with that last comment. Shucks.

August 7 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

@Justin. Thank you for your honest and poignant insight. It's rare that I read a comment worth pondering on MTT. I've grown tired with the bitter mud slinging and.

Yet in terms of your statements, the same can be said about Global business in general. Gangsters and thieves run our government specializing in Murder Inc. As you know, It's the way of the world, and the music business is just another branch growing out of the oak tree of corruption.

August 7 | Unregistered CommenterHeronDemarco

Wow Justin,
Thats some harsh words dude. The music industry is corrupt, fixed and so on. this is a fact of life, in the music industry.

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