An Outsider Gets A Peek Behind The Scenes Of The Music Industry's Mindset: Optimism Into Denial

from the it-ain't-pretty dept

I'm writing this on the way back from MidemNet, where I had the chance to present a case study on why Trent Reznor's various experiments with business models represents the future of music. I know many people (both at the show and among the readership here) have asked to see a copy of the presentation, and the folks at Midem are working to get a full video of the presentation online -- hopefully sometime next week. I'll talk more about my presentation at that time, but it seemed to go over surprisingly well, with many of the later presentations making references back to it as a great example of optimism.

That's the good news.

But, of course, we're talking about the recording industry, which has an amazing ability to turn optimism into denial. My presentation wasn't the only bit of "good news" either. The Midem organizers did an amazing job bringing in numerous positive examples of musicians and record labels who hadn't learned to just adapt, but thrive in this changed world. It was like a who's who of folks that we discuss here on a regular basis.

The Outsiders And The Innovators:

Jill Sobule talked about her experiment with getting folks to pay various "levels" to pre-finance her latest album. She said she expected only her mom to donate originally, but instead she raised nearly $90,000 in less than two months -- even more than her original goal. She was especially shocked that someone paid the highest level ("weapons grade plutonium") which she had intended as a joke. But the woman who coughed up that $10,000 got to sing on one of the songs on the album -- though, Jill noted that they had to use Autotune to make her sound good.

Mark Kelly from Marillion spoke about the business model experiments they've been doing as well. As noted in the past, they've been doing this for years and years. Back in 1993, some fans of the band suggested opening up a bank account and donating to a pool in order to allow the band to do an American tour (in that case, those who donated didn't get anything special -- they still had to buy separate tickets to shows). From there, the band kept experimenting, using their mailing list to fund new albums, rather than go with a record label. On the latest album, they decided to go with the free music model -- giving it away entirely, and offering various levels as well (including, like Sobule, getting someone to play on the album as well), and the end result was a huge jump in mailing list names, from which the band expects to derive future revenue.

JY Park, an entertainment mogul from Korea, gave a series of examples of massive success stories he's built in the Asian market, by forgetting about trying to charge for the music, but creating full entertainment brands, where music is just a part of it. He actually has a series of "academies" around the world where he's training the next international superstars -- making sure they know at least two languages, and then getting them involved in a multimedia smorgasbord, from music to TV shows to live concerts to sponsorships and many other things. It's already proving to be a huge success with artists like Rain and Wonder Girls, and there are more opportunities from there.

Terry McBride talked about the various experiments he's been running as well with the Nettwerk Label, to take artists and figure out new ways for them to connect with fans in a manner that helps them build an all encompassing business model that brings in plenty of money.

Martin Thornkvist, who runs an indie record label in Sweden called Songs I Wish I Had Written, and who's built up a coalition of indie labels in Sweden who embrace the internet, called The Swedish Model, talked about all of the possibilities the internet has created -- and why things like The Pirate Bay can be good for music and open up new opportunities. Last year we wrote about how Moto Boy, one of the artist's on Thornkvist's label, was assembling a virtual concert from fan footage. Another cool new thing he's doing with Moto Boy is that he created a little mechanical music box that plays one of Moto Boy's songs. You can place it on any surface and wind it and it plays the song. Moto Boy's music is available for free -- but the music box is a cool souvenir that Moto Boy's true fans are more than willing to pay for.

Nancy Baym showed just how much value there was in the fan community, and the fan's relationship with musical acts -- and how musicians that had learned to embrace their fans were doing amazingly well. For example, the most talked about bands on Usenet weren't necessarily the biggest album sellers -- but they did represent a who's who of the top concert earners. There's a reason for that.

There was a session on how the Chinese music model had evolved. Almost no one buys music there, but it's still a huge money maker for musicians. JY Park had mentioned this in his presentation -- his musicians make a ton of money from brand sponsorships in China -- but there were numerous other examples of musicians in China making plenty of money through mobile subscription services. For example, some musicians get fans to sign up for special subscriptions that represent the only way for them to potentially get tickets to see those acts perform live.

To be honest, it was great to see all of these examples of openness and business models that work on display at the event. The Midem folks certainly weren't shy about bringing in "outsiders" to highlight these things.

The Insiders And Denial:

But, then along came the insiders. There was an intensely frustrating two-part "debate" over how ISPs and the recording industry needed to work together. And, even as they referenced the various presentations and examples that we all made showing that things aren't nearly as grim as they make it out to be, they immediately jumped back to the "problem" of piracy. There were so many examples of artists showing that there were business models that were working today -- often earning musicians more than they ever made before without worrying about piracy, and record company insiders would say "that's a great example to follow..." and then immediately afterwards would say "but we must stop piracy."

Actually, I should clarify that. They seemed to have learned at least some of the lingo of "embracing" file sharing -- but they would say entirely contradictory things right afterwards. It was as if they'd learned a few buzzwords, but not bothered to understand what they meant. Over and over again we heard music industry insiders say that they had made a mistake attacking fans, and that they had to learn to embrace piracy... but then, they'd immediately make a statement about how they needed the gov't or ISPs to take responsibility to squeeze excess cash out of file sharers to make up for their "losses."

It's as if they weren't even listening to what they, themselves, were saying, let alone what others were saying. Here we all were, showing how musicians were making good money (often more than they made in the past) by adopting new models, and all the insiders could talk about was how much money they were losing on piracy. The most striking may have been Kenth Muldin from Sweden's STIM, the Swedish performing rights society, who literally said: "Nothing will drive P2P file sharing from the earth. Nothing. And that's why we need to have legal sanctions against it." If nothing will drive it from the earth, why not embrace it, rather than attack it?

Even worse, that whole session was kicked off by Keith Harris, of a think tank called "Music Tank," and he set the tone for the entire "debate" by noting that all of the important stakeholders were present -- except, of course, the consumers "because they can't afford to be here." To that, everyone laughed -- but it was quite telling. The industry still doesn't believe that the actual consumers really should be a part of the conversation. The idea that they would be there for this debate seemed laughable.

Feargal Sharkey, former punk rocker and now in charge of a group called UK Music that basically represents all of the different players in the UK recording industry, was equally as contradictory. He started out by saying that the industry had made a ton of mistakes and set up adversarial relations that needed to change. But it didn't seem that he meant the adversarial relationship with fans -- but with ISPs. He said that it was time to get past the emotional arguments, and focus on reasoned arguments. And, immediately following that, he launched into an impassioned emotional argument about how "the music is all that matters" and he was sick and tired of bogus outsiders with their "utopian visions" and who spout "wild rhetoric and innuendo," but now was the time to work out commercial agreements whereby the ISPs would finally take responsibility for file sharing and start licensing. In fact, he suggested that, in the UK, at least, such agreements are months, if not weeks away.

Then there was Peter Jenner, manager of various music stars like Billy Bragg, who is nothing if not outspoken. He started out making a decent point that the recording industry was dysfunctional and had a long record of making things more complicated, not easier, but then he went on a rant about how "as long as there are free riders, there's a problem" and demanded that the gov't needed to step in and set up blanket licensing, requiring ISPs to pay up. Apparently, he's absolutely blind to the fact that you can turn free riders into a benefit. It's that old (incorrect) mentality that every freely shared copy is a lost sale, rather than an opportunity.

In fact, he made the incredibly laughable claim that if the gov't doesn't step in soon, "we will see the collapse of the entire entertainment industry." That seemed odd considering all of the examples in other sessions of musicians and record labels doing quite well despite the lack of gov't intervention. Perhaps he was too busy screaming for gov't help to bother to attend those other sessions.

As a representative from the Isle of Man gov't said: "The problem is that this industry is so focused on how much it's going to lose, it never looks at the opportunities of how much money there is to be made."

Perhaps the most amusing was Howie Singer, from Warner Music. He piped up from the audience about how their main focus was on compensating the artist. You certainly could have fooled some of the artists on Warner Music who have noticed that WMG has done plenty to make it more difficult for them to get compensation.

In that discussion, about the only reasonable voice was Gerd Leonhard, who pointed out that a better solution was setting up a truly voluntary (not mandatory) licensing offer that could be paid in a variety of ways: it could be individuals. It could be ISPs. Or, most interesting, it could be brands. What if Pepsi paid to cover all your music file sharing if you bought a certain amount of Pepsi drinks? I still don't think any such license is really necessary given these other business models, but he was one of the few in the debate actually noting that you can't do a top down solution that tries to "control" users.

Surprisingly, Geoff Taylor from BPI was much more reasonable than I expected. While he definitely wants ISPs to "take responsibility" he avoided some of the more ridiculous suggestions made by the industry in the past. In fact, when someone in the audience claimed that ISPs had to give up liability "safe harbors" Taylor pointed out that wouldn't be productive at all, and such safe harbors were at the core of how ISPs worked -- and even raising it would set the discussions back tremendously.. He's right, but it's surprising to hear that from a recording industry guy.

Basically, though, the industry insiders are still so focused on "the piracy problem" that they're blind to the idea that it might not actually be a problem -- as was shown time and time and time and time again during the other sessions. All these guys were doing was focusing on "free riders" or finding others like ISPs and the gov't to "blame" for not stepping in to fix the "problem" rather than looking at all of the amazing opportunities that musicians and indie record labels are already embracing to tremendous success.

So, for all of the optimism presented throughout the event, it was somewhat disappointing and frustrating to see the old guard still totally focused on the wrong issue. The overall event was fantastic though -- to see the various players mixing it up in a discussion like this, rather than it just being a pure echo chamber. It was just frustrating to see so much of the focus from the existing players apparently missing out on all of the amazing success stories and opportunities laid out in front of them.

Hopefully, though, with this dialog started, over the next few years, these ideas will start to permeate more deeply.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    sehlat (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 11:31am

    "peak" should be "peek"

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: "peak" should be "peek"

    Oops! Fixed, thanks. I'll blame the jetlag. :)

     

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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Staying Positive

    Mike:

    I truly enjoyed the beginning of your post. You focused on alternatives and expanding choices. All good. Then you regressed into rubbing the puppy's nose into the poop.

    I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of alternative models. The more business models available, the better. Even more important, when you can show that alternative business models are gaining a steadily bigger portion of an industry, you also demonstrate that the alternatives will (may, to be more cautious) eventually become the significant models, and the current models may become minority models and potentially could be abandoned altogether. These are all good things.

    The problem arises when you complain. Complaining is fine in moderation. However, complaining continuously about the same industry does little except make people think you are a whiner. Focus more on successes and pointing out that those successes are models for others and stop. Your point is made without keeping the puppy's nose permanently brown and stinky.

    I stopped reading your post when I hit the denial part, because I knew I was going to hear the same thing I have already read in, what, dozens of posts from you? Hundreds? Does repetition of the same old complaints make anyone listen more intently? I was far more impressed by the positive examples you gave than the previous 100 complaints you have made about the RIAA and the MPAA.

     

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    Twinrova, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 11:51am

    *shivers*

    The last think I'd ever want is for Corporate America to "cover" downloads. It's bad enough they have their paws in anything related to the entertainment industry and this idea would just push me over the edge.

    It's quite clear this issue isn't going away in my lifetime. Some of the presenters (and comment makers) have their head so buried up their ass, they'll never see daylight despite many clear examples.

    I look forward to seeing the presentation.

     

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    :Lobo Santo, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    A fix

    I know how to solve the problems with the RIAA, and we'll need fire; lots and lots of fire.

     

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    Neverhood, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Very nice post

    I enjoyed very much reading this, and many other of your posts.
    Looking forward to the video of your presentation :)

     

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    TW Burger, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Death Rattle

    It's interesting that the Asian music industry understands the new model and the western does not. Technology makes control of distribution impossible so the music industry must convert to control of the brand.

    The Chinese model of letting the consumer take on most of the time, effort, and cost of distribution while the musicians are making money on sponsorship and performances is probably more workable in Asia (better attitude toward new methods and larger population) but will work in the west too.

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Staying Positive

    "Does repetition of the same old complaints make anyone listen more intently?"

    Perhaps we could say the same to the record labels. If they ever learned or changed their tactics at all, perhaps Mike would have more positive things to write about, or different complaints.

    That said, do you really even have a legitimate complaint here? First, you say you didn't read the second half of the article because you "knew what it was going to say." If you didn't read it, how do you know what you're even complaining about? Actually, the second part gave some pretty specific information about presentations from industry insiders, and not all were bad.

    Second, what did you do in response to the complaining you claim to hate? You wrote a four paragraph post complaining about it. Good job.

     

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    Mac, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    It's actually quite simple why the record labels revert to their anti-piracy mantras and reject the musician/innovator business models -- all the new business models marginalize the record labels and divert money from the labels to the artists. The labels will be fighting "piracy" until their ships have been sunk to the bottom of the sea. And for most of us that can't come soon enough.

     

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    armando, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:22pm

    re: An Outsider Gets A Peek

    did jill sobule actually say they had to use autotune to make her plutonium donor sound "good" or did she say "sound better"? if i chipped in 10 grand, i don't think i would be happy to find out i had to be made to sound "good".

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    Re: *shivers*

    I'm curious as to why you would be so opposed to brands covering music costs in exchange for brand loyalty. They already do it with things like iTunes coupons or free Redbox rentals. This would be on a different scale, but as long as they didn't restrict you to their selected artists, what would be the problem? If you don't like it, no one is forcing you to send in your proofs of purchase.

     

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    hegemon13, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Death Rattle

    Perhaps it is indicative of where we are headed, eventually. Piracy/bootlegging on a huge scale has been rampant in Asia for a lot longer. Therefore, their market has had more time to evolve to encompass that fact.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Staying Positive

    I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of alternative models.

    Please note the truth: you have not been so enthusiastic when we pointed to alternative models that would impact your own industry.

    The problem arises when you complain.

    Pot, note the kettle.

    Focus more on successes and pointing out that those successes are models for others and stop.

    If you had actually read the post, you might have noticed that the very point was that we DID focus on the successes. All of us focused on the successes. The ones complaining were the insiders.

    Your point is made without keeping the puppy's nose permanently brown and stinky.

    If that were the case, then why were the industry insiders not getting it, but rather complaining about piracy?

    I stopped reading your post when I hit the denial part, because I knew I was going to hear the same thing I have already read in, what, dozens of posts from you?

    Actually, there's a lot of new stuff in there. But why bother reading it when you think you know what it's going to say?

    Does repetition of the same old complaints make anyone listen more intently?

    It's not the same old complaints, though. But, again, you know better, even though you admit you didn't read it.

    I was far more impressed by the positive examples you gave than the previous 100 complaints you have made about the RIAA and the MPAA.

    The article does not complain about either the RIAA or the MPAA.

     

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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Re: re: An Outsider Gets A Peek

    did jill sobule actually say they had to use autotune to make her plutonium donor sound "good" or did she say "sound better"? if i chipped in 10 grand, i don't think i would be happy to find out i had to be made to sound "good".

    I don't remember the exact quote, but I believe it went something like: "she flew over to where we were recording and sang along, and she sounded really good... (pause)... with the help of Autotune."

    It was just a joke.

    But, by comparison, Mark Kelly from Marillion admitted that they had let a journalist perform on their album, playing a tambourine, but he was so bad, that even with pro tools they couldn't use his recording. Then he said "he doesn't know that... and thinks he's still on the album, so Jon, if you're here... sorry."

     

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    Ima Fish, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    When is the music industry going to step messing around and actually try to do something about the decline in music sales?! My guess is that this current industry will have to completely die before anything is changed. As someone once said, P2P will not kill the music industry, only the current music industry.

    80s/90s: "Let's screw customers by eliminating singles and force them to buy full overpriced CDs."

    90s: "People are using the internet to share individual songs, let's sue Napster."

    Early 00s: "Let's sue all the other P2P programs. Let's sue our customers."

    Mid 00s: "Let's sue to shut down the Pirate Bay."

    Present: "Damn, we can't sue ISPs, let's bribe them do our dirty work. Let's ask the government for handouts and protection."

     

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    Isaac K (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Re: A fix

    There's no problem that can't be solved through the careful application of explosives...
    :)

     

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    eleete, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Staying Positive

    "The problem arises when you complain. Complaining is fine in moderation. However, complaining continuously about the same industry does little except make people think you are a whiner."

    Isn't this what lawyers do for their living ? You seem to think that those of us believe that IP Laws are harming rather than progressing innovation should just shut up or be ignored. Is the threshold for making a complaint against that, to earn a law degree ? Awfully biased of ya. I'd suggest you stop coming by this site, because we all know how slow the law moves in the US. You've probably got several more years of "whining" to observe before we stop.

     

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    David T, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Generational Divide

    It’s only a matter of time before some sembalance of sanity works its way into the recording industry. I see one (big) problem as the old coots who run things at the top and have no idea of how their younger consumers use technology in their daily lives. My feelings are the business people at the top simply don’t understand their place in the digital ecosystem and are surviving on “fat” built up in an analog age now past.

    The dichotomy between technophile consumers and troglodyte executives will erode.

     

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    brahnn, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    business model evolution

    The recording industry has controlled the flow of money through the system ... and more importantly, it's accounting. The new business models mostly eliminate the 'middle-men' and the accountants. Fans are connected directly with the artists and pay the artist for personal 'contact'.

    The recording industry has controlled entry to the ranks of 'stars' in the industry, often manufacturing talent to fill holes in the supply-side (a lack of 'artists' serving the 10-14 suburban pre-teen female mall market). The new business models depend on fans finding and identifying with artistic talent and spreading the word about quality themselves.

    There's plenty of examples of industries falling out of step. The Swiss in their quest for accuracy invented digital watches but thought it was so useless (thought their hand-crafted mechanical watches were so permanent of a fixture and so alluring), they didn't bother patenting it. The Detroit auto industry didn't believe that econo-boxes would ever overtake their big sedans back in the '80s (they didn't see many on the roads of Detroit so how could the market share reports be right?).

    Fundamental change has never come from the core, the 'insiders'. It won't here, either.

     

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    SteveD, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Can they really change?

    Fascinating stuff, Mike.

    Feargal Sharkey has always struck me as one of the more progressive voices in the UK industry (even if it is somewhat ironic that a former punk rocker is now working to support 'the man'), but it seems from this that he's got stuck in the same trap as all the rest.

    It seems like the record industry will never be interested in a new business model that can't be directly transplanted into its existing structures, and provide exactly the same revenue its been used too.

    Perhaps it truly is impossible for these large companies to adapt? Maybe the only solution is to start again with lots of small companies with the ability to take risks and experiment?

    What we really need is for a Government to step in and say 'Either you adapt, or you fail and someone else takes your place. That's the way the free market works'. Unfortunately I can't see that ever happening. I wrote to the MP that launched the 'Fake-Free London' dvd campaign, pointing out all the better methods that could be used to reach the same end. All I got back was a letter from a civil servant mentioning how many people the dvd industry employed and how much revenue it was worth.

    Media empires are not banks, but it seems they are also too big to be allowed to fail.

     

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    Jason, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Indeed, even without reading the article, a quick 'Ctrl-F: RIAA' reveals that they weren't even mentioned. Lonnie, you seem to have caught a touch of trollitis.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    @Ima Fish
    From what I gather from the original post, in the industry's own view, they are doing something about it. They think the actual answer is to try to force people into paying per download or for licenses. The answer is just to get more laws against the pirates, because it can't possibly help them. Which of course only lends more support to the statement that p2p will not kill them, they will kill themselves.
    What they think is the right direction has only been shown time and again to be the wrong direction. And instead of learning from their mistakes and heading in a new direction (as many presenters showed can work), they keep repeating the mistakes thinking that if they try again, they can just do a better job this time.
    Kind of reminds me DRM in general really. If they make some new DRM it will work this time. End result: Failure.

     

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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Staying Positive

    I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of alternative models.

    Please note the truth: you have not been so enthusiastic when we pointed to alternative models that would impact your own industry.

    Not true. I am always enthused about alternative business models, as long as they are in addition to the existing business models. Do we need to eliminate the old business models in the recording industry? My answer: Why? If the new models are superior, they will win. Your post seems to indicate that the new models are starting to gain a significant foothold.

    The problem arises when you complain.

    Pot, note the kettle.

    Yeah, yeah. Point taken.

    Focus more on successes and pointing out that those successes are models for others and stop.

    If you had actually read the post, you might have noticed that the very point was that we DID focus on the successes. All of us focused on the successes. The ones complaining were the insiders.

    I read the first part of the post in detail. I was pleased to see that alternatives were gaining ground. Nothing like empirical data to show that alternatives can and are working. Then I started to read the second part of the post and wondered why you polluted such a wonderful post.

    Suggestion: Perhaps keeping the positives in one post and then pointing out the other shoe in a separate post?

    Your point is made without keeping the puppy's nose permanently brown and stinky.

    If that were the case, then why were the industry insiders not getting it, but rather complaining about piracy?

    You made your point. If you take out a sign in Times Square in thirty foot high letters outlined in high-intensity LED's, will the message be any better understood? How long did it take for the crew of the Titanic to realize the ship was doomed?

    Again, I suggest you focus on the wins, the positives, point out that the industry is changing and those that embrace the changes are gaining increased sales and followers while the legacy industry continues to decline. Eventually they will get the message, or they will no longer be around.

    I stopped reading your post when I hit the denial part, because I knew I was going to hear the same thing I have already read in, what, dozens of posts from you?

    Actually, there's a lot of new stuff in there. But why bother reading it when you think you know what it's going to say?

    Perhaps there was new stuff in the insider complaint portion. I was so upbeat about what you reported in the first part that I was unprepared to hear about how the recording industry was still not getting it and was clueless. End on a positive note.

    I was far more impressed by the positive examples you gave than the previous 100 complaints you have made about the RIAA and the MPAA.

    The article does not complain about either the RIAA or the MPAA.

    My bad. I often equate the recording industry with the RIAA when you complain about them. I stand chastised.

    Regardless, I still think the upbeat part of your post was better left by itself.

     

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    Jason, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: *shivers*

    Twinrova seems to mirror the age-old concern of sponsors having too much control/influence over the art produced.

    Might work for inside-the-lines genres, but rock, punk, rap, or anything else even remotely counter-culture would view this as selling out, understandably so.

     

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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Isn't this what lawyers do for their living ?

    Seems awfully biased of you. Of course, I am not a lawyer, but that seems to be a narrow-minded opinion of lawyers.

    You seem to think that those of us believe that IP Laws are harming rather than progressing innovation should just shut up or be ignored.

    Wrong. Mike and others have made plenty of comments regarding IP laws and their potential harm. I have agreed with some of Mike's comments, and have even occasionally made a comment when has done so. However, in this case that was not the gist of his post. Mike did not mention copyright or infringement once, though piracy may be a close kin to infringement.

    Is the threshold for making a complaint against that, to earn a law degree ? Awfully biased of ya.

    I hope not since I complained and I do not have a law degree. Then again, that seems awfully bigoted of you to assume I do.

    I'd suggest you stop coming by this site, because we all know how slow the law moves in the US.

    I am unsure of how those things go together, but is that how you wish to stifle debate, by eliminating those with a different viewpoint? Awfully biased of you.

     

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  26.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:42pm

    Re: business model evolution

    The recording industry has controlled entry to the ranks of 'stars' in the industry, often manufacturing talent to fill holes in the supply-side (a lack of 'artists' serving the 10-14 suburban pre-teen female mall market). The new business models depend on fans finding and identifying with artistic talent and spreading the word about quality themselves.

    Amen. The recording industry panders to specific markets. I long for the days when dozens of independent artists started small and worked their way up, causing a huge explosion in musical variety. Everything seems so sterile, corporate and boring. Good artists are out there, but it is harder to find them because they are typically not played on MTV, VH1 or pop radio stations.

     

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  27.  
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    Jason, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: re: An Outsider Gets A Peek

    I've got to agree with armando on that, plus the joke as told in your comment works better for me.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    It's not narrow minded, just a matter of fact. One of the two primary initial filings in a civil case is a complaint.

    Basically you start any civil case with either a petition or a complaint. One states, I don't like this please change it in this way. The other says, I don't like this please compensate me.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    "Yeah, yeah. Point taken"

    That was convincing.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: business model evolution

    Thus the saddening manufacture and international stardom of Hannah Montana. Oh me.

     

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  31.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    A Better World Without Whiners

    RE comment #3:

    "The problem arises when you complain. Complaining is fine in moderation. However, complaining continuously about the same industry does little except make people think you are a whiner. Focus more on successes and pointing out that those successes are models for others and stop."

    Other noted complainers:
    - Mohandes Ghandi
    - MLK
    - Suffragettes

    Yeah! Wouldn't the world be a much better place if people just stopped complaining? I don't think so.

    There's definitely forms of productive complaining. People that organize civilized dissent are changing minds, and starting movements. That's critical work.

    Mike is not whining, or just complaining to get it off his chest, or pining for free MP3s. Geez, I'm sure the guy has cheaper ways of getting a music collection than complaining until it gets offered for free! Mike is trying to change the current mindset on patents, copyright, and the general notion of ownership of ideas. He does it as a writer on his blog, and speaking out at events. There is an honorable tradition of using the pen and the pulpit as progressive forces for change. The prose should be one part frustration, and one part inspiration. I think we can credit Mike with both.

    On repetition: Educating people takes time. Different people will read different Techdirt posts, and some points bear repeating. Also, there are always new angles made by the current industry execs, and these deserve rebuttals here. And any teacher can tell you one of the keys to learning is repetition.

     

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  32.  
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    eleete, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    You're awfully focused on yourself, but you misread my comment apparently. I never insinuated that you were a lawyer. The other response above mine got my insinuation just fine suggesting you might want to re-read the post. I also never suggested that you had a law degree. I also don't wish to stifle the conversation, but if you dislike 'complaining' or 'whining' perhaps changing the channel will correct your state of mind. We come here to debate these things, and your suggestion was apparently, complain, but not too many times otherwise be seen as whiners. Many complaints in our history are slow to assemble and build momentum from there.

     

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  33.  
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    Hugh Brown, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    Excellent coverage, thanks

    Mike, this summary is awesome, thanks. It clearly shows the divergence of the old and new and the confusion that permeates the entire debate. It also shows that new models are emerging that open up new horizons for those prepared to explore them.

    Well done.

     

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  34.  
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    eleete, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    Well Said !

     

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  35.  
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    lavi d (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Lonnie

    I, for one, am grateful for Mike's repetition.

    In normal life, most people I meet are not aware of the almost constant attacks on freedom and technology on the part of the entertainment industry in its fight to "make bits uncopyable" aka, "stop water from being wet".

    This blog is a great resource for educating people, as Mike and his group continue to expose the ignorance, greed and panic exhibited by the proponents of a business model whose time has passed.

     

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  36.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    Suffragettes may have been complainers, but Martin Luther Kings message was one of brotherhood and moving forward. I consider his messages to be positive and constructive. He may have had complaints, but they were relatively rare. The complainers (Jesse Jackson, for one) took over after he was murdered.

    Mohandes Ghandi was never a complainer. In fact, he firmly acted in a positive way.

    It is not hard to find real complainers if you are looking for them, but those two gentlemen, and most great men, typically addressed problems rather than complaining about them.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    On repetition: Educating people takes time. Different people will read different Techdirt posts, and some points bear repeating. Also, there are always new angles made by the current industry execs, and these deserve rebuttals here. And any teacher can tell you one of the keys to learning is repetition.

    Yes, the old rule of thumb is three times for retention. Every repetition after that loses students.

     

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  38.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    It is not hard to find real complainers if you are looking for them, but those two gentlemen, and most great men, typically addressed problems rather than complaining about them.

    No offense, Lonnie, but I find this incredibly insulting. You are suggesting that I am not "addressing problems."

    I believe that the difference you have established between "complaining" and being "constructive" is whether or not you agree with the message. Complaints can be quite constructive.

     

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  39.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Eleete:

    My real suggestion, which perhaps I should have kept with and eliminated the complaints, was that Mike had a wonderful positive message that I found intriguing and interesting. Everything after the positive message could have been left for another post. It was the equivalent of "look at all the good things that happened, BUT, we most of the old-timers are saying the same old thing, so..." A lot of positive things have been happening in intellectual property for the last several years, and the beginning of the post above was the most positive thing I have seen about the recording industries in...years?

     

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  40.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    Yes, the old rule of thumb is three times for retention. Every repetition after that loses students.

    Funny, then, that we've repeated points to you more than 3 times, and you still haven't been able to retain them. :)

    Sometimes it takes more.

    And, to be quite clear, I do not repeat for the sake of repetition. I use new examples or discuss new things that are being said. The post here described the "new thing" that the industry is focused on, and it's quite different than older discussions.

    And, again, I don't see it as "complaining" or whining or anything of the sort, but making it clear what's being said and why it doesn't match up with reality.

    Just because YOU happen to have a different opinion, doesn't make it complaining.

     

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  41.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Everything after the positive message could have been left for another post. It was the equivalent of "look at all the good things that happened, BUT, we most of the old-timers are saying the same old thing, so..."

    But, the point was *they're NOT* saying the same old thing.

    Perhaps, in the future, before complaining that we complain too much, it would help to first READ what you think (incorrectly) is our complaint.

     

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  42.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    *sigh* I am tired. It is late.

    I doubt I can get my way out of that statement regardless of what I say. I focused on the King and Ghandi and their particular approaches to addressing significant issues. Regardless of what I say from this point forward, I consider both men to be among the greatest people in history.

    You have addressed problems in a number of your posts, including suggestions for addressing those problems. I enjoy those posts where you focus on solutions and examples of people who have embraced new technologies and ways the best. These posts are clearly examples of addressing problems. I did not intend to insult you "incredibly" or otherwise.

    Complaining about a problem, or identifying a problem exists, can be a part of addressing a problem.

    I will shut up now...

     

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  43.  
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    lavi d (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

    Thumbdrive

    Yes, the old rule of thumb is three times for retention. Every repetition after that loses students.

    You lost me.

     

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  44.  
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    lavi d (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    Any Students Left?

    I can't let this go just yet...

    A while back, I wondered if Mike would get tired of repeating the same things, and then I realized that if he stopped, there would be one less (very powerful) voice exposing the lies and corruption the entertainment industry employs in its (seemingly) never-ending battle to subjugate OUR freedoms to THEIR control over OUR culture and technology.

    Mike and crew, keep it up!

    The battle won't be over until the corporations stop suing, lying and trying to make back-door deals with everyone from service providers to senators.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 4:01pm

    Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    Lonnie E. Holder wrote:

    Complaining about a problem, or identifying a problem exists, can be a part of addressing a problem.

    But weren't you describing that as "whining" earlier? Are you now backing off your original position?

     

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  46.  
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    jill sobule, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    Re: re: An Outsider Gets A Peek

    She actually sounded great

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    "I am always enthused about alternative business models, as long as they are in addition to the existing business models. Do we need to eliminate the old business models in the recording industry? My answer: Why? If the new models are superior, they will win. Your post seems to indicate that the new models are starting to gain a significant foothold."

    Your answer seems to be 'step back and let it take care of itself'. This clearly isn't working.

    The reason for 'eliminating' the old business models is simple; the digital age as profoundly changed the way we interact with media. Society has changed as it has done many times before, and business needs to change with it if it wants to survive.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 5:12pm

    I saw this when there was no responses and decided to see where it would go.

    As you rejoice, I remain a little sad, as this will be my last post on Techdirt, ever. While some may try to impersonate me, I remain happy to see Mike had such a good response. I'm going to take off, now as I work forward with a fork in my left and a knife in my right.

    Yes, I've been here for a while, but it's on to creating other master dishes. Good luck to all I've met here as I've posted anonoymous coward or otherwise.

    It may get a little cold while I'm gone, but, hey, pizza is always good cold, isn't it?

    - Iron Chef.

     

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  49.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: re: An Outsider Gets A Peek

    She actually sounded great

    Well, there you have it.

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Zed A. Shaw, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 6:49pm

    You missed the real issue

    You were wondering why the labels kept saying they had to stop the pirates, but the musicians kept saying the pirates increased their sales.

    It's pretty simple: free music and direct fan interaction increases sales for *musicians* not labels. Labels don't know how to scale that kind of interaction, and instead rely on traditional sales methods using bits of plastic (CDs). Musicians can use their skills (fans entertainment) to bypass the label's skills (Porter analysis and logistics).

    The idea that musicians could start making their own money--cutting them out of the middle--scares the hell out of the labels. If the technology weren't so hard to use, the labels might have died off years ago as musicians flooded to the internet to sell direct to fans.

    That's why labels want a blanket charge on ISPs. A blanket surcharge on ISPs effectively eliminates the advantage musicians would have on free internet distribution. Even if no musician uses a label to distribute their music, the labels will still make money on the free distribution.

    In fact, a perfect situation for the labels would be bands doing all the work to get their music out (effectively eliminating the need for A&R) and the labels just kicking back and collecting their ISP surcharges.

    Gotta love "capitalism".

     

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  51.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Old Business Models

    In that case, we should eliminate all mom & pop stores immediately. After all, now that we have Wal-Mart & Target, they are no longer necessary. Axe those suckers.

     

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  52.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: A Better World Without Whiners

    It is just like over-reliance on one business model, or deciding arbitrarily that one model should be eliminated. Complaining is but one tactic. Over-reliance on any one tactic eventually causes numbing in the response or apathy.

     

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  53.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 20th, 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Old Business Models

    In that case, we should eliminate all mom & pop stores immediately. After all, now that we have Wal-Mart & Target, they are no longer necessary. Axe those suckers.

    Lonnie. No one is saying to get rid of any business model. What they're saying is to get rid of regulations that artificially favor one business model.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    ...collapse of the entertainment industry, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    Perhaps what we really need is a total ....

    The "entertainment industry" as defined by the execs are the ones represented by the RIAA and its brethren overseas is only a portion of the entertainment industry. If these companies were to fail the true entertainment industry would not. It has existed since the dawn of modern man and will continue without the likes of Warner/Sony/BPI..... or their paid cops.
    Music and movies would and will continue to be created and distributed through the internet, on CDs and in ways we can't imagine. I'll still pay to see artists at my local event center, go to the local pub and listen to the live music and pay through the nose for a occasional IMAX movie, and sure that there those who would still pay to see "Donny & Marie at the Flamingo" in Vegas. Perhaps there wouldn't be as many multibillionaires as top stars but in reality there isn't many now. We would still have our entertainment, artists would get paid (probably more) and less of our resources would be eaten by the large corporate machine.
    If Piracy forced the large corporations out of business, after a bit of a readjustment, we would all be better off. I for one would welcome the "Total collapse of the entertainment industry" as defined by the large studio execs.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    mobiGeek, Jan 20th, 2009 @ 9:28pm

    Re:

    I personally do not believe that the single was eliminated as part of a plot by the record industry. I don't believe they are that innovative or intelligent.

    In my opinion, the single was eliminated by a few factors. The main one being that no one wanted to go around buying "CD singles". The form simply is inconvenient, almost as bad as the cassette singles. As people moved away from turntables, the whole "45" concept faded in step.

    In addition, young people (the major purchasers of singles) began to have far more disposable income so purchasing an entire album was feasible for them. Having singles tapes/CDs became a bit of a stigma..."what, you can't afford the WHOLE album?"

    In the place of CD singles, we saw a proliferation of "top of the charts" mixes.

    At least, that's how I saw the "singles" sections in my record stores disappear. It went from an entire wall of 45, to a few bins of tapes, to a single bin of CDs that simply didn't sell.

    I have hundreds of CDs and tapes, maybe 10-20 singles tapes, and ZERO CD singles. My vinyl collection was much smaller but contained proportionally more 45s than 33s.

     

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  56.  
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    SteveD, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 2:02am

    Re: Perhaps what we really need is a total ....

    The difficulty comes in establishing an orderly transition.

    Although the anarchist in me also wants to tare it all down and start over, this method would never get support from governments, particularly in these hard economic times. For all its faults the music industry is still worth a lot of tax revenue and employs a lot of people.

    What we really need is an orderly transition away from the old, with new startups replacing failing old models, and for politicians to recognise and understand whats happening.

     

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  57.  
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    Twinrova, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 4:13am

    Re: Re: *shivers*

    "I'm curious as to why you would be so opposed to brands covering music costs in exchange for brand loyalty."
    Simple: Eventually, consumers will be forced to become "loyal" to a brand they may not care for.

    It happens on a daily basis. In addition, you can also bet all consumers will "pay" more for the song than they can get for themselves elsewhere.

    No offense, but I seriously don't see Corporate America covering both the cost of music distribution and product distribution without some way of ensure the consumer pays for it.

    Personal note: Current program offered by Pepsi - get a free NFL cap by matching 3 caps of the same team. Chances of getting all 3 of your favorite team? So laughable, even Albert Einstein's rolling in his grave.

    Getting 3 of any team? Better, but you'll spend so much on Pepsi products you'll be too stupid to realize you could have easily purchased the cap at a much lower price.

    "This would be on a different scale, but as long as they didn't restrict you to their selected artists, what would be the problem?"
    This will never, ever happen. Believing it would only shows your ignorance when it comes to Corporate America's dominance over consumers.

    There is always a problem when having Corporate America dictate the "rules" of how you can obtain offers from them. Always.

    Personal note (part 2): Given how Corporate America is losing billions due to lost ad revenue, this would clearly be another example of how ads would infiltrate your "free" music by the company sponsoring it. Thanks, but I'd rather have DRM than a ton of ads in my product.

     

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  58.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re:

    MobiGeek:

    Albums...one of my favorite topics.

    In the olden days (pre-mid-1960's), singles were the norm. Indeed, record companies made money from singles. However, during the 1960s artists began writing more music of greater quality and it was cheaper to buy a complete album of high quality music than to buy singles. Another factor is the rise of concept albums.

    By the end of the 1960's album sales dominated, but the quality of music was high as well. This situation remained reasonably constant for a long time.

    However, the situation has changed. As highly creative artists have been moved to the back burner by record companies because their music sells relatively poorly (just not radio friendly), and throwaway acts (flavor of the month) move to the front, the quality of the music has been reduced and there are fewer popular songs or even halfway listenable songs from some artists. Many listeners, especially young listeners, may only be interested in one or two songs from a particular artist (which seems reasonable since all the songs from that artist are probably crap anyway - which current listeners will realize in about 10 years).

    So, in mainstream music the album is dying, but good artists who are rarely heard still sell a lot of albums. My favorite contemporary group remains Porcupine Tree, and their albums are filled with great music (if you like progressive rock). Buying a single from one of their albums would be like reading one chapter from a book.

     

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  59.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Old Business Models

    Mike:

    SteveD specifically said that "The reason for 'eliminating' old business models is simple..."

    Here is the thing. Old business models are rarely "eliminated." Neither should they be "eliminated." The market is a relatively fast-paced environment. It may not seem so to the participants because they are looking for instant change (they are a product of their times, poor things), but looking back over the last 500 years, it is apparent to a student that market evolution has happened continuously and steadily. Markets evolve. If "elimination" happens, it is the market that causes the "elimination."

    What I find interesting is that old business models are rarely eliminated. Sometimes they are modified, but they survive. I could go through a list of business models that "died," but really did not. They changed, sometimes only slightly, and were reborn.

    One of the most interesting debates I have seen is between the pro-software patent and anti-software patent groups. It has always been my contention that the business model that yields the best results will eventually succeed. Though I personally believe software patents are counterproductive in general, I also have wondered whether the market would correct an imbalance in the long run if they were truly counter-productive. If markets truly work, this correction should happen. Recently I saw an announcement from IBM that they will reduce patenting and publish more of their inventions, dedicating them to the public.

    As you say, Mike, stay tuned.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Re: Staying Positive

    Perhaps you should have kept reading.
    The quotes from the recording industry insiders show just how out of touch they are will the current market, and the consumers themselves. I don't see how Mike is 'complaining' when he's using the industry's own quotes... ??

     

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  61.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Question: If you use quotations to be negative about something, is it complaining?

    Last night I saw a great interview with Nichelle Nichols. She was unhappy with her role as Lt. Uhura and went to Gene Roddenberry to advise him that she was planning on leaving the show. Yes, she was complaining.

    That weekend Nichelle attended an NAACP activity where she encountered Dr. Martin Luther King. It turned out that Dr. King was a big fan of the show. He was distressed when Nichelle told him that she was considering leaving the show. He told her that she was a vital role model and she absolutely could not leave the show. He also reportedly said that "Once that door is opened by someone, no one else can close it again."

    Of course, Nichelle remained on the show and through six movies. Throughout the years many people have told Nichelle that she was a positive influence on their lives (I believe a certain Mr. Obama was one of those people). It would have been easy for Nichelle to have moved on because things were not happening fast enough.

    Progress can be very slow. It took 150 years to move from slavery to having an African-American in the highest office in the land. In all those decades of complaining, perhaps some of the greatest progress was made by a man who rarely complained, but envisioned a goal and worked toward the goal rather than lamenting current and past situations.


    I think that the insane desire one has sometimes to bang and kick grumblers and peevish persons is a Divine instinct. ~Robert Hugh Benson

    The people who live in a golden age usually go around complaining how yellow everything looks. ~Randall Jarrell

    Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses. ~Proverb

    "If you don't like something change it.
    If you can't change it, change your attitude.
    Don't complain."
    Maya Angelou

    "Now, 10 years later, the person who talked and complained is still talking and complaining and still remains in the same position. The person who took the initiative and found solutions has been promoted several times."
    Catherine Pulsifer, from How Valuable Are You?

    "If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it."
    Anthony J. D'Angelo

     

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  62.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Old Business Models

    Recently I saw an announcement from IBM that they will reduce patenting and publish more of their inventions, dedicating them to the public.

    They've said that every year for the past 3 years.

    Hasn't happened yet.

     

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  63.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Lonnie:

    You really should have stopped digging. The hole you're in keeps getting deeper.

    You keep saying don't complain, but change things. Have you noticed that the stuff we say is HELPING to change things?

    Again, I'll say what I said before: your determination of what's "complaining" seems to be what you don't agree with. For the rest of us, that's part of the process of changing things.

    And, honestly, the only real complaining I'm seeing in this thread is, again, from you.

     

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  64.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Mike:

    I am looking at the post you commented on, I am missing my complaint...

     

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  65.  
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    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Old Business Models

    Mike:

    The implication from the article linked below is that IBM essentially gave away 1500 inventions in 2007, and plans to give away 3000 this year. At what point does that meet the standard of "it is happening"?

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/patent-king-ibm-will-give-away-more-ideas/

     

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  66.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Old Business Models

    It was the "reduce patenting" part I was talking about. IBM has done a nice PR job around patents, but it's still been quite aggressive getting somewhat ridiculous patents, and often using them in silly ways (e.g., it's lawsuits with Amazon).

     

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  67.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    I am looking at the post you commented on, I am missing my complaint...

    Thus proving my point. Thanks.

    (if you're still not getting it, here's a hint: I am missing my "complaint" in this post.. which you seem to think is complaining.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Old Business Models

    Ah...I see. I suspect (speculate) that IBM considers the number of inventions (assuming they actually are inventions) they are publishing to be alternatives to patenting, which in their minds might equate to "reduce patenting."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    lol...enough of this, I think.

    Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Mark AKA Herdmeister, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Industry in denial

    I'm an outsider and a first timer @ Midem but to me your observations seem fair (with honorable exceptions, of course)

    Frankly I was shocked by what I saw and heard. Makes the advertising world seem positively revolutionary...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Jan 21st, 2009 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Industry in denial

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Btw, your presentation was fantastic. Another one along the lines of what the industry *needed* to hear. Hopefully they were listening.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Re: *shivers*

    Hmmm, I guess I don't see this as a situation where they would have sole control. I read it as a possible promotional avenue, much like those used today. It would only work if the end-user also had the option to simply buy subscriptions on their own. I did not see anything in the original post that indicated this was a strictly either-or option.

    To say I am ignorant about corporate America's dominance and anti-consumerism is a bit laughable if you read my past posts. I just think you are blowing this out of proportion a bit. No one is talking about handing sole control of the music industry over to a few snack manufacturers. They just mention it as a possible brand promotion option. I don't buy much of anything, so I would likely just pay the subscription myself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Byrd, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 11:45pm

    Information Needed

    I really enjoyed what you wrote. I enjoyed the whole thing. Very informative. I actually believe that we need to get the FANS involved. I've been signed to 3 major record labels as a songwriter and producer. I've sat in those meetings with the "insiders". The question that's always asked to the artist is: "Who's going to buy?" and "How are we going to get them to buy?" The models mentioned in your blog answer these questions.

    It's a new day and age for music. Recording studios are closing because musicians are able to create their art in their own homes. Internet alows an unknown to reach fans and generate great income streams without having an "insider" wondering if the song will sell or not.

    It's true that all this has been written before, but there are millions of musicians who really don't understand that there isn't a set model to making money from their product.

    The labels should really listen to the people who buy their product instead of attacking them because at the end of the day, it's always that one fan who starts a new wave of getting music lovers to buy new music.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Byrd, Jan 23rd, 2009 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Staying Positive

    WOW!!!! You sound like you're grading a term paper. I really didn't get complaining or whining out of the article at all. All of what he said makes sense. It's the industry's focus on other areas that has brought it to where it is now. The writer didn't create that, he just reported what was actually going on. I'm just amazed at how you're "staying positive" with a negative comment.

    But then again, everyone is entitled to their own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Spade, Jan 24th, 2009 @ 2:45pm

    As a very wise man once said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

    Ironically, it seems the music industry insiders are deaf to anything they don't want to hear.

    Still, I suppose that might explain some of the horrible music they've been releasing the past several years. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Matt Peitsch, Jan 30th, 2009 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Staying Positive

    Lonnie, Your comments in both the first post and this second post have impressed me. I want you on my team :) Its so easy to get lost in trading criticism when sharing opinions. Great articles and responses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: business model evolution

    What? Good artists are harder to find because MTV is not playing them? Who are you kidding, and did you EVER in your lifetime watch MTV?

    Pop radio, MTV, VH1, and the rest of the 'pseudo-we-bring-you-good-music-that-we-were-allowed-to-bring-you' venues are part of the failure of the music industry in general. Being limited to what they were allowed to show or play, which have always been decisions made by the publishers not the artists, has limited music variety and was WHY new artists have been hard to find in the past.

    The explosion of new talent you say you're longing for is ready to happen through venues like Pandora Radio, Jango, and other free to listen streaming sites. Music released under creative commons licenses, or free to listen licenses that maintain copyright, allow those unknown artists to get music out there. The music industry's strangle hold on who gets listened to and who doesn't must end before that explosion can happen. MTV is and never was part of ending that stranglehold.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Old Business Models

    Indeed IBM's patent portfolio is still one of the most impressive of any existing corporation. The number they continue to patent is slightly more modest, but that doesn't mean they are not leveraging their portfolio heavily every day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    Antiqcool (profile), Apr 15th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Upbeat and positive on the whole.

    Nice to hear some positive examples of how new business models are flourishing despite doom and gloom from naysayers.

    We are an independent record label and publishing company not a big bad corporation out to sue people for file sharing, we WANT them to spread our music around. Songs from our catalog have been played by hundreds of radio stations and podcasters worldwide and it didn't cost them a penny, in return we got exposure and promotion.....sounds like a good deal to me, that's why many of our tracks have been released under a creative commons license.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    jorolo87 (profile), Jul 30th, 2011 @ 3:04am

    Music industry is a really though industry I would like to add.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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