LA Times Kills Editorial On How To Revitalize Both Music And Newspaper Industries To Avoid Pissing Off Both
from the how-dare-you-make-a-suggestion-that-will-help-us! dept
You can read the whole spiked column at the link above, and it's a worthwhile read. The smart changes Goldstein proposed were that it be a regular series of free CDs distributed with the newspaper (encouraging more subscriptions and positioning the paper as a "tastemaker"). And rather than have the newspaper pay the musicians directly (which is how the Prince deal worked), have a sponsor pony up the money to be associated with the musician (this is exactly how much music is already created). Everyone wins in this deal... except stubborn record labels who don't understand that they should be in the music promotion business and think they're only in the business of selling plastic discs. The musicians get paid, get a lot more attention and are likely to make even more in terms of a wider audience willing to go to more shows, buy more merchandise and increase the amount future sponsors will be willing to pay. The newspaper gives people a fantastic new reason to subscribe and reinvents the role of the newspaper as a tastemaker. Sponsors get a great way to associate their brand with hot musicians. And, most importantly, everyone else benefits by getting access to more good music. Yet, in a town where the entertainment industry rules all, apparently, protecting obsolete business models is more important than publishing interesting columns with fantastic suggestions for creating a great new service.
Goldstein's final paragraph is too good not to repeat (especially since the LA Times doesn't think it's worth even printing once:
"Giving music away doesn't mean it has lost its value, just that its value is no longer moored to the price of a CD. Like it or not, the CD is dying, as is the culture of newsprint. People want their music -- and their news -- in new ways. It's time we embraced change instead of always worrying if some brash new idea -- like giving away music -- would tarnish our sober minded image. When businesses are faced with radical change, they are usually forced to ask -- is it a threat or an opportunity? Guess which choice is the right answer."