by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 23rd 2008 4:01am
Jon writes in to tell us about an opinion piece from The Guardian written by Simon Napier-Bell -- a manager for some big name rock bands, including the Yardbirds and Wham! -- giving his historical analysis of how the recording industry killed itself. He notes that it's somewhat systemic. He goes through example after example that shows that the recording industry never recognized that it was in the business of selling everything having to do with the musician, and always through it was just in the business of distribution. He details, in no uncertain terms, the gangster mentality (and connections) of recording industry execs, that were much more focused on exploiting musicians rather than helping them. He digs somewhat into the economics covered by Courtney Love and others. Much of this has been stated elsewhere, but it's yet another reminder that recording industry execs are lying when they talk about how their main focus is to "help artists." If that were true, there were tons of things that the industry would have and should have done differently over the past decade. He also recognizes that there is a place for record labels, but it's a very different one than in the past, and it needs to be focused on selling the scarce goods related to the music, rather than just trying to sell the music itself.