John Mellencamp: The Internet Is An Atomic Bomb For Music

from the that-radioactivity-may-have-gone-to-your-brain dept

What is it with old, out of touch and just downright wrong music industry folks slamming things they just don't understand? Following U2 manager Paul McGuinness' recent rant, rocker John Mellencamp has announced that "the Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb," and that "It's destroyed the music business. It's going to destroy the movie business." Funny. If it's the atomic bomb, it seems that living here in the nuclear winter is actually quite nice. After all, more new music is being released than ever before in history, more artists are making money from their music, and the overall industry (if you don't just look at direct music sales) appears to be continually growing.

That's a funny sort of "destroyed" industry, and a funny sort of atomic bomb. The music industry appears to be absolutely thriving. It's true that the selling music business may be having some trouble, but that's not the music industry. So why does the press simply take the obviously false claims of folks like John Mellencamp and repeat them? Aren't journalists supposed to point out when people say things that are false?

Either way, this isn't the first time Mellencamp has made this sorts of claims. Last year, he wrote an article about the mythical good old days of the music industry, where apparently his success came from the ground up -- as compared to today... when it's all top down. Of course, that made us scratch our heads, because Mellencamp was a major label artist, who benefited tremendously from major label (i.e., top down) promotions. And that was fine. Because there was no bottom up option in those days for most artists. Yet, today, we hear about totally independent artists building successful bottom up careers all the time. So, once again, it seems like Mellencamp has a view of the industry that might sound good from where he's sitting, but don't seem to reflect reality.

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  1. identicon
    Rick Kepple, 22 Sep 2010 @ 5:50pm

    Mellencamp, Nicks, same difference

    The last statistics I read were that 60 percent of music sales are from downloading and many of those songs were just ringtones. There is no warehousing. It's the ultimate in outsourcing jobs. BMI and ASCAP both say that ripping off the music artist is widespread. I've turned in one recording studio that was charging some really good starter artists money for recording other people's songs. Licensing is through the Harry Fox Agency for that sort of thing and protected by BMI. Stevie Nicks saying the Internet is obscene and John Mellencamp saying it's an atom bomb won't fix anything. I fix problems and I find professionals, in this case, Internet professionals to help figure things out. I'm a PR consultant and often, these things are so simple and it might be just some kid that has the answer! I'm a widower and our world could be so much better.

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