Sunday, March 25, 2007

Economist Predicts

The Economist predictably predicts that the dearth of music sales means the death of music as we know it. They have no faith in human ingenuity. They have no trust in Adam Smith's invisible hand or the marketplace. They have no idea that music existed before the arrival of the Industry and that it will survive long long long afterwards.

I think it's safe to say that there would be less music available overall. Many people are arguing that bands could simply use albums as loss leaders for concerts. ... But most people will probably spread the savings over their entire budget, meaning only a very modest boost for live performance earnings. ... Probably downloading will modestly increase the amount of concert attendance and the price people are willing to pay for them, but I can't see it doing so by anything but a small fraction of the revenue stream being lost from selling recorded music. ... Meanwhile, professional artists have to eat. If you reduce the size of the revenue streams available to fund their music-making, some of them will have to spend less time making music, and more time making money some other way. ... It's not hard to imagine that the death of the music industry could also mean the death of overproduced boy bands and Britney Spears knockoffs.
What will we do without gatekeepers and marketing gurus to decide who's a star and who's not? What the Economist fails to understand is that we never did need the gatekeepers and marketing manipulators. We never did need multi-BILLION-dollar record execs. We never did need multi-BILLION dollar recording stars. The mega-rock stars will have to survive on their paltry few millions. This of course means fewer hangers-on, fewer retainers, fewer trips to rehab, fewer drugs and alcohol, fewer expensive tantrums, fewer fixers and menders to do all the little deeds that must be done to achieve the right mood, fewer dollars for politicians and political posturing. There will be more emphasis on making music and selling songs that entertain and move the audience.

We do not now, nor did we ever, need expensive CDs selling us 13 songs of crap for the one hit we wanted to buy. We do not now, nor did we ever, need Greatest Hits CDs filled with bad recordings of hit songs. We do now, nor did we ever, need compilations of songs from other releases and two new songs packaged as the latest NEW release. The audience doesn't stop buying at age 25. They get tired of being ripped off and seek other avenues.

The Record Industry screwed the public. They milked us like we were dairy Holsteins... We will not miss them. We will watch as they dangle Octopus Contracts to corral any new artists
who are fool enough to sign. They will use legislation to control the consumer when they can no longer manipulate the market.... The Internet is freeing those with imagination, talent, drive, ambition, and ability even in modest amounts. The audience exists. The means to reach the audience exist. The key, as with all markets for all commodities is to find the strike point. Where is the value point at which a willing buyer will purchase and a willing supplier will sell? The Internet will help sort that out.

The Economist is very much of the Olde European School. Namely; Find a Market and Control It. Their bias against capilalism and free markets is not overt. They simply cannot conceive that such a thing can exist and proceed to write as if it never has and never will. I use their publication as a cracked mirror that helps me see more clearly. The skewed perspective helps reveal the underlying flaws that are not always visible when viewed straight on... They cover America like anthropologists covering an alien society. Perhaps we are.

No comments: