A Step Towards Understanding

I haven’t listened to regular radio for almost 3 years now, so I don’t know much about the musical landscape being painted there. However, as I remember it and experience it in other ways (TV, some of the SiriusXM stations, etc), the bulk of music being peddled today is pretty much shit.

This article by John Mellencamp gives some insight into part of the problem.

“Record companies soon discovered that because of BDS, they only needed to concentrate on about 12 radio stations; there was no longer a business rationale for working secondary markets that were soon forgotten — despite the fact that these were the very places where rock and roll was born and thrived. Why pay attention to Louisville — worth a comparatively few potential listeners — when the same one spin in New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta, etc., was worth so many more potential listeners? All of a sudden there were #1 records that few of us had ever heard of. At the time we asked ourselves, “Am I out of touch?” We didn’t realize that this was the start of change that would grow to kill, if not the whole of the music business, then most certainly, the record companies.”

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One Response to “A Step Towards Understanding”

  1. fourjams Says:

    This is a very interesting article. As a music lover, it does sadden me to know that there are a lot of voices (artists and fans) that aren’t really being heard by listeners who can’t afford satellite radio. However, when he calls it the music “business”, that’s exactly what it is, business. There are a lot of crappy things that have changed all businesses unfortunately.

    When he asks if musicians should have to be jacks of all trades (being the creative force as well as doing their own marketing), it’s somewhat like how most workers now have to do things way outside of what is supposed to be their specialty. Since the onset of personal computing, salespeople, technicians, artists, accountants also have to be their own secretaries, spreadsheet creators, PowerPoint specialists, etc. In my company and most other large corporations now, people who are technical who aren’t adept at these skills, along with the ability to “manage” and “influence”, are relegated to being “button-pushers” and likely outsourced. Now the button-pushers have gone out and built their own industries, providing services to the corporations that outsourced them.

    So if you equate musicians to being the “button-pushers”, Mellencamp’s right – they’ll have to find a new way of doing things and rebuild their own business the way they want it to be. I hope they do.

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