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Author Topic: The Most Dangerous Thing Invented  (Read 8181 times)

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« on: August 20, 2010, 11:52 »
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Has anyone read the John Cougar Mellancamp stories this week?

"I think the Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb," he said. "It's destroyed the music business. It's going to destroy the movie business."

It immediately made me think of all our micromacro discussions. 

http://ca.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idCATRE67H0SN20100818?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

When you think about it, the Internet really has "destroyed" a lot of businesses - but on the other hand it sure has created a lot too.  Hmm... what's the word I'm looking for.... evolution?


« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 12:06 »
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I think it saved the music business.

« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 12:30 »
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It's great for musicians and consumers, but terrible for the music industry middlemen - the ones in between the musician and the customer such as record executives, marketing people, radio DJs, radio station account execs, record store owners, etc.  But worrying about them is like worrying about the proverbial buggy-whip manufacturers circa 1900.  Too bad they lost their jobs, but there are a million other things they could do.

I don't know where Mr. Cougar is right now in his career, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's not touring right now and he hasn't released any new material lately.  If he's expecting royalty checks to roll in for his old albums, then he might feel that his income isn't what it should be.  Few people are going to pay $20 for a CD or pay $1 a song to iTunes for "oldies".  But where would his income be if he was in the same situation 20 years ago?  People still wouldn't be paying for his old vinyl records, they'd be making cassettes from their friends' records.  Maybe Cougar's royalty checks just aren't what he would like to be receiving right now, and he's lashing out.

Maybe that's also behind the perceived "problems" of stock photography - because of widespread availability through the internet and digital cameras, people's oldies aren't selling like they used to, and they have to either produce new material as fast as they can, or "go on tour" (wedding shoots, etc.)

« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 13:17 »
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JCM is 58 years old. Touring is hard enough work when you are young, let alone for someone pushing 60.

The Internet is a great way for young musicians as a way to be seen and heard. But for an established talent who would rather stay in the recording studio and just sell "records" it is a catastrophe.

« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 15:43 »
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I saw a recent TV interview with Mick Jagger in which he was remarkably sanguine about the effect of the internet on music sales, although I suppose he can afford to be.

His view was that throughout history it has almost always been difficult to make a living, let alone become rich, through making music. He considers himself to have been extremely fortunate to have most his career during a brief 'golden age' when it became possible to make absurd amounts of money for just doing what he loved doing. He doubts that others who follow the same career path will necessarily enjoy the same opportunities in the future.

« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 15:46 »
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He doubts that others who follow the same career path will necessarily enjoy the same opportunities in the future.

This goes with the timing is everything statement SJ made earlier regarding microstock. May not be everything but is a key component.

« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 21:46 »
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I saw a recent TV interview with Mick Jagger in which he was remarkably sanguine about the effect of the internet on music sales, although I suppose he can afford to be.

His view was that throughout history it has almost always been difficult to make a living, let alone become rich, through making music. He considers himself to have been extremely fortunate to have most his career during a brief 'golden age' when it became possible to make absurd amounts of money for just doing what he loved doing. He doubts that others who follow the same career path will necessarily enjoy the same opportunities in the future.

While I believe that luck plays a role in the career of any artist (the act of being "discovered") Mick Jagger also belongs to a limited circle of extraordinary characters with a special charisma. Not every "musician" can or should be a superstar... with or without the internet.

I've heard that not many musicians make a decent income JUST through royalties of their songs. Mianly they make the money through live performances which also separates the boys from the men. Not to mention that a lot of them also work in the production business etc. which puts a lot more in their pockets than being the performer...

The internet just accelerated the "lifetime" of a star. Some superstars from the 70s or 80s are still active till this day. Do you know as many performers that started in the early or mid 90s that created a career like the goldie oldies that keep going these days?

Maybe that's just my impression but I think the music in the 80s (and even before) had more "substance" than the quickly digested pop-poop these days can deliver...

« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 21:47 »
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Oh and "Video killed the radio star"...

So there will always be "another one that bites the dust"...

« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2010, 22:28 »
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Oh and "Video killed the radio star"...

So there will always be "another one that bites the dust"...

Very good!

They worried that the movies would kill live theater.
They worried that TV would kill the movie industry.
They worried that video would kill radio.

The internet has not killed TV, radio, the music industry or the photography industry.
It has made drastic changes to the way the latter have had to do business.
The industry that has been impacted most heavily it would seem is the print industry.
Newpapers are dying or at least the print versions are. Magazines are also seeing drops in circulation.

Frankly, I like magazines and I like to see photographs in print. I hope these never die out completely.

« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2010, 02:51 »
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..Maybe that's just my impression but I think the music in the 80s (and even before) had more "substance" than the quickly digested pop-poop these days can deliver...
I like a lot of the more modern music.  Muse, La Roux, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Keane, The Hives, The White Stripes, I could go on but I think these are all much better than 90% of the 80's groups.

Microbius

« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2010, 03:38 »
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It's great for musicians and consumers
I don't know a single musician that would agree with you, and I know quite a few musicians! Things haven't really changed all that much for consumers either, the cost of 13 odd downloads from iTunes is pretty comparable to the cost of buying a CD.
I think the criticism is to do with stealing content, I wouldn't regard the people that steal music as consumers, but yes it has been fantastic for them.

« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2010, 07:04 »
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Did many musicians make money in the 70's and 80's when the record companies were ripping them off?  Even some of the very successful ones ended up broke and not owning their own music.  Those that did get a good deal were only getting a small percentage of the CD sales.  At least now more people seem interested in going to see live music and they can make money from that.

Record sales have gone down but is that just because of illegal downloads or is it because younger people spend more money on other things like computer games?  I remember lots of tape swapping going on in my school, not many of us could afford to buy an album.  I prefer it now that I can use spotify legally and pay for the downloads I want to keep.

Microbius

« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2010, 07:20 »
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Honestly, I really don't want to get into an argument about it. I think people have been going to plenty of gigs for the last several decades, that's not new. I would suggest you'd be better off speaking to musicians about this, I know the impression I get them from them is that trying to own your own music is now impossible and this is incredibly frustrating. At least in the past their art was valued enough that someone would bother trying to con them out of it with a contract. Now it just appears on the internet and it's gone. Low percentage? better then nothing, which is what copies of their work are now effectively worth. The music itself has been made almost worthless, the experience of going to gigs is now the only thing many people will pay for.

« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2010, 07:27 »
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This is a conflict of two mentalities (we saw it before), one progressive and other traditional...
Often progressive was turned into a traditional. we have a bunch of evidence in history... Only because of interests...
Jesus was progressive for his age, now is part of traditional worldviews...
Also, people without any kind of ideology, often chose side only because of the keeping their property or way of life...
It was easy to be a revolutionary if you had nothing,  same man with the possessions probably would chose "old stream" ...

This is just an echo of traditional and retrograde world in multimedia....
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 07:31 by borg »

rubyroo

« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2010, 07:46 »
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@ borg... yes that's along the lines of what I was thinking.  If you've built up (say) 20 or 30 years of experience and a sense of certainty in an industry that you understood every aspect of, got comfortable and felt the future would be simply more of the same, it must be very hard to bring yourself to embrace a seemingly unstructured and uncertain method when things suddenly change.  Some people find it easier to adapt than others, of course - but switching certainty for uncertainty when your livelihood depends on it must always be incredibly difficult.

I don't think anyone can second guess how things will go from here.  We either ride the wave (and storms) or we don't.

« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2010, 15:00 »
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Computer Programmed radio destroyed the music business.  It's why the "classic rock" station in every town still plays Barracuda, Come Sail Away, and More Than A Feeling every 5 minutes.  Not that I'm a big fan of disc jockeys, but I'll take their music mix over one decided upon by a corporate board and a piece of software.

Same thing is happening at Sirius.  It's almost 100% programmed now, and they are getting more and more repetitive.

The only hope for music is the internet.  Pandora, LastFM and the similar sites are hardly perfect.  But if you want to hear something different, that is where you can go.  Mellencamp should know what killed the music industry.  It was dying before the internet made its mark.

« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2010, 16:14 »
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When I click Pandora or LastFM, they are apologizing, because they don't provide their service in my part of the world.

« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2010, 16:22 »
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When I click Pandora or LastFM, they are apologizing, because they don't provide their service in my part of the world.

Have you tried spotify?  I love it, here's one of my playlists
http://sharemyplaylists.com/alternative-and-mainstream-songs-from-5-decades/
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 16:25 by sharpshot »

« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2010, 18:02 »
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Looks like a cool play list.  I have considered the upgrade ($36 for 1 year) at Pandora so I can stream at 192 kb/s.  The free version is 128 kb/s, which isn't bad but in my experience 192 kb/s is about the threshold where things start to sound good.

I'm more of an acid rocker, lol  ::)  Yesterday I typed "Kyuss" into Pandora and it gave me one helluva mix for the 3 hours I listened.  Besides Kyuss, I was getting Tool, very old Black Sabbath (1st 3 albums), older Soundgarden, etc.  I heard 2 bands which I was totally unfamiliar with, and I liked their songs so much I'm probably going to buy their CDs.  

Now with the exception of Sabbath, I'd never hear any of this stuff on XM/Sirius and certainly not on local radio.  Sure, Sirius plays Sober from Tool and a few big hits from Soundgarden, but they never go any deeper than that.  Very disappointing.  Pandora rules in my book.  Mellencamp can go pound salt.

« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 18:47 »
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When I click Pandora or LastFM, they are apologizing, because they don't provide their service in my part of the world.

Have you tried spotify?  I love it, here's one of my playlists
http://sharemyplaylists.com/alternative-and-mainstream-songs-from-5-decades/


No, I've never tried it. Thanks :)

« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2010, 18:50 »
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Heh... Even Spotify it's not available in my country.
Now, maybe, it becomes more clear why piracy is so much spread here.

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2010, 17:35 »
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Honestly, I really don't want to get into an argument about it. I think people have been going to plenty of gigs for the last several decades, that's not new. I would suggest you'd be better off speaking to musicians about this, I know the impression I get them from them is that trying to own your own music is now impossible and this is incredibly frustrating. At least in the past their art was valued enough that someone would bother trying to con them out of it with a contract. Now it just appears on the internet and it's gone. Low percentage? better then nothing, which is what copies of their work are now effectively worth. The music itself has been made almost worthless, the experience of going to gigs is now the only thing many people will pay for.

Odd how that is, because the people I know have found that they don't need a record company or agent and they can produce and distribute their own CD on the internet, without all the complexities of a studio recording, pressing and record stores to make the album. They can also print the CDs and the covers at home without expensive exuipment.

No big 15" reels at 15IPS and huge studio equipment, since it's done digital now, multi-tracking. My 4 track Tascams and Teacs cost hundreds, DBX was another bite and then the mixers, and snakes to connect everything.

Now it's done with a computer and external box! 16 track is small.  ;D

As for original music, the time is ripe for anyone who wants to splash their music on the web for the whole world to find. YouTube, websites, online sales... somehow I think it's much better and easier to avoid the record companies and the monopoly they had on the whole industry.

Every band I know that's worth 2 cents, sells CDs at the jobs. Play and marked on site.

« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2010, 17:39 »
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Odd how that is, because the people I know have found that they don't need a record company or agent and they can produce and distribute their own CD on the internet, without all the complexities of a studio recording, pressing and record stores to make the album. They can also print the CDs and the covers at home without expensive exuipment.

Are they making a living doing it?

Uncle Pete

  • Evidence please...

« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2010, 23:53 »
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Odd how that is, because the people I know have found that they don't need a record company or agent and they can produce and distribute their own CD on the internet, without all the complexities of a studio recording, pressing and record stores to make the album. They can also print the CDs and the covers at home without expensive exuipment.

Are they making a living doing it?

No, but they wouldn't even be making a record because of the costs and the distribution monopoly. Now they can! If you mean are they making a living playing music? Sure just like all of us rich microstock photographers!  ;D

If you had played in bands for forty years and dealt with agents, promoters, record producers, radio stations (bribed to play your music on air) bar owners who stiffed you, wedding grooms who wrote bad checks, places that took your money and rode on your back for 20% and they tried to screw you at the same time, then you would have an idea of the "music business". Actually it's very much like micro. Independent hopefuls struggle and work for years, always looking up to the stars of the industry, but very few make it to the top and make a professional income from their work.

People point at the top IS sellers and people like Yuri. Heck, you could go from your garage or basement to being the next Rolling Stones or U2? Ya, right... get real!  :o

BUT now with the technology you don't have to give up your rights to your music and sign a contract or sell your soul to the devil (Robert Johnson) to get your crappy songs recorded on some vinyl or pressed on a CD. You can make your own digital recording at home, and sell them to the world, on the internet. It's better in many ways, unless you are John Cougar Melencamp counting on royalty checks for sales of music you recorded 25 years ago, that doesn't earn like it used to.

In a similar way, music has gone independent just like micro. The big agencies and private collections have been broken up by the little guys, offering a high quality products for bargain prices.

The Internet didn't ruin anything, it has created new opportunities and freedom. The information superhighway isn't just a cliche for electronic communications.

« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2010, 11:08 »
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The music industry today reminds me a lot of what it looked like in the fifties in that a lot of music is bought by the song. We have simply traded 45's for itunes. The album's heyday was 1968-2000, not a bad run for any product. Prior to the sixties lot's of music was bought in singles form, ie; the little old 45. Cassettes, eight tracks and CD's killed the 45 and people were forced to buy albums. I still remember having to buy the entire cassette to get one song, it used to tick me off.

Microstock InsiderPhotoDune

 

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