The Free Music War
November 14, 2014
Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville
The battle lines are forming. It is a war and big bucks are at stake. It is about money but sadly it seems to be much more than that.
Are we really evolving into a culture that only wants to rent things and not own? Has the entitlement culture decided music should be a right?
The Internet is a great invention. The higher speeds made it easier to file share. Once something is free, it is very hard to slap a price back on the same product. You pay for TV, movies, football games ... everything. You pay dearly to go to concerts these days. So why should songwriters not be fairly compensated for their work?
Fairly compensated seems to be in the eyes of the compensator. Clearly, Spotify got a great low rate when it started and that was fair. Now with great success, the rate should go up. It was a bad deal from the start, done my people looking for a quick buck.
So now Irving Azoff is about to jump in with 20,000 copyrights and YouTube seems to be his concern. A peace treaty sure seems needed. Are there any reasonable people involved in this mess? Some of the biggest artists sure seem to be quiet in this subject. Their silence is deafening.
Songwriters can't go on a stadium tour, so this is as much about them as anyone. Hope some streamers step up and raise the rates ... or create some acceptable formula.
Keep the new music by the established artists off the streams just like movies are released in theatres ... a certain time period down the road, the music hits the streams. New artists can do whatever they can and can stop their streams at anytime. Netflix doesn't get the new movies ... why should the music streamers?
The world has changed ... duh ... most folks time-shift their television shows. Nielsen is calling for a new way to do ratings to take in all the different ways a TV show is consumed.
The pricing of concerts ... this is evolving, too ... many price tiers. You can pay big bucks for a front row ... or pay a little for the back seats. Customers will ultimately decide if this works ... 110,000 just sold out two Chesney/Aldean shows in Foxboro. That plan sure seemed to work okay.
Garth's one-price-fits all is doing well ...The fact no one has been prosecuted for using computer bots to buy tickets should be investigated by a federal grand jury. Doing that is illegal but no prosecution ... hmmmm.
Since the dawn of the 20th century, slick suits have taken advantage of artists. Too many examples to name. It's hardly a revelation.
It is time to get consumption of music into some workable business model. Some of the intellectual property laws are nearly 100 years old. It is time to start doing what is right ... Has to be now or the concrete will dry.
2014 was an ugly year for behavior at Country concerts. The booze consumption and rules are not even as good as a baseball game. Why is it so hard for the Country music industry groups to step up and get something done on real issues? Don't rock the boat ... see no evil, hear no evil...
Leadership on Music Row these days is lacking.