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The Great Lies of Modern Music Scene

08:18 Aug/28/2014

Not long time ago our team read a great article about Most Insidious, Pervasive Lies of the Modern Music Industry. We decide talk about it.

Lie #1: Great music will naturally find its audience.

The Lie: The greatest music and artists will eventually connect with their audiences, naturally, thanks to a perfectly-lubricated, social, and borderless internet.

“Our kids are going to watch exactly what they want to watch, not necessarily what’s marketed to them,” then Topspin CEO Ian Rogers said as recently as 2010, while constantly underscoring that “quality is hyperefficient.”

The Truth: Just like the analog old days, most great music gets left behind and wallows in obscurity if not substantially backed or otherwise supported financially. In fact, the biggest songs on the planet are often those blasted the loudest on the biggest platforms – and oftentimes, granted the most money from major labels (ie, Katy Perry, Pitbull, Flo Rida, etc.)

Even if we left a side all these useless and stupid talks about you can do all what want and all depends only from you. Let see, how really it works. You a great musician, DJ, artist or whatever?

You make a good music a long time… And still have a small auditory? But why? It is quite simple – your listeners are lazy and not move a finger to make you famous. Why should they anyway?

You want to be a rich and famous, that is your job. But nobody can make all work by himself. You need a team, to divide task and to promote yourself. Even if have a talent, no all will see it. If you not have a money and a team of professionals to help you, then your music will and wallows in obscurity a there is a nothing really strange.

Lie #2: Artists will thrive off of ‘Long Tail,’ niche content.


The Lie: The musical landscape will increasingly be dominated by smaller and smaller artists, with smaller (but stronger) audiences. And, they will all make more money through direct fan relationships.

“Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts,” Chris Anderson famously wrote in his ‘groundbreaking’ Wired article that started a misguided revolution. “The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream.”

The Truth: Instead of unleashing a torrent of successful niches, the internet has actually made blockbusters bigger than before. All while artists starve down the tail.

“So, while the tail is very interesting, the vast majority of revenue remains in the head,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt brutally revised just a few years later. “And this is a lesson that businesses have to learn. While you can have a Long Tail strategy, you better have a head, because that’s where all the revenue is.”

That is also quite logical and predictable.

Powerful advertising campaign and the big names make the new product popular even before anybody taste it. With global entertainment market same deal like with all other markets + a few superbrends, and no real alternative.

Lie #3: The death of the major label will make it easier for artists to succeed.

The Lie: No more major labels to choke the supply! No one to hold the artist back!

The Truth: Sadly, the avalanche of unfettered, unwashed content was never quite filtered by the music fan. Instead, it was all mostly tuned out, except by a small number of trusted curators. Which means, most artists are deluged in all that stuff, and have a hard time gaining traction.


“We’ve had 10-11 years of American Idol, so you’ve had 100 or 110 top ten people, and you can count on your hand the number of careers that have sustained off of that,” Irving Azoff said late last year. “So that just tells you that even with the massive exposure of network TV, how hard it is to make it in the music business.”

Even if major label will die, which is very unlikely, artist will not became popular only for talent. Remember, what we wrote about team before. Money, connections, PR – it all Is still exist and not gone anytime soon.

Lie #5: Digital formats will produce far greater revenues than physical.

The Lie: Digital formats will produce far greater revenues than physical’

The Truth: Actually, digital distribution can make you money, but the possibility for streaming or single track sales means that it still doesn’t actually earn as much as selling a vinyl record or a CD does.

Just think a minute about it. Before digital distribution people buy your music. Now they have alternative - they can download music with one click. And that is mean that big prices for music left in past - like a vinyl records and CD.

Lie #7: There’s an emerging middle class artist.

The Lie: ‘There’s an emerging middle class artist’.

The Truth: Resnikoff actually says that the music industry has “turned into a third world country”, where a middle class of successful musicians is nigh on impossible.

And that is a logical. If somebody could not a sell your records with a good price it meant that he should buy a really lot of your records… So you became superstar and start to give incoming or disappear.

Lie #10: Google and YouTube are your friends.

The Lie: Internet-powered disintermediation will create a burgeoning ‘middle class’ of artists. Not the limousine, Bono-style outrageous superstars, but good musicians that can support families and pay their bills.

The Truth: There is no musician middle class. Instead, the music industry has devolved into a third world country, with a wide gulf between the rich and struggling/starving poor.

And, those ambitious middle-class artists that try to make ends meet by spending 350 days on the road are probably not raising very good families.

And we even explained why - in section number 6.

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