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millennials killed the radio star

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the sad part is, most of them won’t even get this reference.

recently an older article came out where the writer was pumping his chest proclaiming that his generation killed the music industry. a lot of words came to mind but all them were after a healthy bout of laughter from the headline alone. after reading the first paragraph it was painfully obvious they were referring to the RIAA’s business model that yes, is in fact 100% dead.

but the millennials didn’t have jack shit to do with that death. as soon as mp3’s hit the public web it was game over. it was only a matter of time before file sharing took over and no one went out to buy that $18 cd the article writer was so upset with because hey free. in many ways the internet did bring about a sense of HOLY SHIT IT’S ALL FREE!!! and the progress of google getting advertisers to pay for it all so you’d lick their little link cementing that thought.

most millennials i doubt had to suffer through the pop up wars. today, it’s all videos that start instantly so the site can charge their sponsors for a “viewed ad”. then again we do have click bait more so than ever with the “she was fat and ugly, you’ll never believe what she did next” and you click on it only to find out the bitch ate another chocolate cake. hey – you clicked it. you think the internet crowd would get tired of that crap by now, but hey; i digress.

anyway – the article for reference: HERE.

big and bold. that should make ’em happy. at this point i’ll pull over some quotes and simply respond in my usual manner of guffaw.

Even superstars have it tough. Pitbull — despite having 50 million Facebook fans and nearly 170 million YouTube plays — has sold less than 10 million albums in his entire career. This is the reality of the new music industry, which is built off of liquid attention, not record sales.

Why? Well, the answer lies with us ,  the Millennials. We’ve taken over the music industry by controlling the two things that matter most:

at this point the writer is already more fascinated with virtual reality power than real life. he goes onto say the 1st area is demand. follow the cash. this is an age old scenario and hardly earth shattering in its own revelation. but let’s just file that and keep it handy, huh? follow the cash…

his entire premise is that they have a right to music and their value is tied to if they should desire to share said music, not buy it. not rent it, not even pay to listen to it. here’s where you just have to giggle at young eyes.

The attention has become just as valuable as our likelihood to purchase, as it leads to festival and performance attendance, merchandising sales and other sources of revenue. However, we still won’t buy your music.

so after a big FUCK YOU to the artist in that no matter what is done they will not BUY the music, i struggle to go on hearing about the value this segment brings to the table simply because as they started off this wonder piece of journalism…

follow the cash.

son, if you ain’t spending, your phone won’t matter at all now will it? sure the sharing gets to a point that all artists want you to do – share it so they can get a bigger audience and sell more music. wait? what’s that? brands know this and they spent $1.34 billion to sponsor music? AH-HA – so THIS is their payday!

except his next paragraph is still spending a billion dollars fo ran opportunity to build. so now the artist needs to get your attention via your phone and have you shared enough to where sponsors will spend over a billion dollars to put on shows where the artist can play live to a group of people who this writer open said will never buy their music.

it amazes me how this article has spread like wildfire on the net when the base assumptions are self-serving, reeks of entitlement and in the end, flat out insulting to the very people they say should be begging for their attention.

quote time:

What brands understand is that music is an important part of Millennials’ identity. It’s more than entertainment for us. The music we listen to can be as important as how we dress and influences who our friends are.

no shit? really? you think those of us a bit older never felt this way or identified with music in this manner? we carried music along before the RIAA and after and yes, unfortunately it will be this generations time to do the same and i cry at the thought except for a salvation i’ll get to in a bit. i just had to put this out there because we’ve all got drunk, lost in a song and had music define the lives we lead, the emotions we feel, the time we laugh and the tears we cried. nothing new here so please understand history before you try to rewrite it and you’ll better understand not only your own place in time, kid, but how you *can* make the changes you seem to be dreaming about. insulting the previous generation as if these emotions are simply because you carry a phone is pathetic.

so we’ve covered his “demand” point and then he moves onto the supply. again, insulting the very thing that seems to craft his very being – the musician.

All that’s required to make a modern record is a computer and a piece of affordable recording software. One of the most powerful professional DAWs (a digital audio workstation, used to produce music) is Logic Pro from Apple, which costs only $200.

and a sound room. and proper microphones and studio equipment and monitors. headphones, gotta have some headphones. mixer? check. OH SHIT – if we’re gonna do shit, how about guitars, check. singer, check. lyricist, check. this simple list is getting longer it would seem to me. but i will give him a cherry picked example here.

Gotye created his song “Somebody That I Used to Know” in his parents’ house near Melbourne, Australia. The self-produced track reached number one on more than 23 national charts and charted inside the top 10 in more than 30 countries around the world. By the end of 2012, the song became the best-selling song of that year with 11.8 million copies sold, ranking it among the best-selling digital singles of all time.

i wonder if the writer went back and read that 11.8 million copies SOLD. if his generation isn’t buying it, who did? someone is out there paying for his self-induced power ego trip and i bet he didn’t even thank them cause i doubt SPONSORS bought 11.8 million copies of the song. not sure where the writer goes when he says how millennials record after word or class -but what? so you’re talking about hobbyists or are you talking about a professional musician?

i don’t disagree the home studio has replaced quite a bit but please, the home studio is nowhere near his $200 price tag.

the final part of this essay into surrealism is that discovery is at an all-time high. yes, yes it is. it has to be because while the millennials had nothing to do with it, the business model of finding the artist, recording them and bringing them to you is in fact dead and gone. for good or bad the RIAA and the business model did centralize a lot of … talent if you will … to be marketed and sold. you didn’t have to discover because they went out and did it. however, an artist then knew the path to go from their garage studio to 30,000 people. doing it another matter, but the model was in fact there. people sold out 15k stadiums at the drop of a hat. bad band sold out. THIS was the 80s and THIS was the model that brought music to you and yes, technology killed it.

just because you happen to use technology doesn’t mean you had shit to do with the death however as “sharing music” (now changed to vying for my attention to make them feel better i suppose) is today the way to get heard but what is missing is the way to get paid. with fewer and fewer people able to afford a home studio, band, hitting the road, practice rooms, guitar strings and drumsticks and the like will fade away as there simply is not pot of gold at the end of that song anymore. there’s a kid on a phone going “that all you got, i’m unfriending you!”

the millennials are just as stuck in this “in between” as the rest of us are. there is no payday in a “today’s market” sense and the musicians life is more of a struggle than it ever has been before as people keep looking at someone else to yet again pay the bill for the music they enjoy. the worst part today is bypassing payment has never been more easy and now, even the guilt is gone.

it’s not the millennials that are killing things. it’s the entitlement attitude that someone else will  pay for the things you use and love. this unfortunately knows no single layer of people or society as all generations of people will find a way to justify not having to pay for something…

“look, i shared your song!!! i own it now…”  i honestly hope that thought process does and another model comes into play to be fair to the artist and the fans, whose lives are so intertwined in music that it defines their very being but it’s not worth $0.99, will fade away with the children’s id mentality one day.

but like i said, i do have hope that others in this age group didn’t see things this way. why? well someone else also answered this…article. 

from live for music – check this out.

great job, steph. and thank you. rock on. you are in fact the gatekeepers of what is to come. make sure you respect the artist and their work cause as much as it means to you, it’s their world and deserves the respect and fair play from us all.iceberg

 

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