The Autopsy Is Still Inconclusive…
However Tupac is still dead.
This Sunday school drop is for the seven readers that would even think to read my column on a Sunday as opposed to doing other shit like a) masturbating to Maya Hills videos pulled down from xnxx.com, b) watching 'Like It Is' with Gil Noble, c) sleeping, d) did I say masturbating?
I just read a great article inside of the Village Voice about the demise of the record industry. I call it a great article even though I ultimately disagree with the author.
Voice columnist Rob Harvilla interviews author Steve Knopper and he ultimately concludes that the death knell for the record industry was the rebuke of Napster. This guy Knopper thinks that if Universal Music Group or (name your label) had adopted the social networking possibilities within the file-sharing community these record labels would have been able to stave off their deaths.
Nahh, I don't think so. Just like we will eventually run out of fossil fuels that we extract from the Earth the need for oversized distribution systems for music (and entertainment) for that matter was bound to run its course. Technology finally pushed these dinosaurs off a cliff. Monetizing content on social networks will not support the top heavy burdens that major labels carry. Their executive salaries alone cut away any profit that they might garner from .99 cent downloads and ringtones.
The only thing that could support these executives were CD sales. $16.99 CD sales. Those days are long gone now. I think I bought two CD's in 2008. I didn't even copp '808's & Heartbreak' and this was my favorite album of the year. Maybe I can return my 'Rising Down' to Target and exchange it for 808's? I doubt that though. I look at all the CD's in my collection and I definitely feel like I did my part for the music industry.
My solution for the recording industry is for buyouts to start taking place, but NOT from other media companies. The truth is that media companies are now a dime for a dozen. Anyone with a weblog and a YouTube channel is a media company. Byron Crawford doesn't even have a YouTube channel and he is a media company. Nah'Right is a media company that helps disseminate current content for other media companies. Crunk & Disorderly and Concrete Loop are both media companies. The only thing that a media company has of value are the eyeballs of their viewers.
Some media companies mistakenly have their lawyers attack other media companies because they claim to have exclusive broadcasting rights to some piece of content. Do you think that the content gives a flying fuck who owns it? Hells no. The content wants to be free to be viewed and praised and critiqued and loved and hated. I know that these corporate lawyers need to justify their salaries just like the record label executives did but if there are some heads that need to see the guillotine it should be the lawyers up next.
The only way for the music industry to survive now is for companies that sell other types of products that people buy out of need or desire to produce compilation CD's to be included with those products. Like for instance, with every pair of Nike ACG boots you get a free Wale CD featuring his Nike boots song. When you buy some alcohol like cognac (negro health water) you will get a CD with all the songs that mention Hennessy. It shouldn't be old music either. All you artists on the come up need to get your jingles game up and start making some commercials for your favorite products. Maybe Kool-Aid might pick y'all up and sign y'all to their new label - Grape Drink Records.
This is the only hope for the record industry at this point. There won't be any government bailout for UMG or Sony, but hopefully Fruit of the Loom or Tropicana wants to get into the music buisness.