Day the music died

EMI to slash jobs and change the business model.

This has me worried. Actually, no it doesn’t … it completely pees me off. New music is the lifeblood of the medium. Without it, music will die.

And yet the new owners of EMI seem determined to take a short-term approach to the business and destroy any chance that new acts have of breaking through. Short-termism will not work … however many big acts they have on their books, they will need new music to take them through to the medium and long-term.

They certainly understand business and how to make money … but do they understand music?

My work is Product Management, so I know as much as anyone that when a business needs to be changed it has to be either streamlined, re-vitalised, or innovated … but NOT without taking your eye away from the medium term. Short-term solutions have only short-term effects.

I do agree with one of their announcements which is to end huge advances paid to certain artists … this is as obscene as the amount of money that footballers can earn and makes sense. They even intimate that perhaps some acts could be paid salaries or daily rates whilst they work on their new material … I’m not saying this will work but it’s an innovative idea and deserves consideration.

I also like their idea of limiting some bands to single track downloads over the internet rather than trying to force whole albums out of possible one or two hit wonders.

But certain comments from the new owner worry me, e.g. ‘we need to be selective who we provide a service to’.

Does this mean that new bands will not get a look in until they have somehow proved themselves, a impossible Catch-22 situation?


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