Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Why The Music Industry Is How It is

In your heart of hearts you all know the reason. The reason why no one can get recording contracts except the likes of Jessie J, Kesha and [insert generic popstar who can barely sing]. Even when contracts are handed out these days, the majority are what is called a '360 deal'.

The 360 deal is all encompassing, the traditional deal involved giving the artist an advance to record an album, then the company taking most of the proceeds from sales and the artist taking a significant chunk of live performance revenue. This is no longer the case, the 360 deal again sees an advance and expenses for recording an album, but the record company then takes most of everything. Album sales? Check. Live performances? Check. Television and film royalties? Check. The average pop star is likely to make less than 20p per CD sale in 2011.


The reason for all this is of course is illegal music downloading. Pretty much everyone does it, that's a given. The record companies have no money because no one is buying records any more. They have to aim specifically for artists who tailor to the target audience (the minority purchasing records). That minority is in fact the youngest of the teenagers (who were invented in the 50s specifically to purchase records). Kid hears catchy song without any depth, kid likes song because it's aimed at their age group, kid asks parents to buy CD. Game over.


It used to be different. People used to buy records, everyone did, and that allowed some of the money to go elsewhere. There used to be Michael Jackson, Led Zep, Queen, Elton John all making tonnes of cash which was filtered through the companies, some of which would be re-invested to develop rising artists. Record companies were prepared to risk money on artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n Roses and Metallica. Even up to the days of Eminem, Linkin Park and Muse. Now they need guaranteed returns on their investments without question, so Jessie J and Kesha is what we get until people start buying music again. It's up to us really, it's a shame free is infinitely more attractive than £10.

9 comments:

Radu said...

I head that some musicians such as Rihanna, for example, made some deal with the Devil and sold their soul in order to reach their current fame status etc... I dunno.

+1, interesting!

Gibbo said...

Yeah man there's loads of YT videos about that stuff.

Anonymous said...

How depressing..

Paulxi said...

Bring back vinyl, then lets see those punks try to download for free

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Deso said...

That's what they all say. But you must take into account that most artists don't make their profits from buying CDs and records (although I do support doing it, don't think I don't), partly because the record labels take so much away from them. Instead, if you want to support an artist, go to their concerts.

Yono said...

Regarding the no depth thing, search on YT for "Russian Unicorn", it's a parody but still a perfect example.

Petrified said...

Its sad how its degraded all the way down like this :\

Ned Ryan said...

I'd have to agree with Petrified, its sad to see the music industry in the shape it is in today. But I agree with Gibbo part of the reason is all of us.

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