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Timer Warner and EMI to merge music operations

Member for

21 years
Whos gonna start off this discussion?. What the hell is gonna happen to all budding new musicians and small record labels with very limited cash looking to find a sweet marketable band to put love and time into, is this another nail in the coffin of the independent label??

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Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 02/28/2007 - 12:29

Uhhhmmm...that article is from 2000, did this ever actually happen? If it did, I don't think anything negative came from it. I see they state that they expect online music sales to be 10% of total music sales by 2004, anyone know what the current percentage is at now?

Have a good one,

Member for

17 years 3 months

JoeH Thu, 03/01/2007 - 00:21
To quote Alfred E. Newman (NOT Neuman), "What, me worry?"

I say: the hell with the majors. Let them loot, rape, kill and devour each other. Good riddance. It's all run by hot young corporate hacks who don't have a clue anyway, without the slightest knowledge or interest of history. Weep not for them. It always falls and collapses in on itself every couple of decades anyway. Nothing stays the same, and what fun would it be if it DID?

The only real fun (and $) is in the indies and self promotion (as far as anyone here needs to know, IMHO). You're better off doing it yourself until something big enough happens, and then (and only then) is it time to make a deal with the devil and go global. In the time spent getting there, you're better off doing it all yourself.

I DID see (recently) that CBS has revived its music label division (long gone or dormant to SONY) and will be overtly promoting anything and everything on all of their network drama & other TV programs. So, the next time you see a montage of shots or scenes on a CSI Miami or CSI Las Vegas, Cold Case, Missing, etc., listen closely, that's probably a CBS-signed band or artist on the sound track. I would think this also applies to guest shots on Letterman and Ferguson, ditto for daytime talk shows.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss........ :roll:

Member for

19 years

Michael Fossenkemper Thu, 03/01/2007 - 04:58
Maybe it's just me, but most of the people I've worked with in the majors knew a ton about music and had been doing it for a long time. In fact most of the indies out there now, are run by former major label players. Why do you think there are so many of them now? But like anything, when they got too big, a lot of stuff got through that probably shouldn't, but that doesn't mean that everyone in a major doesn't know what they're doing. The problem with the majors isn't the people that worked at them, it's the companies that now own them. When you take something that's art based and turn it over to a manufacturing owned company, priorities change.

And I don't agree about doing it on your own. Artists should be artists. It takes a team of people to successfully make things happen, not to mention getting the most efficient return on your time and money. Just like it's not a good idea for the lead singer to fire everyone in the band and play everything himself.

Member for

21 years

Member Thu, 03/01/2007 - 05:32

"When you take something that's art based and turn it over to a manufacturing owned company, priorities change. "

Totally agree with you here happens every day. Luckilly this merger aint going ahead yet. Its all about choice and passion for music and the job we love doing, if the merge goes ahead they should change their name to Macdonalds.

Member for

17 years 3 months

JoeH Thu, 03/01/2007 - 08:42
Goodge, that clip is hysterical. What a great final punchline, too. Whoever made that thing had WAY too much time on his hands. 8-)

Michael, I totally agree with your statement that "priorities change". The could be the #1 reason why so much bad stuff happened over the years in the record biz.

I don't doubt at all that there were (and still are) plenty of people who were great at their jobs, and did wonderful things. Look at Atlantic Records. ECM. Capital "Back in the Day". Even Rhino, when they first started with some great ideas. And it certainly makes sense that the cream of that crop are out there now, making a living in indies, at least those who haven't retired or simply given up. It's the way all things go in any modernized business, I'm sure.

My over-the-top comments were meant somewhat comically and aimed more at the suits up at the top, not nec. the AR people and those below in the production part of the chain. I have seen staggering greed, sheer stupidity and naivete ruin many a great deal, all because of short-sighted, immature and down-right evil business people ruining the artistic side of things.

The mess that was going on at the heart of the whole CD boom in the mid 80's is a good place to start as any. All those "re-releases" of older analog (vinyl release) stuff that gave CDs such a bad name back then (and still haunts the medium to this day).

Using vinyl-eq'd second and third gen masters and running them through bad (glassy/brittle-sounding) converters was but one of many nasty and ugly things they did, not to mention the gall and audacity to resell these inferior products at exhoritant prices becasuse they were "Digitally Remastered". Yep. Way to go, geniuses! They p*ssed off the public right from the get-go, once the scam was out. "Throw out your vinyl and cassettes, this is music forever!" only to find out the CD you paid TWICE the going rate for was NOT done from the first gen masters, as it should have been. (Time to go buy the Re-Re-Releases?!?!?)

We won't even go INTO the time & $ they saved with the re-releases, compared to the profits they were racking in during this incredibly short-sighted period in early digital days. Talk about killing the goose that was laying the golden eggs for them!

Things of course got better sonically since then, but the prices never came down in the ten years it took for downloads to start to nip at the heels of the big power brokers. (And how many times can you keep re-selling back catalogs of established artists? Plenty, I guess, if you go by all the box sets and re-releases of all the old players in the game. It's taken almost twenty years for THAT oil-well to dry up.)

Look, anyone who's been in both worlds (analog AND digital) knows that the costs for putting together and replicating a CD today vs. what it cost to do an analog/vinyl recording from 30-40 years ago in a major studio don't even compare, yet they kept gouging the public $17-20 for a major label CD. It finally caught up with them. (And trust me on this: when you're cranking out millions of copies at a time, it costs only pennies per physical package to make them, vs. the costs that indies have to pay for short-run (1000-10,000 copy) releases. Let's not kid ourselves HERE, where we all know how the game is played.

Yet people still kept buying into that nonsense, until downloads began the wakeup call.

I'm as much against file-sharing (Stealing) as the next guy, but it was inevitable, esp with costs what they were ( still are, in most cases.) The record industry never got over their greed, and even today, the average song sells online for $1. That's $1 for a soncially compromised mp3 track; you don't even GET the Wav file; you don't even have a choice.

If you run the numbers on this, we're back to $15-20 per CD, based on 15-20 tracks. Oh, and you don't get any packaging. If you want a booklet, you MIGHT get the artwork to download or look at your tiny eye-podd screen. Nice! What sheer genius! It's the same thing all over again, only there's no physical product to deliver anymore. (Gee, maybe these guys ARE smarter than I'm giving them credit for...the public sure doens't seem to mind....)

As for indie's; that's a very broad term indeed, and it applies to everyone from the local choir down the street selling their world-class recording CDs (Don't laugh, many do!) to cover their touring and new robes, to local bands putting their stuff upon YouTube and MySpace, to bands breaking big and touring the country based on College-age kids picking up on it via the web.

It's amazing how much stuff is going on out there, under the radar, completely unkown and unmanaged by the big guys. Just as it should be. The dinosaurs can't move that quickly, and greed & logistics makes them unable to make the changes and create policy to take advantage of it the way the big guns USED to do it, back in the vinyl/pre-download days.

There IS an industry out there, but it's tougher to nail down and chart it, but I think you'll find places like Discmakers, EuropaDisc and many other replications plants are doing VERY VERY well these days with indie stuff. I think in 25-50 years, this will be viewed as the next "Golden-Age" of recording, production and promotion.

As for singers not having to worry about the biz side of things; sure that's fine of they're no good at it anyway and just want to sing (Arguably, that approach worked for Elvis, to a point...) but there are plenty of others out there who know both ends of the biz - artistic AND business - and perhaps that's the way it SHOULD be; survival of the fittest. (Tony Bennett, Sting, Paul McCartney, etc. all come to mind...) There have always been those who can only sing and play (and barely balance their mixes or checkbooks) having woeful personal lives, but that doesn't stop so many of the other successful indies.

But you don't have to take my word for this (by someone you'd NEVER expect to be so astute):