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Something everyone should know about the BIZ

Member for

21 years 2 months
Now, this "biz" thing is any mass-media/content buisiness you find yourself in.

My wife works in advertising, and has clued me in to this. It's going to sound obvious to all of you cynics out there, or you may have heard it before, but give it a real long minute to think about:

Content is only there to get an advertising audience in front of the ads.

This is a fact. It's real.

There are certainly special case exceptions, but all of this mega-star "Why are they signed and they suck?" thing gets answered by this fact that I've mentioned: They can sell Pepsi and I can't.



Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 01/09/2003 - 10:46
Well Nick you/wife have broken the code. This is the basis for almost any culture based form of entertainment. The best example is magazines. Now days you have to work pretty darn hard to find the articles in between the ads. Especially in a modern day womens magazine.

Television has followed suit with the commercials coming close to total number of minutes as the content. Or at least it seems this way. :) I am amazed how I can surf 500 channels and hit a commercial almost every time.

The music industry is no difference in jumping in on the merchandising of stuff. I read an article some where about how labels make more money on pop music merchandise than they do on the music sales. Every thing from posters to lunch boxes. I guess the boy bands of today and the Monkeys of yesterday were 25% content and 75% advertising.

I think this is why some people enjoy Blues, Jazz, Folk and other forms of music who are more about the content than the glitz.

Personally I believe we are on the verge of a resurgence of people wanting more artist/content and less advertising. Everything goes in cycles and I look for trends maybe I am an optimist but there are a few good signs out there.

Right now there is a growing trend for "home concerts". There was an article in the Wash. Post a while back about individuals who open up their homes and bring in small acoustic or soloist to perform. Apparently this is the rage around the country. Now the realist in me says the lawyers and RIAA will shut this down as well but it shows there is a need and demand for this type of back to basics of enjoyment of music for music sakes.


Member for

20 years 9 months

Bob Olhsson Thu, 01/09/2003 - 16:08
I don't know anybody at an RIAA member label who isn't sick to death of jumping through hoops to make music more useful to advertisers. We go to house concerts all the time, sponsor a few each year and i've been coaxing people to do them for 25 years. it's the best single thing any person can do for music.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 01/10/2003 - 05:50
Hey Lee and Bob-


I hafta admit that I was in a really cynical mood when I posted that, and I'd just read that "Why do they suck and they're signed" post. It got me all fired up.

I'm always thinking about this subject (like anyone who's small, independent, and un-hooked up) and I try to keep in mind that I must be very careful about what I wish for/work towards becuase my fantasy about what success entails is at least 95% just that--pure fantasy.

About the mass-media stuff:

To be fair, there are business reasons why a non-huge act will stay on the list of acts to promote at a label. One of these reasons is cache. In the magazine world The New Yorker is a giant money bleed on the Conde Nast empire, but Conde Nast needs to keep it around for literary cred.

By the same token Sony can use that dreadful Celine Dion to make Cake's (add 10 other interesting, deserving and non-huge acts here) existence possible.

As for TV, well, TV is just scary. I'm guessing it's worse than the recording industry and the magazine industry combined. And then some.


Member for

19 years 4 months

Joe Crawford Mon, 01/13/2003 - 14:05
"Content is only there to get an advertising audience in front of the ads."

That's a pretty damning statement about our current economy (and society), isn't it. At least here in West Virginia we still take our music for what it has always been for the last 200 to 300 years - fun, relaxation, and entertainment, not a sales pitch for preperation "A" through F" (Pity whom ever tested them!). Instead of "house concerts" we have "jam sessions". We went to one Saturday night in Antioch where someone scheduled the old one-room school house. About 15-20 musicians and about fifty locals showed up from at least two or three counties. The musicians sat in a big circle passing around songs, the listeners shouted up requests, and the wives put up one hell-of-a-great buffet in the old kitchen. Everyone who could afford it, including the musicians, chipped in a couple of dollars to help pay the up-keep on the old school building so it would be around (and warm) for next time.

Most people around here seem to think that the excessive marketing and advertising hype on TV, radio, and in print, put out by Nashville, has pretty well destroyed "Country Music" and even "Bluegrass". There is a major push around here to return to what they call "Applachian Music", or at least old style, original "country" and "gospel" music. The major record companies have lost it. They don't release anything evenly remotely interesting or enjoyable for these people anymore. When a group of musicians do get together and record a CD or a casette tape (Yes, they still do those here), they usually wind up giving most of them away to their friends. Music is a very important part of life around here.

Sorry for the ramble......

Joe Crawford
Stony Mountain Studio
Shanks, WV 26761

Member for

19 years 4 months

Kurt Foster Mon, 01/13/2003 - 17:15
Two great statements!
"Content is only there to get an advertising audience in front of the ads." ……
"Television has followed suit with the commercials coming close to total number of minutes as the content. Or at least it seems this way. I am amazed how I can surf 500 channels and hit a commercial almost every time."
Sh*t, boy howdy! I watch teevee for the ads! It's some of the most entertaining stuff there. If it wasn't viewers would get all pissed off every time one came on and interrupted their program. ………… Fats
Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 01/15/2003 - 07:27
Hay Fats-

You mark my words: Soon there's going to be "the Ad Channel". It will start as a showcase of the best and brightest ads, commercial history (that sort of "Golden Age of Television" nostalgia crap they put out every several years to celebrate all of the TV families you never really had) and then it will just become a regular, 24 hour network with people trying new ad gimmicks just to get on it.

Then again, I don't watch TV or have cable, so it might actually exist already.

I just think of all of my fellow computer game artists and programmers who watch the Superbowl for the ads.

The mass commercial culture we live in attracts many of the best and brightest creative types, nowadays, in a way that once only the fine arts could.

I have a BFA in painting. I'm a prime example.