"I read an article recently that said an entire generation of young people is growing up now that have little conception of what it's like to actually pay money for music. "
absolutely right. new technology will always change the way business is done. the middle-man, the record labels, are now like dinosaurs sinking in the tar pit; their gravy days are over. just like network tv. the future of music business is that you will be able to download most of the band's music for free, they will make their money from performing, which is where the majority of a band's revenue has always come from; performing, and publishing. record sales only enrich the record label, not the artist. Bands will also make money from the fans that want to buy the authorized cd from the band's website; the buyer will get all the tunes, and a bunch of paper, which means that bands will beef up what comes with a cd so that fans buy. it will no longer be that tiny slip of paper that fits in the tiny plastic case, you will get a lot for your money. the more a band tours, the more of the paper heavy cds they will sell, and they can flip-off the record companies.
a record label will pay a band 65 cents per sale, and when the sales die out, they bury your cd, and there is nothing you can do about it because it doesn't belong to you. so you get 65 cents per sale while it's selling, then it's over. if a band owns it's cd, they can push that cd from their website, at 10 bucks a pop, for the next 10 years.
think of the variety of sounds that will be available! it will no longer be a record exec deciding what is good enough to invest in it's distribution. look at woodstock, 1969, before the conglomerates purchased the record companies, each band was different. look at the bands now. they are like a line of jr whoppers at burger king.
conglomeration has done for music what burger king did for the hamburger, made them all exactly the same. in the early 80s, the college grads that took over the record labels, saw that mahilia jackson sold 50,000 records, but motley crue sold 1,500,000 records, and their mentality says, "cut mahelia jackson, and find me 20 more bands just like motley crue."
i think they put their own necks through the noose.
i would not be surprised if in a few years a bunch of music mags come out that cater to bands without a label. bands will buy the space, the mag will run stories, pictures, personal bios, where to download their tunes, where to buy the authorised cd with lots of paper, pictures, video, and their tour schedule.
in 1984 i went to LA to shop 2 records, dealt with artist research guys at MCA, CAPITOL, 2 other labels i don't remember, and a label called BIG DICK RECORDS, yes, BIG DICK RECORDS. we were shopping a female solo, and a rock band. the AR guys at the major labels all had the same exact line, "is the girl like toni basil? do you think she could dance like a cheerleader?" one guy that had signed THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRLS, said, "I have an opening for a singing waitress that can dance like a cheerleader. do you think she would dress up like a waitress?" all this before popping in the tape. on the rock band they asked, "can any of them play a violin? we are looking for an act like Dexy's Midnight Runners." they were not looking for good acts, they had openings for bands that fit a certain bill. BIG DICK RECORDS wanted to know if the girl would show her tits, and on the rock band they said, "hey, this is pretty good stuff, if you guys could go back, rewrite the lyrics, throw in some moans, and some cursing, we might be interested in this stuff."
Ahhhhhhh! we left LA very dissillusioned.
to me, hearing that the labels are sinking, is music to my ears.
same thing will be happening to movie studios. with the coming of mtv, there are whole generations of kids that grew up watching scratchy looking, badly edited, home-made music videos. no big deal to see a whole movie that looks like that. and in a few years, distribution will be on hard drives, not on film, so the cost will be minimal. the big losers will be the movie studios that now control the distribution, and eastman kodak. the big winners will be the filmmakers, and the audience, because of the incredible variety of films that will be available.
imagine the relationship a guy like welles could have had with a station like IFC? it boggles the imagination.
how this relates to OTR? i don't have a clue. i'm finished running off at the mouth now.
the numbers quoted here are ball park, not researched, exact numbers. they are probably very different now than they were in 1984.