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Re: record industry

At 11:17 AM -0700 7/5/07, samba - wrote:
>  I think the record industry started it's decline by gearing it's 
>whole promo machine to producing Very expensive videos for MTV 
>,henceforth known as emptyvideos.They stopped putting money into 
>more creative eccentricquirky acts and even dropped alot of famous 
>musicians who were making platinum record cause they were dropping 
>100k on each video. Meanwhile MTV staretd producing more feature 
>programming designed to keep viewers tuned in rather than 
>surfing,and reduced the amount of airtime for mtvids.When napster 
>and cheap digital recording  came along the didn't adapt 
>intelligently. The tech changes are certainly an important 
>factor,but secondary to bad tactics and strategies.They could have 
>used napster to their advantage.

Oh, while I'll agree that this was eventually a contributing factor 
to the decline of the Major Record Companies, I'd take a bit of issue 
with the "started to decline" statement.

Remember the whole DIY movement that came to fruition during the Punk 
and post-Punk eras?  This was a full-blown scourge of indie labels 
who came about as a reaction to the Major Label's tendency to 
predominantly pick up and fund huge dinosaur rock acts, while leaving 
newer and more experimental acts behind in the dust.

Many people realized that they could just as easily press their own 
singles or trade tapes, and a whole alternative label revolution was 
born due to the corruption and sloth of the Majors.  This started at 
least as far back as the mid-70's (well, that's when the big wave 
caught on; I don't doubt other DIY'ers were paving the way a lot 

In other words, the Majors started to rot from the inside long before 
MTV played any part.

In addition, if you think about it, I believe early eMpTV actually 
had a coalescing and reviving effect upon the Majors, in that, while 
MTV began by playing cool and "arty" videos, they eventually upped 
their production standards (as well as, I suspect, their payola 
kickbacks) until the independent and alternative labels/artists could 
find no safe harbor there (with the possible exception of the token 
"120 minutes" once a week).  This, I also believe, helped lead to the 
demise of most independent college radio, with the popularization of 
"grundge" and the eventual codification of indie music into the 
Billboard "Alternative Top 40" during the late-80's/early-90's. 
Alternative artists believed they had finally achieved the 
recognition they had aspired to for so long, and, by supporting the 
commodification of their sector, unwittingly colluded in their own 

Thus, all this actually led to the Majors getting a temporary shot in 
the arm, as they managed to drive many independent label competitors 
out of business (or else they bought and assimilated them).  Of 
course, MTV, being a profit-oriented animal itself, started to 
diversify into its own programming to maximize its profits -- 
eventually leaving the majors out on the carpet, as you rightfully 
pointed out.

While I look at the Majors as dinosaurs who deserve nothing more than 
to have kerosene poured atop them, I still wouldn't count them out 
just yet.  They've found too many ways to re-invent themselves and 
bounce back in the past.  As long as there's a profit-motive they can 
exploit, they'll still be around.

"I want to keep you alive so there is always the possibility of 
murder... later"