Friday, February 02, 2007

SPIN Magazine: 10 Ways to Fix The Biz

Could SPIN Magazine's ten ways to fix the music business help the art scene?

1) Make CDs cheaper. This is obvious you wouldn't think it should have to be spoken. But we're saying it anyway. After two decades, CDs should not be more expensive than they once were.

2) Stop indulging artists. (here SPIN talks about the bloated, overpriced behemoth as the dreaded double disk. They call everyone, Christian Aguilara, REd Hot Chili Peppers, Oukast...and reissuing the same CD a few months later "expanded". Yes, Bruce, that's you. Does this sound like the bloated overpriced behemoth of the art market?)

3)Have a TV network launch the songwriting equivalent of American Idol.

4) Give up the ghost of the blockbuster album. (okay...that really sounds like Major Art Galleries.)

5) Only release certain kinds of music on CD. The fact that Barry Manilow was able to reclaim the No.1 spot on the album chart with his karaoke-style covers albums proves conclusively that boomers are buying more CDs than younger music fans. So if a particular CD is mainly going to appeal to someone below the age of 30, go digital-it'll be better for the environment, too.

6) Cut concert prices.

7) Stop making it so hard to choose between formats. ( Is this a cousin to popsurrealism versus the notion of historically correct?)

8) Fully embrace the web. Instead of making threats when an unauthorized song or video shows up on mySpace or YouTube, majors should welcome the exposure. In its early days, MTV made you want to buy records and go to shows. The Web has the ability to provide those same thrills. (Peter Plagens in Art In America wrote: "Exceptions [to reader disinterest in art critics] exist -- as with the lead critics for a few of the major dailies -- but they don't abound. More and more people in the audience for contemporary art would rather read Tyler Green snark somebody in his blog, Modern Art Notes, than ponder the considered judgment of Michael Kimmelman on a MoMA retrospective. Many art writers have either added unpaid blogging to their activities or been squeezed into it from want of other, traditional outlets -- for which many bloggers don't have enough writerly inclination or discipline, anyway. Each of those art bloggers has a following of fans and other bloggers, and each of those bloggers has... and so on. A growing form of art criticism consists of posting links to other people's criticism, which consists of posting links... and so on." For more read Edward Winkleman

9) Reinvent the record store. We're approaching a time when anyone who walks into a record store will truly be like those obsessives in High Fidelity. So why not cater to them? Sell only indie, alt rock, and hip-hop, not to mention vinyl and every type of iPod and iPod competitior.

10) Stop releasing crap.


Timmer said...

There is much to say about the potential of the web! My only worry is that it will eventually be monopolized as a world wide capitalist force. It has already begun. It is mostly to the advantage of major players, but we unknown people(the public) have the option to work our buns off networking, develop a voice and hopefully get a break!

mister anchovy said...

interesting comparison, although there are some large differences between the music scene and the art scene....we've taught people to like the music they are being sold....but we've taught the same people to believe that art is difficult to understand and enjoy and we've taught people to distrust art and artists. In the music scene, a lot of people were making a lot of money putting out and marketing product. That any good music at all has been recorded over the past couple decades is a constant amazement. Now that their entire distribution system has been turned upside-down, I'm enjoying the squirm as they try to avoid the reality that they need a new business model.

We're watching the democratization of the music scene. Anyone can make a CD in their living room with a computer and inexpensive programs. It isn't the land of the rich anymore. This is good for people like me who like music that was never marketed in the main stream anyway. Check out the way CD Baby does business on line. They deal in independent music of all stripes and they are set up to make it easy to buy their CDs. Once I ordered 3 and they sent me an email to say I can have another one for free. They offer inexpensive shipping options (without the jewel case, but with the artwork - add your own jewel case). Companies like this will thrive as the big record companies wallow about, suing buddy who has just downloaded the latest Brittany record from the internet.

* (asterisk) said...

No.10 is the clincher, though, huh?

Wandering Coyote said...

Yeah, #10 just about says it all.


lots of number 10's around. Sound more like No2's though if yer ask me

Nancy said...

My ipod is the greatest invention ever! I don't even buy cd's anymore.

The music industry has to change or it will not work. I think a lot of industries have to change.

Candy Minx said...

Tim, hi there! Yes, the web has really helped people get a democratic reading of each other hasn't it? So many people havebeen able to get a grass roots experience out of the web finding out humans will change things by action and their emotions and desires rather than legislation and politics.

Mister Anchovy, all good points. The music scene is a little different than the art scene...and I think that is the problem, they are organically very much related to each other. Yet, there has been more mystification in art. Music had the whole folk scene and rock and roll return music from the upper classes of classical music, to everyone...with recordings...and now if art could be like a folk scene or rock...then it might level out?

*, yes, # 10 is hilarious and what needs to be done in a voice for the artist making NOTCRAP...and people wanting it and relating to art for their own homes.

Wandering Coyote, yep yep yep!

4 Dins, yes, number 2 is the art that everybodygets exposed to...there are artists out there making art that is interesting and imaginative., though.

Nancy, isn't the iPod wonderful? I thought the idea of releasing some music onto digital mp3's was brillaint in this list of how to fix the biz. I think we have seen all kinds of businesses and corporate products change. COKE has made a career out of selling a "free voice" with "I'd like to teach the world to sing" in the 70's and now look at that new ad where instead of "Grand Theft Auto" the Coke drinker is ina world where we "pay ot forwars" and do random acts of kindness. That sells. must be in the air if coke uses that concept.

Red said...

I very much enjoyed this post, Candy. Of course, I had never thought about it, but it is rediculous that CDs (and DVDs) are more expensive now than they were ten years ago, when the technology required to make them must have come on in leaps and bounds. Why, only yesterday * and I had to go buy ourselves another DVD player (ours died when I tried to play Season 5 of Sex and the City...), and managed to spend only £40. In some stores, foreign films on DVD cost a whopping £20. In other words, the machine to play them costs only about twice as much as the discs themselves. Utterly ridiculous.

Candy Minx said...

Red, Sex and The City is a perfect reason to buy a new dvd!!!

Hey chikiepoo...Survivir starts again about art!

I thought the idea of releasing music on digital only was excellent...and what about galleries that specialize ONLY in off the track art...alternative art and non-famous artists etc...etc...

More to follow...

Red said...

Hey pet. * shared your latest email with me. I hope you are doing well and are not too stressed by the antics of certain people. Try to rise above it all and stay strong. Big hug.