Call it When Worlds Collide, call it a buffet gone horribly wrong, call it confusion and not evolution nor revolution, but, call what once was the music industry, but which is now all showbiz and snowbiz and “celebrity product placement” through an entertainment media in the pockets of many for what it is: A bloody mess.
It’s also a mess that’s sadly funny as one-time favorites fall by the wayside; If the goopy split between Mr and Mrs Coldplay wasn’t and continues to be played out in public- something I never though Chris Martin would allow that happen- and hasn’t become a running gag, this dysfunctional couple are now reported to be mediating and advising their good friends- Jay-Z and Beyonce, who are also having a break from each other- on how to use this time apart. Oh, please.
Do these people have too much money along with shit for brains, or what? Both. Money buys Goop.
Musically, the new records by Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue have been spectacular flops whereas the Final Act of the Justin Bieber Tragedy heads for that Last Fall- and which will see changes in Management as these records are promotional items for touring and being seen as relevant.
On the business front, Jimmy Iovine who started up the label Interscope, has, with Dr Dre, taken their Beats Electronics headphones product to Apple and are now with that company and billions of dollars richer.
With Universal Music having a share in this along with the ubiquitous will.I.Am, it makes everyone connected with the deal happy.
As for music fans? Not so happy. What’s in it for them?
Meanwhile, as we look away from the snowbiz of the West and various “uncouplings”, we could be seeing the music/entertainment industry- the one built from Hong Kong- be finally seen as the corrupt, political, greedy and money-focussed business it has always been with no room for creativity.
In music companies, back-handers have gone, well, hand-in-hand with business as this is how it’s been since record chiefs invested in music cassette plants, printing companies and favors from management.
Today, at a time when Mainland authorities need to make a show of reining in all those- including government officials- who make the pilgrimage to Macau and where they hang around the inkwells of Macau’s Vegas-run casinos while also ensuring that nepotism and the rampant money laundering businesses in the entertainment industry are revealed- they make the biggest headlines- there’ll be no surprises if one-time sacred cows are hauled in front of the public for crimes committed decades ago.
It’s happening today with the long-overdue arrests of well-known Chinese businessmen working in cahoots with government officials- and it will happen with music executives for their many dubious business dealings in the past plus today’s well-known husband and wife team controlling radio airplay, skimming profits in the concert business and having interests in the management of artists.
Talk has also centered around the recent multi-million dollar acquisition by the Hong Kong-based office of a major music company of a bereft China-focussed music company with zero assets while at those numbingly puerile music conferences, “Speakers” put on a brave front- a false front- and STILL talking optimistically about music and The China Market.
It might show signs of life, but when looking at a business with a zero base, the China Market for music will NEVER happen due to counterfeiting and because IT’S NOT A PRIORITY for consumers- and the Chinese government- in a country where one needs a license to fart.
No Paul McCartney concert in China? Big deal. China doesn’t care as Beiber in China, Taylor Swift in China, that troll Avril Lavinge in China were financial busts and only good for an artist’s portfolio: I played China.
Where is music heading? No idea as it has run around like a headless chicken for so long.
It is disappointing, however, to find that so many musicians out there are so outta sync with everything new in music and as deaf, dumb and blind as Tommy when it comes to understanding how the new music fan is thinking, not seeing the very real commercial and business success of One Direction, and that clinging to the past while trying to be seen as knowledgable about today’s consumer world becomes boring, embarrassing and shows a distinct lack of music not mattering and how it’s all about self-promotion and self-preservation.
Whether it’s all the goopy shit going on in the US and the UK or the bit players in Asia, it comes down to such overriding focus on image and self-promotion- especially via social media- that bona fide financial successes like the Apple-Beats Electronics $US$3b deal happen and make billions for those who looked elsewhere for success while musicians hustle for a buck and a dime and whine about there being no money in music.
Of course, there is.
It’s just not in those same old places and with no one interested in what you might have done all those years ago and whom you met.