For the past few months, there have been rumblings about YouTube and its arbitrary ways of working and how videos are blocked or taken down with no reasons given and a take it or fuck off attitude by the channel.
The news above about artists joining the YouTube protest is going to be a watershed moment in redefining the way music can be watched and heard and shared and, far more importantly, how new artists- not all those E! and TMZ-created celebrities who place brand endorsements before their art- continue to change the landscape.
It’s now very obvious that YouTube has become another dinosaur and bully boy working in cahoots with the management of all those names- they can’t be called artists ‘cos, well, they don’t create- we read about with increasing regularity as publicists and stylists work so damn hard to keep them relevant to sponsors and other businesses- the major record labels trying desperately to cling on to the control they once had, who, today, have joined MTV as being non-players, and all the other suck-ups who have created a Them versus Us scenario.
Sure, YouTube remains a great source to discover music videos not found anywhere else for those with a peripheral interest in music, but as a creative partner to bring new energy to a moribund industry, it’s become an Orwellian law unto itself and needing a damn good kick in the nuts as negotiating with the channel has reached the point of no return.
As a group of us were discussing a few nights ago, EVERY established social media platform is changing as their “Spider and the Fly” strategy has now reached a level where many of us have been sucked in over the years, we have been made to think that we’re beholden to them all and how “you can check out anytime, but you can never leave.”
But this is when the human spirit and game changers are the most lethal ‘cos no one enjoys being painted into a corner, being manipulated and told, “You’re now my bitch.”
This is the time to bite and there’s no point waiting for others to change this situation.
Gawd knows how much faith I had in “name musicians” and brands like Nokia who spun some great stories about “saving the music” with their “agents of change” and other opportunists.
Almost ten years down the road and looking back, the past is strewn with broken promises, cons, ponzi schemes, illegal contracts, corporate lawyers, infringement of copyright and music fans like myself who had such belief in one-time musical pioneers before realizing that wankers don’t discriminate.
All those years of looking up to musicians because of their past successes and believing they can make a difference in the new world ended five years ago.
That was when there was the realization that their time had come and gone and how, despite all the “ongoing projects”, nothing was happening at their end.
All this came hurtling forward and why I refuse to “hang” with these people or listen to their tired old ideas trotted out at music conferences by the usual suspects to dinosaur groupies and wannabe fat cats who wish they had the power and control of a medium like YouTube.
The problem with this wishful thinking is that YouTube has quickly lost its edge and use to those who refuse to run with that pack on its last legs.
All the problems with YouTube surfacing about users held to ransom by YouTube Ads- and Facebook Ads- the false “views” “likes” and “followers” bought- BOUGHT- by all those needy Eleanor and Alan Rigbys on twitter, show the social media old school trying to cash in as they know their time is up.
And when one remembers or understand that Hong Kong’s richest man- Li ka-shing, below- owns sizable interests in Facebook and Spotify, it somehow “devalues” the credibility of being “for the fans”.
It all comes down to business, and with every startup needing angel investors for that seed money to get ideas off the ground with the end game always being an IPO and a listing on some stock market based on one’s data bases that are sold to the Coca-Colas, the McDonald’s, the Proctor and Gambles etc of the business world to provide these products with all the consumer information needed to “reach” us with their products.
Suddenly, all this makes one look very differently at what passes itself off as “social media” as well as all those who have sold themselves as “social media experts” to gullible clients.
What’s needed right now is a balance as being purely creative without making a buck is just stupid.
This is no more those naive days when the Beatles opened Apple while stoned and tripping out and thinking they were helping every addle-headed fool out there with an idea.
It’s coming up to 2015- how time flies, but how, despite all the supposed changes, the fundamental flaws and very human greediness continue- and, “social media” as we know it, and all these new platforms looking for investors to help them “save creativity” are being seen for the transparent cons that they are and with their hearts in the wrong place.
This is where it’s all gone tits up: Trying to be seen as do-gooders when, in actuality, being a business trying to be Live Aid or, closer to home, wishing to be seen as “patriots” in the same way as to why the events of Tianamen Square live on as the hearts were in the right place with the results still felt and remembered around the world.
Right now, we’re too far down the road and too cynical as, at one time or another, we’ve all been burnt so badly that there are Trust issues.
Do I believe any of the business proposals sent my way? Of course not. Most are MySpace with a few new bells and whistles that suck wind.
Do I believe there is a music market in China and that Intellectual Property Rights will be honored? Of course not.
Everything is controlled by the Chinese Politburo and there’s always an ulterior motive in what they allow to happen.
Their hearts- if they have one- are in the wrong place.
Do I trust or believe any of the people I meet or who with whom I need to work to get things done and meet my own goals? Not really. Or, to be kind, not all the time.
But, being part of the problem trying to be- or find- the solution and, as in love, Looking For The Right One and singing, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, one lives in hope.
Hopefully not, hopelessly waiting like Stephen Stills once sang about.
Edward Snowden did the world a huge favor by proving that there are no good guys wearing white hats.
History will prove that Snowden was no traitor and that there’s nothing wrong in being a “whistle blower
He was and is a “truther” in a world suffocating in cons, bullshit and some very nasty people.
What’s needed to fight something like YouTube that, ironically, consumers have created along with all the consumer-generated content that keeps Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Spotify etc, are Edward Snowdens of this social media world.
We might not have the financial clout- or Klout- to produce and put into reality what’s in our mind- not yet, anyway- but what we have on our side is strength in numbers- and everything today is a numbers game.