Monday, January 13, 2003

Our strategy is to biggify while also dumbifying.

There's a growing suspicion that the promise of the Internet is to eliminate the need for distributors and publishers entirely. When anybody can publish to everybody for cheap, and when the googles of the world can play matchmaker, what purpose do the weasels in the middle serve? They only drag us down.

Futher, it's oft speculated that the mental inertia and impotent flailing of the content giants will only speed along their timely demise. I'm generally skeptical of this claim, though. These are the brilliant businessmen who built the most powerful industry on the planet. They're bound to catch the cluetrain eventually, right?

Apparently not. According to the New York Times article Music Industry Braces for a Shift (free reg blah), hard times may lead the industry to

  1. Consolidate the major labels (from five to three) to reduce overhead; and

  2. Reduce the total number of artists signed, so they can "focus their bets more".

So the problem, as they see it, is that there's too much creativity out there, really, and it's just
holding them back. *cough*


1 comment:

  1. Amazing.
    I used to not be so cynical about this kind of thing. Sure, we know that a great number of the experiences we now share as a society are manufactured by a relatively small, relatively commercial media mega-giants. But our individual stories, pictures and music are what define us, and they can't possibly control that.
    Not that they wouldn't like to.
    The problem with these media conglomerates is that they really don't want to understand what you like to read, see and listen to. They want to manufacture it on an assembly line and ship it to you in chunks which are easy to inventory. They want you to watch Friends when Friends is on, because they want to run special "Friends" oriented ads for you to see so they can charge advertisers special "Friends" rates. When you use your TiVo, you are cheating them. You get to watch TV on your terms, and skip all those commercials. They want you to be forced to stare at pop up ads. They want you to watch 20 minutes of advertising for every 40 of actual programming. They want you to buy the top selling CD, the top selling DVD, the New York Times Best Seller. You have to, otherwise they couldn't support their huge, bloated businesses. You just can't make enough money selling 10,000 CDs, or even 100,000 CDs.
    Sometime soon artists will realize that they don't need
    publishers, and those really large mega-merged omni-publishers will be in a tough way. Artists will either
    self publish, or will deal with smaller publishers who share in the profits of their artists more equally.