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Entertainment Industry Must Accept Reality

Updated on May 19, 2012

It is safe to assume that before the internet almost all of us had bought some band's CD or record because of a song we heard and liked from the radio or on MTV only to find that the rest of the 12-15 songs on the album were absolute trash. Singles were released as a bait in order to get people to buy whole albums. In many cases it was most likely just a huge scam. Bands and producers and studios focused on writing one or two good songs that could get the consuming public excited to buy an album. The rest of the albums were then filled up with filler music which just sounded like 3-4 minute drug fueled jam sessions that were recorded at random and slapped onto an album. I can still remember the disappointment after hearing many such trash albums, and the anger associated with having thrown away $15-20 on it.

The same thing with movies. 1-2 minutes of good quality material was put into the trailers. People then eagerly went to movie theaters (and still do, oddly), thinking the whole movie would be great and instead found that the rest of the 88 minutes was just full of reheated or rehashed gags, topics, tired romance etc.

So now its the entertainment industry's turn to be disappointed, and it is obviously not taking it well. Internet media has changed everything. CDs will soon become a thing of the past. Consumers don't have to buy a whole album in order to get one song they like, or they can listen to all songs on YouTube before actually purchasing them. The panicked and aggressive way that the entertainment industry has turned on people who have been downloading music "illegally" is also off putting. They obviously fail to admit that they have been basically robbing consumers for the past 50 years or so with overpriced music and films which are not even entertaining. Unfortunately their clever marketing skills managed to dupe people for decades. Now with the internet people are not at the mercy of the entertainment industry any more. Artists and directors and producers and musicians are also freer to publish their own material without having to rely on major labels and studios. Sure, competition is still fierce, but people can be more self reliant. Technology has opened the door to allow us to avoid the robber middlemen on who both artists and consumers depended on for so long.

If people like something enough, they will be willing to pay for it. The industry needs to accept this. Of course they would like the internet to be fully controlled in order to find and stop any sort of sharing or selling from which they don't make any profit, but this is no easy task for them: see the outcry there was against SOPA, ACTA and PIPA. The industry big wigs profited and became immensely rich over the decades. They dictated fads and popularity by what they decided to release and what they rejected, and this was almost always on their terms. Many artists lost their way trying to conform to industry "standards" because they had no other choice if they wanted to get their material out there. However, this is luckily a thing of the past. I see no shortage of singers, bands and filmmakers who want to make it big, but now on their own terms. The Big Brother of the entertainment industry has turned into a decrepit and angry old man trying to bully the younger generations into respecting it. And we all know that nobody likes this sort of behavior. This last attempt at forcing the new way of the world back into the old riverbed that they so carefully dug for decades is a losing battle. The industry can only lash out a few more times until it will just be ignored, pushed to the side, laughed at, and eventually forgotten or just remembered as part the bad old days of the entertainment industry.

Bands and singers must make a simple decision: if they cannot make a living making music then they should either do it part time or look into other lines of work, just like everybody else. No doubt many would be "stars" get into music for the sole purpose of getting rich with minimum output, especially as many don't even write their own material or actually sing live at concerts but lipsync instead. There are so many would be artists out there that there will be no losses that most of us would notice. There will always be others to take up open spaces in the entertainment world.

Just the term "entertainment industry" gives it a robber baron feel. It will slowly lose the "industry" moniker and simply become "entertainment". Those studios and labels that want to stay successful must move with the times instead of fight against it in a losing and pathetic battle.


Are you happy with the new direction of entertainment?

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    • JGoul profile image

      JGoul 5 years ago

      There's a huge difference between something recorded in a garage and crunched on the bassist's stoner best friend's laptop and something recorded, edited, and produced by professionals.

      Bands choose to sell their music to record labels. Whether they're getting cash or services (production and promotion) in exchange, they're making the deal because it's in their best interest. The record company determines how much value to offer in part based on the return they expect to see on their investment. Stealing music doesn't directly hurt musicians, in many cases, but it does hurt them indirectly. If record companies can't count on selling cds, they can't offer as much to buy the rights to those songs.

    • frantisek78 profile image

      frantisek78 5 years ago

      @Clive Donegal: part of my point is that with digital music available online there is no need for factories, materials, distribution centers. Most bands and singers don't make much money off of album or song sales anymore, but from concert tours. That's why artists tour more often and for longer than in the past. With music making software and new technology you don't even need technicians or studios anymore and there is nothing wrong with that. Things have changed. Musicians know that they have to tour in order to make money. Sure, once a band gets big then they have agents and all the rest, but now its mostly to arrange tours etc.

    • Clive Donegal profile image

      Clive Donegal 5 years ago from En Route

      Producing an album requires musicians, technicians, agents, factories, materials, artists, distribution centers, etc. How can the business survive if all these people don't get paid because everyone is stealing their work?

      Do you know anyone who likes songs that you don't? The musicians are not working only for you.

      I wonder how many people would have to adhere to this attitude before we have a day the music truly died.

    • JGoul profile image

      JGoul 5 years ago

      This is well-written, although I disagree with you. You say people will always be willing to pay for the things they value, but that is only true if that is the only way to get them. It doesn't matter how much you love an album, you won't pay if you can get it for free, unless you just do so out of a sense of honor. That kind of honor is fading out of the world, and that's a very sad thing.