mvm.

music in review.


This question was brought up in an interview with a popular producer and experimentalist on behalf of Music Business Worldwide.

With its wide scope of depth, it encouraged a broad answer with many thoughts to take from it and I thought I’d do the same with you wonderful lot. Although not many of you are publishers and producers yourselves, you’re keenly invested in music and it’s industry regardless and I’d love to hear your perspectives on such a topic.

The answer came from one Carter Lang, a Grammy-nominated producer who has worked with the likes of SZA, Rihanna and Lil Nas X:

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“It doesn’t feel like there’s a very equal playing field for making money from music. Depending on whether you have to make music that’s going to get played on the radio, which is not a terrible place, but you want to find ways to be able to make a living off music while not having to try and please the same artists. It’s kind of a small circle.

I’m wondering if there’s going to be different rates or formats that are going to allow music to get heard a certain way. But I also know there’s a formula for stuff that has a certain sound to it and there’s so much music being released. I feel like we can get lost with trying to keep up with everything that’s out and forget about the things that have passed that are so beautiful and genuine.

In the future of all this digitization and the crypto world, I hope there’s a way for people to create something out of nothing and really draw attention to those who are doing stuff outside of the norm.

That’s where my heart resides sonically.”

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His words resonate with me most. I really wish we have new platforms and formats in the future to allow us to flourish more creatively with our music in such a rigorously robotic-like industry.

It certainly springs some insight into the future of our music industry directly from the horses mouth per se who works solely within the organ of the industry. But what’s your thoughts?

4 responses to “Let’s Talk: What would you change about the modern music industry and why?”

  1. “It doesn’t feel like there’s a very equal playing field for making money from music.”
    This statement sounds eerily familiar. It would appear as though the proverbial middle class artist is being squeezed out of the industry.

    Here is my plan.

    1-Rid the world of streaming. It will never happen, but a man can dream!

    Streaming is one of the reasons the industry is in this mess. I don’t have to be a subscriber to see how it’s affecting people and the industry. I’ve heard and read that artists only get paid for streams that go on beyond 30 seconds. Given the attention spans of many now, there’s a good chance that artists will get but crumbs for their hard work. This forces artists to go to constant touring, as it’s the only way they could make any money. Touring is great, but artists have extra expenses while on the road. They can’t all charge astronomical prices for tickets the way the big names can.

    2-I’d recommend we go back to physical media for all releases. Music has become disposable for a generation of ears. The benefits are there. Listeners would form lasting attachments to artists.

    3-Since streaming is here to stay, how about it adopts a radio format? I’m not talking about today’s radio format either. I’m referring to the AOR format, where the DJ could play anything their heart desired! I used to sit by the radio, hoping for my song to come on, so I could record it to cassette. It forced me to listen to the previous songs on the DJ play list. I bought more music as a result. Imagine that!

    4-More music videos! Go back to when MTV started. Artists had this new avenue of advertising. Suddenly, anyone who didn’t know such an artist was able to put a face to the song! Let’s not forget how entertaining they could be. Beastie Boys videos immediately come to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a beautifully set-together plan but I fear the industry doesn’t work in the same way anymore. While streaming squeezes out pennies to the artists in comparison to the global services that run it, streaming also provides wealthy opportunities for upcoming artists where they never really had these opportunities before. Greater scope, greater field of vision resulting in a greater chance of pulling in those listeners etc. Physical media is making a comeback, too. Vinyl has resurrected in recent years, even surpassing CD sales for the first time last year. Physical music formats are often the way to go for artists (if you can afford the process) and results in a far creative outlay for artists to share their work to their listeners – where the listeners enjoy the music that little bit extra because of it.

      I believe that DJs nowadays do have a segment where they can play what they want. It may not be as consistent as opposed to what it was in earlier years, but they do play “DJ picks of the week” and what not which does help those upcoming artists excel in listens and radio plays due to this with more and more open-minded listeners eager to share the knowledge of a NEW band.

      Oh, I would love if music videos would return. Sadly enough, as you pointed out, our attention span is drivelled to 30-second TikTok clips now, so I can’t possibly imagine those sticking around for a full-length music video going on 5 minutes. It would work for the mass fanatics who were into the story of the artist but not so much for the mass population of such music. But HEY!

      We all hope for change and change is gonna come – – but in what form, pray tell?

      Like

      • Those are all fair points. I agree with you. It sucks that the industry has gotten to this point.

        Now that Pandora’s streaming box is open (and making tons of money I’m sure), I know there is no way it will close again. The music industry loves this music rental idea.

        I’m happy that physical media sales have increased. As a teen, there wasn’t much better than lying down on the floor with headphones on, listening to my favourite CDs. That time helped me get through lots of crap and escape a lot of trouble.

        It would be a real shame to rob kids of that experience. I can only wonder if it would help kids escape the terrors of Facebook and the rest of the social media onslaught.

        Happy White Lies day by the way. I don’t see the CD for sale in Canada. I suspect the release date was moved. I wound up ordering it from a UK store.

        Liked by 1 person

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