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Author Topic: RIAA Accounting Article  (Read 2270 times)


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RIAA Accounting Article
« on: 14 Jul 2010, 17:07 »

Not that this is news to most people here, but there was an interesting companion article to the one I posted in the Harry Potter thread about Hollywood accounting, and now there's one on record industry accounting and how the RIAA really doesn't have artists' interests in mind in any of their policies and actions.

Compared to all this, the publishing industry, which I'm more familiar with, is relatively straightforward.

Not really much to say beyond that the problems of the music industry are mostly self-made and self-perpetuating. Here's to all the acts out there that are trying new models to break out of this indentured servitude.
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Re: RIAA Accounting Article
« Reply #1 on: 14 Jul 2010, 17:32 »

And they aren't recouping any money by suing their customers, either:

Suing everybody in sight.
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Re: RIAA Accounting Article
« Reply #2 on: 14 Jul 2010, 21:44 »

Let's just post Albini's "The Problem With Music" and get it out of the way right now. I should think 99% of the people here have read it already, but for that other 1%, this a far less reductionist overview of the way money moves through the music business, including how it goes in at the front-end. It's also kind of silly for that graph to put every band member getting an equal cut of the dosh.

And here's an article from David Byrne in the aftermath of "In Rainbows" that points out several of the almost infinite viable alternatives

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Re: RIAA Accounting Article
« Reply #3 on: 16 Jul 2010, 02:03 »

it's interesting - and i can't type more about it because i have to go to bed - but the discussion w/r/t the FUTURE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY is always seen from this top-down sort of perspective - what is the future of the label's relationship with the artist, how is the artist able to navigate the 21st century, &c. it's weird that the conversation is perpetually framed about ways the artist is supposed or expected to manipulate things. the onus is never on the buyer or the consumer of music in these articles - it's always beholden to the business side of it.

that's just such a strange way of framing the conversation, the more i think about it and especially the more i hear or read about it. like, read that byrne article - it's so obviously skewed towards dudes in bands who read wired, or dudes who want to see themselves on the cutting edge of culture in a bluetooth-headset sort of way. i feel like this might ultimately be a larger root, and it might belong to a different problem altogether - thinking of consumer as, well, consumer, rather than a reactive and thoughtful participant in culture.

i mean, it doesn't make sense just reducing the consumer's contributions to a point on a graph delineating comprehensive album sales divided into media formats. think about how ultimately the average person contributes to a band's coffers: through going to concerts, buying merch and - heaven forbid - buying records, sure, but also talking about it and engaging with it and creating a conversation around said band that invites other people to join in.

like this maybe isn't the right word but i think the average music consumer's been pampered for too long, been made to feel like they have a ton of power and have all these bands and businesses scrambling to get a chunk of their pie. i think maybe the problem in part is that the average person doesn't really realize that if they see themselves in the position of consumer of culture then they have as much responsibility to foster that culture as the people who are tangibly producing it. that inherent in things like mac from merge saying "we encourage bands to tour rather than make videos" is that, well, there's plenty of great bands out there taking that to heart, and someone has to go out and see them first. that art and culture have to come from somewhere, and they have to go somewhere too, and the ultimate distribution network out there isn't a series of fibre-optic cables or a shipping truck full of records with download codes but the people themselves who can see and transmit and engage with culture and turn it into a participatory and communal thing.

the business conversation is painfully, obviously necessary. but i think we're maybe doing a disservice to ourselves as participants in culture by focusing on it, to the exclusion of the discourse surrounding the issue of how we encounter music in the 21st century. i think that's a vital one and while it's far from having fallen by the wayside it's certainly one that is rarely engaged with in a pertinent, meaningful and long-term way.
« Last Edit: 16 Jul 2010, 02:06 by Johnny C »
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