After years in which tech-company hype has drowned out most other voices, the frustration of musicians with the digital music world has begun to get a hearing... between low royalties, opaque payout rates, declining record sales and suspicion that the major labels have cut deals with the streamers that leave musicians out of the equation, anger from the music business’s artier edges is slowing growing. It’s further proof of the lie of the “long tail.” The shift to digital is also helping to isolate... already marginalized genres... “Back in the day, Fats Waller, and tons of other artists were robbed of their publishing. This is the new version of it, but on a much... wider scale.”Of course, "The Long Tail" was just another tall tale by the skim and scam techno-blatherers. But it is important to grasp that this isn't a next internet generation re-iteration of the phenomenon Clay Shirky (another techno-blatherer, after all) enthused about, predicting -- wrongly -- that free amateur expressivity would provide content "good enough" to crash "much better" professional distribution demanding even vanishingly small cost. To the contrary, professional distribution is using the threat of Shirky-style Coasian-floor chestnuts as a thematic smokescreen behind which to engage in anti-competitive corporate consolidation and digital sharecropping. Once again, the "tech bloom" turns out to be a stink bomb, once again "spontanious order" turns out to be the consolidation of elite-incumbency, once again we are reminded that in the real world people die from exposure.
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, July 20, 2014
The Long Tail Tall Tale
In Salon, Spotify, Pandora and how streaming... kills jazz and classical [music]: