About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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About Those Predicting Gloom & Doom…
Friday, August 28, 2009

Nowadays it seems every former millionaire associated with the music industry is outside their place of work ringing a bell and wearing a sandwich board that reads “The End Is Near.” Their claims are more than a little exaggerated. Just because artists and industry types can no longer enjoy all the excesses of life doesn’t mean the music industry is dying. I do believe an end is near, but rather than the end of the music industry, I think it’s the end of the opulent lifestyles that so many once associated with being in the music industry.

What does this mean for all the artists out there? It means we’re in a changing industry and artists need to reassess their goals. Do you want to live off of your music, or do you want to live in a mansion? The two aren't connected. The good news is that an industry without a promise of incredible amounts of wealth will only attract artists who actually have true artistic goals, who actually want to make music, which means the music should get better.

It’s pretty sad that the death of the major labels could be good for music. I think that speaks volumes as to how poorly run those labels have been, as well as the kind of “artists” they’ve been attracting. This huge shift is at least partially a result of people trying to measure the arts in terms of money and fiscal quarters and that, as they are finally seeing, is a recipe for disaster.

If the major labels want to stay in business there’s an easy solution to their problem, they need to realize they shouldn’t be looking to compete with Fortune 500 companies and set earnings records, but instead should be looking to make the money they need to operate and focus on putting out great music. People will buy great music, that has been proven time and time again. Timeless music sells forever. It’s why classic rock albums outsell the stuff that was released just three years ago.

So if you can’t handle trading in your dreams of a Hummer for a Honda and your want for a mansion with a heated pool for a regular home, music was never your love in the first place, it was just a way you thought you could get the money you wanted. If those “artists” are the kind of causalities this major shift in the industry takes, I just want to know what we can do to speed up the process.

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