Thursday, February 25, 2016

Paul Joseph Watson on The Music Industry

Paul Joseph Watson is an independent journalist, often paying his bills by reporting for Infowars, but in recent years he's slowly pulling away to establish his own brand (though, for now, still doing so as part of Infowars). He's interviewed the Syrian Girl, reported on Gamergate, and otherwise staked out beats beyond the usual faire that you'll get at Infowars. Based out of the United Kingdom, Watson's demonstrated that he gets what's going on and is willing and able to articulate it to the rest of us. That alone is good enough to recommend him as part of your media curation.

If politics is downstream from culture, then it follows that paying attention to who shapes the culture and why they do so is vital information for the people to have. What follows below is Watson doing just that, with a focus upon the music industry and what they're doing. "Why" isn't addressed here, as the data he's working from doesn't do that, but following this video with some reading about the history of the music industry (as part of the culture industry) will easily fill that gap- and, quite frankly, you likely already know why.

There is a way out from under this mess, and he implies it in the video: establish and support alternatives to the industry. The very same thing that forced an improvement in the quality of television entertainment can do so for music, and this is something you can do here and now in a very simple and easy manner: tell the rest of us whose music you like, link to their sites and videos, and share that with all and sundry- especially if you take the moment or so required to link to some way to pay them.

It's no secret that musicians get far more out of performing live than they do from record sales, so one obvious thing to do is to see those live performances. Buy their merchandise directly from them when you do so, as that reduces the losses to middle-men to a minimum. If you are, or wish to be, a musician then working on your live performance game--the parts other than actually playing music, so your showmanship--is necessary here and so is some basic business sense.

But the video implies the power of the Internet to break the industry open, and that means using platforms like YouTube to live-stream as well as upload videos. The musicians should take a look at the publishing world--because that's what they're doing when selling recordings--and see how the independent authors that are making it work do so, and then apply the lessons accordingly: establish your audience, engage with it, and provide to them the best possible value in trade with them. (Which means "Find the price at which you and your audience both walk away happy.", and that does mean adopting and practicing a Win-Win attitude.)

Guess what this means? It means that you can't get out from under this mess unless you want out and put in the work to get out yourself. It will not happen under any other condition. It is not easier, it is not faster, and it sure ain't more seductive, but the results are superior and that is reason enough to do it the straight and narrow way.

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