Op Ed by Daniel Legere for China Music Radar.
Every now and again the big bad business press take a dip into topics that donât really suit them or their typical audience. Could be boredom, or perhaps vague attempts at riding the buzzwagon of a trending topic. Imagine our surprise when we spotted this article on Forbes, entitled â4 Reasons Why Music Careers Are Getting Trounced By Techâ, authored by a contributor who claims to have worked in music for many years as a producer, engineer and musician. You would have thought the author of 18 music-related books would have something interesting to say, but this entry is something else.
Ignoring the somewhat condescending title we argue that music careers have become technologized. There is no cut between music / tech, itâs more a question of the subject matter. One person utilizes mechanisms for the distribution of information to sell experiences, and the other develops the platforms themselves. Give an example of one function within the music business that doesnât depend on the ability to utilise some form of tech.
This is an obvious, somewhat convenient argument weâre making, which compliments the imprecise way the author refers to the âtech industryâ â he presumably means entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, who launch start-ups and ride one-wheeled electric motorcycles.
The points about job choice and availability are fair enough, although again, when youâre talking about the tech sector with a big âTâ thatâs an easy observation to make. The author mentions a âbrain drainâ and a âlack of incoming talentâ. Was the music industry ever about brains? Or was it more about people, and places; connections and collaborations? If the brains were anywhere they were in the creative. It was the mouths that shifted CDs. As for âlack of incoming talentâ, letâs not go there.
We wonât comment on everything because we encourage you to come to your own conclusions:
- Does music ârarely influence fashion or lifestyleâ nowadays? Has music âlost its coolâ?
- If a job in âtechâ offers the possibility of âwealth so far beyond what the music business can offerâ then does it âseem hardly worth the effortâ?
- Is there more freedom in tech? What if you donât own capital? Youâve got to play along to somebodyâs tune.
And finally, who is this guy? Oops, donât care.
*This isnât so much of a China-centric entry, more of a backlash at a very unfair and poorly thought-out piece of editorial.
Just as we finish writing this critique, another peer levels his views toward another pulp piece on the âdeathâ of the music industry (that took place 14 years ago) and how TV is a perfect role model of how to adopt to changing times (even though the music industry had the same, albeit lower-profile solutions before). Itâs just another uninformed fluff piece written by an author of 8 books on music. Isnât it amazing how these authors produce works on the industry theyâre more than happy to lambast, to an audience that probably doesnât care?