Bon Jovi Thinks Steve Jobs Is “Personally Responsible For Killing The Music Business.”

image from theappera.com Well, Jon Bon Jovi has learned from his peers how to get press. Just argue that the Internet is destroying rock, liken it to an atomic bomb, or, in this case, declare that, "Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business." Since Hypebot readers are fully capable of vetting the validly of that quote, I'm going to turn my attention away from that obvious tripe and focus on the other aside Jon made. Get this: He longs for the simpler times when fans bought music based on the hipness of the album cover and only judged the quality of music after the fact. "God, it was a magical, magical time," Jon muses.

If you give Jon the benefit of the doubt, such words can be marked off as him fondly remembering his younger years, buying records, and having to imagine what music sounded like. Then again, through the lens of his older self, i.e. a businessman, that statement could mean that Jon, like many old-school record executives, wished that fans would just fork over their $10-15 and buy his music.

For Jon, that would be a magical (and profitable) time. Luckily, his most recent albums have decent reviews, so one can't say that Jon is jaded by the fact that the Internet made it harder to sell fans bad albums. But, from a fan perspective, it's hard to stomach his statement. Jon is right that albums now lack a certain mystical characteristic. Honestly though, one could also say that Wikipedia is "killing the music business" too. After all, it, not Mr. Jobs, is part of the reason why the mythologies of rock gods are difficult to maintain. Citations and folklore aren't compatible. When you can learn everything about an act in a page scan, groups like Black Sabbath and Kiss lose their evilness. Little is left to imagine.

Of course, social media is killing the music business too. But, Jon might save the headline for the marketing of his next tour, album, or gasp, new music app.

Yes Jon, "App" Store is in fact short for Apple.

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  1. “He longs for the simpler times when fans bought music based on the hipness of the album cover and only judged the quality of music after the fact. “God, it was a magical, magical time,” Jovi muses.”
    I think that’s the only part i tend to agree. There is something magical associated to visuals of an album cover.

  2. Dear JBJ,
    one word. it’s not even a word, it’s a band.
    you can’t yell at your fans. it doesn’t work.
    also: you made your money. sorry you need more, but that’s how it goes. Now that you’ve whined out in public, you’ve lost fans and made your own situation worse, which isn’t so bad considering you have already had a successful career, selling millions of records.
    written from my iPhone, designed by Steve Jobs. It’s possible I love this phone more than any of your hit songs from my youth, ever.

  3. The fact of the matter is the music business is not dead. The executives, media and digitaltards that started hypin the end of music distribution at the onramp of the “info super highway” forgot to ask the consumer what they wanted.
    I personally don’t recall the fans or artists for that matter saying we want to only have music come digitally.
    Nope that was made by record executives.
    So the amazing stores, cd/dvd & vinyl record manufactures, and the artists that design the covers, liner notes and packaging and are all part of this thang we call the music business where cast to the four winds.
    Guess what the fans still want to experience music in all the ways our community offers. The last time I was on the NARM conference call for industry numbers we were all told according to soundscan digital is only in the upper 20 percent of goods sold.
    Physical PRODUCTS……………..so why the MSM blackout. A few of y’all might want to check out this LA Times blog http://t.co/ScnBm52 to see what the winds just blew back into focus.
    Not to tell the media what to do! However stop telling the fans (both or our customers) how to buy music.
    IMHO if Bon Jovi want to really do something he can drop his major label deal, get one of his friends to run their label, and seek a distributor that will do bricks to clicks distro.
    This way the fan gets what they always wanted which is EVERYTHING and we make American jobs putting all these artists and suppliers back to work.
    FYI http://TheMajorsSuck.com

  4. Yep, I picked up my Teeth Of The Sea vinyl today from the post office because it was too big to put through the letter box… and that only added to the pleasure of it. And when I play it I can look at the 12″ x 12″ cover and back, check out the insert, watch a beautiful slab of vinyl spinning round on my turntable, listen to the odd crackle as the needle runs its groove.
    You don’t get any of that from an mp3.
    What ‘killed’ the music industry is shit music… funnily enough, put out at ridiculous prices by the, um, music industry.
    iTunes is born from the devils sphincter, admittedly, but if people are insane enough to part with cash for something that doesn’t exist, then more fool them. But a great album, a truly great piece of art, will find a paying audience.
    The biggest problem isn’t that the music industry is dying, but the $ driven hold the McMusic peddlers have over the press and retail outlets. For example, it will be hard for bands making truly great albums to be discovered, when everyone is going to wax lyrical over the rather bland offering from Arctic Monkeys or giving column inches to Liam Gallaghers new 60s tribute act.
    The music industry is dead. lonf live music.

  5. We agree, and we are hopefully that artists|bands|labels that are part of the new music business take a look at what geo-centic data, custo manufacturing, overnight shipping, and good product is able to do today.
    The jobs are American the artist is American and it is enjoyed by Americans and the world and until the folks realize that the major labels are acting no different then any other multinational that sends jobs and profits overseas.
    You want to change this support independent artists bands labels they are the heart of America and someone can feel free to correct me on this forgotten facts. Entertainment was 40 percent of our exports. Who killed the jobs?
    So when you look around and see the mom & pop stores shutting down, your fav band is now working at a coffee shop and the former manufacture and packaging industry associated with the business turning their lights off. There is only one group in the corner with gobs of money and more lobbyist then you can shake a stick @ and they are laughin from a board rooms somewhere in evilvillle all the way to the bank.
    We love to say it http://TheMAJORSsuck.com
    FYI entertainment as a whole grew 2.3 percent last years, Someone made that money!

  6. If i may, a bit of shameless promotion.
    We brings back, the “album cover” vibe 1 song, 1 ite and 1 URL at a time with http://www.viinyl.com .
    viinyl is the music-lover’s digital LP and the Industry’s portal to its fans. Our goal, since day one, was to conjure the spirit of how music was enjoyed in the days when you had the lyrics, artwork and felt the vibe of the artist at your fingertips.
    The music industry is not dead, it’s just evolving…and unfortunately it takes time.

  7. Steve Jobs may be responsible for his company eating up large chunks of market share of music distribution, but JBJ’s claim is overly exaggerated. Yet, wasn’t it his band that is responsible for turning hair metal into a sub-genre of country with their album that they titled after their label Lost Highway?

  8. Mr. Bon Jovi should remove his music from iTunes if he wants to stand by his comments. He would sell more like AC/DC and others.
    Have some integrity Jovi and don’t break your albums into pieces.
    Let’s face it, the musicbiz let iTunes sell unprotected music, etc. It’s their own fault.

  9. Um, his last name is “Bon Jovi,” not “Jovi.” And I knew he was an idiot when his band was stumping for John Kerry. And don’t worry JBJ, people are still buying music for the wrong reasons, for example, “hey, this song sounds exactly like Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself!'” be grateful people are still buying music at all – the only advice us indies ever seem to get is “give all of your stuff away for free!”

  10. Everyone gets older and longs for the good old days of yesteryear. “Why in my day…” or “When I was a kid…”
    No one likes their business or cash cow going away. This country is in debt fir billions of dollars. We are in one if the greatest economic declines in our history. Technology and society is changing at an ever expanding rate. Yes the iPod has something to do with the change of the music industry, but so does ProTools/music software, the monoplization of radio and ticketmaster, and agressive competition amongst radio stations. Add to that competition from other entertaiment avenues (video games, mobile devices, DVDs, Internet) and less people have jobs and therefore money to spend and it all adds up to where the music industry exists at this moment.
    The way music is marketed to consumers now, it’s no longer a comodity. In their process of retaining the same profits, the major labels have swamped the public with music in every medium while competing with smaller labels and independents who are also grasping for a piece of the pie. Well, the pie is only so big and a lot of ingrediants have been added to the mix, making the consistancy and flavor hard to determine.
    Free album download at http://www.facebook.com/chancius

  11. I am so glad this nagging question has been answered, my artists will be so pleased.
    I had been wondering who killed the music business for a while and now that we know who did it, I guess the next question is what do we do about it?

  12. steve jobs, apple, new digital business models = new, good, future
    bon jovi, major labels, old monopoly model = old, bad, past

  13. I don’t subscribe to the idea that things should return to the way they were back in the eighties… but there is something to be said about the shift in music from an album driven economy to being primarily singles driven. This change is something that apple had a strong hand in. Unfortunately, the ability to buy only the tracks you like (like an impulse buy) has become the expectation for most music consumers and I think it has helped devalue the album as an art form and makes music more of a commodity. Now everyone just makes singles… an album full of singles. I realize that there is filler on many albums and that it is not good for the consumer.. but the fact that for artists to sell on the biggest digital retailer (iTunes) they have to open up their album to be picked off ala carte has helped destroy the “album experience”. Great albums that take you on a journey from start to finish, which have ups and downs, and take you on an emotional ride are no longer valued.. now it is simply a game of sequencing radio hits on an album so that it doesn’t get boring. This is a pretty significant shift which Im not sure will change back… but I do miss hearing albums where artists pour their soul into creating a comprehensive experience knowing that it will be consumed in its entirety, as created, rather than diced up and served buffet style. Knowing that the music you create is destined to be chopped up and sold in its parts has to have an effect on the creators of music… even if just subconsciously.

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