Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NYT Editorial: We are, too, kewl!

Only read this NYT editorial if you want to lose even more respect for the paper I feel is, more and more, becoming the smart girl who acts dumb so boys will like her.

First, NYT clues you in to the fact that Coldplay (shudder), Black Eyed Peas, and the White Stripes all have album releases today.
NYT knows. She's kewl. And kewl enough to be kewler than to listen to popular music.

Second, NYT reminds you that Wall Street wasn't that excited by Warner Music Group going public a month ago. Kewl NYT isn't impressed by The Man, so she probably didn't buy any WMG, even if it meant agreeing with Wall Street (also the Man).
And NYT is kewl enough to point out it sucked that Jimmy Page sold out by appearing on the trading floor. And connects to your kewlness by not spelling out that Jimmy Page was a guitarist for Zeppelin.

Third, NYT tells you that the music industry "loves to blame its problems on digital piracy," but she don't believe it. Fight the power, NYT! Can you burn me a mix CD?
Better yet, can you let me keep accessing the op-ed page for free? I love you and I hate you.

There's more: "The real problem is an addiction to blockbusters."
NYT is so indie.
Do you think she's cute, like Parker Posey?
Parker Posey
Actually, I think she probably looks a lot like that.

[T]hat is what today is all about - feeding the monster this industry has become. These days there are more musicians and bands than there have ever been, and there are still plenty of music-buying fans. Together, they are discovering alternative means of connecting with each other.

Give me a break.
Is that supposed to mean WMG'd make more money if it abandoned its "blockbuster" strategy, or is NYT just complaining that "It used to be about the music, man!" ?

WMG 2005 Annual Report (10-K):
Sales should increase this year, as there are, you know, plenty of music-buying fans. No doubt our continued strategy of helping people discover alternative means of connecting with each other will result in remarkable profitability.
In other news, the board of directors has boosted its own decision-making abilities with a remarkable energy supplement concocted of cocaine cooked together with ordinary household baking soda.

If John Bonham (former Led Zeppelin drummer) were alive today, he'd never stop throwing up.

Oh, NYT, you are so much prettier when you act smart and write about tax policy, I promise!


Jack Roy said...

Huh. Certainly the Backstreet Boys strategy isn't viable as a long-term plan; it simply takes too many resources devoted to promotion and production, and hits aren't assured. There have always been talented, original and authentic musicians out there, but it they aren't being delivered by Capital and RCA, there's going to be a new medium for delivery. That all makes sense to me. Fans of bands like the Beatles were characterized by loyalties and a sense of proportionality that would have sustained a commercial base, even if current technologies had been available and vitiated the necessity of paying for music; such acts continue to exist but traditionally in the margins of the industry, which gives greater focus to the production of essentially ephemeral acts. The reliance on coercive sales of hyped, overproduced releases has been threatened by Napster and other conduits; the industry's strategy of preferring marketable acts and contagious-media promotion tactics to the exclusion of long-term fan-base supported acts is, in the long run, simply untenable. Although it may seem patronizing or trivial, the Times does highlight an irony in an industry assigning blame to informal pricing mechanisms that are, in the end, actually encouraged by the industry's own growth plan.

Dude, and the White Stripes are so played out.

The Litvak said...

"Informal pricing mechanisms." JR, just wait till some junkie in your new hood tries to relieve you of your wallet via an informal pricing mechanism, and you'll be kvetching, too.
I'm sure if there were more bands as good as the Beatles, music companies wouldn't be so interested in hyping whiny pretty boys imitating U2. Absent that, they'll push what sells. Their industry may be in trouble... but, I think, because of new technology and not because of their strategy.