Bob Lefsetz - Please Get A Blog!
A friend of mine in the music business turned me on to Bob Lefsetz’ email newsletter.
It’s a great read if you care about the goings on in the music business.
Here are some gems from the recent newsletters:
On Amazon’s new music service:
If rental were such a good deal, if the public found it so appealing,
why is Blockbuster on the verge of disaster? Why are people BUYING so
many DVDs when they can rent them so cheaply? America has an ownership
culture. Sure, in the future there might be a migration to service, but not TODAY!
Not until a much younger set comes of age.
Let’s see how you sell this. For fifteen bucks a month you can have
access to ALL the music. Well, not the Beatles or Led Zeppelin. And
not every track on every album… And, if you don’t keep paying, you
lose IT ALL! Shit, sounds more like radio than conventional music
And what are the odds that independent company Amazon can create a
system that actually works, when its Seattle counterpart Microsoft has
been unable to do this? I mean maybe if Google moved into the sphere I
might be impressed. Then again, Google Video is a disaster, and rather
than deliver a quality product without glitches, Google just labels all
its efforts "beta", so you’ll forgive them. That’s what we need, a BETA
music service to compete with Apple’s seamless solution.
Amazon IS correct in deciding to deliver files along with CDs.
But the fucked up labels can’t agree on a price. Even though you can
buy a CD and rip it FOR FREE! Paying NOTHING extra for the files.
Oh yeah, copy protection will foil that. And destroy your business,
just ask kicked upstairs Andy Lack. And then there’s the ridiculous
position of the RIAA that ripping is illegal. What’s next, is the RIAA
gonna post a cop in every kid’s basement? THIS is a strategy that’s
gonna win. Actually, after seven years, hasn’t the RIAA realized a
legal solution IS NOT the answer?
I don’t agree with everything that Bob says about Amazon (read my post – Rooting For Amazon – for my thoughts) but you have to admit that he’s got an opinion and he lets you know what it is.
Here’s Bob’s take on the recent DMCA actions against YouTube videos:
Have you been following this youtube thing? With NBC requesting the
site pull all its videos? How fucking stupid can you BE!
"Lazy Sunday". That’s what seems to be breaking SNL wide open after
years of dormancy. It’s just like a band. You’re living in obscurity,
and then the Net catches hold of you and you BLOW UP! Can you say
ARCTIC MONKEYS? If you’ve got something good, you can’t keep it down on
the Net. It’s human nature, people want to tell EVERYBODY!
So busy enforcing their copyrights, major entertainment companies are
shooting themselves in the foot. This is the kind of hype, the kind of
marketing, that can’t be bought.
Take KT Tunstall. Fucking idiots at Virgin want you to PAY for her
video on iTunes! What schmendrick wants to pay for a video he probably
hasn’t seen to BEGIN WITH! But, saunter over to youtube, and you can
see KT doing her act, performing "I Want You Back" on a French TV show.
THIS is the kind of publicity you desire. If you’re BUILDING an act.
And now there’s this Aerosmith thing.
Funny how it never occurred to me. But it’s perfect. Instead of JANIE
having a gun, CHENEY’S got a gun!
Hate to tell you, but "Janie’s Got A Gun" is verging on twenty years
old. There are kids who’ve NEVER heard it. Oh, Aerosmith is a
perennial, but even MTV no longer plays their videos. Their albums
don’t sell, they’ve become a NOSTALGIA ACT! And now, some enterprising
Web denizen has BROUGHT THEM BACK FROM THE DEAD! Giving "Janie’s Got A
Gun" MORE airplay than it’s gotten in YEARS! And, hear the parody and
you want to hear the original. And, ultimately you believe in the act.
Hell, I got e-mail from a friend’s niece, barely in double digits,
asking what the underlying song to THIS parody was.
Of course, it’s the Backstreet Boys’ "I Want It That
Way". She was TOO YOUNG FOR THE BACKSTREET BOYS!
All of this is anathema to rights-holders. They must protect their
rights at all costs. To their detriment. This is promotion in the
twenty first century. This is FREE MARKETING!
I totally agree with Bob on this post (and click on the Cheney’s Got A Gun link – it’s pretty funny).
So if Bob Lefsetz is so savvy about music and online marketing, why is he publishing via a 1990’s technology, the email newsletter? Why doesn’t he have a blog? It would be so much easier just to link to his posts than to cut and paste the whole thing.
Please get a blog Bob!