The artists have the power. They are the ones who write and record the songs and provide something of value.
So why are the rights holders of the artist’s works (otherwise known as the Copyright Holders, aka, the Labels and Publishers) organizing deals with ISP’s, the Courts, the techies and the Government. These bodies would not have any power if the artists never sold away their power in the first place.
If anyone should be organising deals it should be the ARTISTS/PERFORMERS with the USERS/CONSUMERS first and then with all of the other organizations who make money from their music.
But a lot of artists go about it without a plan.
Or it’s a plan with drama, telling the fan or borderline fan, how hard they worked on the newest album, the cost to them emotionally and financially and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into their newest work. It’s like they want to guilt the consumer into paying for their product.
Or some do it effortlessly, without drama. Both systems work, as it depends on the consumer, how they react or the surplus of funds they have left to spend on entertainment.
And it’s a choice, artists need to make.
And because of money, you start to get artist’s giving their fans what they believe the fans want, so that they don’t lose them. But they seem to forget that the fans came into their lives when they wrote songs when they had no fans. Those songs written meant something personal. Songs written with money as the motive or with the aim of critical mass public acceptance don’t end up getting there. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was written when Dee Snider was still struggling to make it.
Hit songs/albums are not made by label marketing or an artist telling the world it is their best work. They are made by cultures of people that connect with the song and then share their love of that music with others.
I remember “Pornograffiti” from Extreme got no press in Australia and it sold. The follow up “III Sides To Every Story” had a scorched earth marketing policy and while I dig the album, it did nothing in the land of Oz.
Geffen promoted Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Roxy Blue and Galactic Cowboys heavily in 1991/92. It was a simple scorched earth marketing policy. Spend money and see what sticks.
But who cares who ran Geffen or worked in AOR. Will people remember Whitesnake or John Kalodner or Dave Geffen?
We know that Metallica released the Black album. Would people care on what label it was on?
We sing along together at a Bon Jovi concert. Do we care or know that it was Polygram who released “Slippery When Wet”?
So while record label people come and go, artists remain, as their music lives forever. But the label heads want to be ones that live forever and all because artists give away their rights and power to them.
And artists need to be creating. These stupid perpetual Copyright laws made artists lazy especially artists who made some dough, during the era when the record labels controlled the distribution.
If you don’t believe me, how many albums of new music did Jimmy Page do after Led Zeppelin disbanded?
From memory, two albums with The Firm, one solo album, a Coverdale Page album and one Page Plant album as the other album was Led Zep songs reworked in acoustics. A total of 5 albums in almost forty years.
The artists are in charge. They need to know that. They can post their tunes to streaming services and make coin, provided they care about making connections with fans.
And it’s exciting.