A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Playing Live

I just got an email from Visa about the “Kiss Early Visa Only Presale”.

You know how it works. Only a handful of tickets are available as pre-sales with prices which range from $99 to $310 and VIP Meet and Greets between $1,300 to $1,600.

And guess what, those limited tickets on sale are almost sold out. And not because fans purchased them.

And last week, I got another email from Ticketek about “new great seats that have been made available” for the Bon Jovi concert next month.

Why weren’t those seats available in the initial offering?

Why wait until a month before the concert to release these “new seats”?

Seriously, for how much longer are fans going to get abused with crap like this?

And the artists can do something about it but they stay silent.

Of course they would say they “need to increase the ticket prices” due to the decline in recording revenue, but hey most artists are on streaming these days and a lot of those artists don’t like it, because it shows that people are not listening to their music.

Did anyone read the Ticketmaster fiasco about how computer bots are buying up tickets so they could be resold at a higher price?

Because if the show has a “sold out” sign, the price of the ticket purchased by the bots will go up a lot on the reseller market.

Plus all the acts love to build the hype and image like “look at our show, it’s sold out”, but in truth it hasn’t. They are just hiding the truth.

Of course Ticketmaster has denied any wrongdoing and are launching an internal investigation but would you trust the words of a corporation. Hell, FIFA even said they would clean up their act after corruption and money laundering issues but instead they got even dirtier and even more secretive.

Remember when Metallica tested the market back in the early two thousands with higher ticket prices and people paid. And each time they went on tour after that, they retested the market with a higher price point. But like housing bubbles, the live bubble will burst and the prices will reset.

With time. And then what.

Standard
My Stories, Stupidity

Shout At The Politics

I’ve never been to the U.S but I love music, movies, TV shows and books that come from the U.S and basically like many Australian’s I enjoy US Culture.

One thing I struggle to understand is politics and all the shenanigans that goes on with it.

In Australia, when it comes to elections everyone needs to vote. If you don’t, there is a please explain with a possible fine attached.

In the U.S, voting is not compulsory so what you have is a roll call of celebrities trying to influence peoples votes but in Australia it’s offensive to even ask people who they voted for.

All we see on Aussie TV are the celebrities that support the Democrats and obviously they want Trump out. Read articles and the news sites associated with certain TV channels or owned by certain billionaires and they are all “copy and paste” of the same news story and they have the nerve to put some of it behind paywalls.

In my case one of our regional newspapers website, the “Illawarra Mercury” allows you five free articles a month. I guess they missed the memo. And it’s hard to get good honest news articles that are not financed by advertisers or institutions with an agenda. The only ones I can think of are the articles reporting on crime.

And all Government’s are shit and corrupt when it comes down to it. Our Liberal Government, who currently run the country with ScoMo as PM, reckon a policy that gives our war veterans priority boarding on flights is important and a higher priority than other issues.

Just imagine the policy meeting that would have had to happen for this stupidity.

When brain dead and out of touch politicians meet, you get policies like these. And the Liberals might see it as a win as it doesn’t cost them anything.

The fact that people in the Defence Force who serve have to move from city to city, dragging their families with them is irrelevant.

How about some support for the kids and their schooling?

How about support for the partner?

Imagine trying to build friendships or a career when the army moves you from place to place across the country.

And the rates of people being discharged due to PTSD is growing and nothing is being done about it except giving them priority boarding.

You gotta love our politicians. So lost in their ivory towers and blind to everything else. If you don’t believe me, ask a politician the cost of bread and milk. I bet ya they wouldn’t even know.

And finally check out the number of tweets had on Twitter today.

Seriously 666 for the Republicans.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, My Stories, Stupidity, Unsung Heroes

The Discrimination Against Grassroots Clubs

We played a tournament recently that involved accepted grassroots and representative teams. The difference between grassroots and representative teams is money. The parents of kids who play in grassroots pay no more than $200 in registration, while the parents of kids who play in representative teams pay $2500 in registration.

So now that you know the difference you should understand what happens in these tournaments.

The tournament had three high performing grassroots teams enter an age group. They put all those three teams into one group with two low performing representative teams. So that meant 5 teams in Group A. The other two groups (B and C) had four teams each and all representative teams.

Now for the interesting part, only the team that came first in Group A would progress to the Semi Finals, not the team that came second. So effectively, the Governing State Body ensured that the high performing club teams knocked each other out, so only one would survive to make the semi-finals with three representative teams (who by the way played cross over matches of 1 v 3, 1 v 3 and 2 v 2 to decide the three SF spots).

Basically, the Club teams needed to come FIRST to get a spot in the SEMI FINALS and the representative teams could have come first, second or third and they still had the same chance.

However if they put these three club teams in each group, there could be a possibility that the semi-finals could involve the three club teams and one representative team.

And this is how discrimination occurs to protect an income source.

You have footballing associations so scared of failure and the brand damage which might come with it, they use their local area monopolistic power to influence everything.  If three club teams made it to the semi-finals of this tournament, how can the representative teams justify their inflated fees.

Imagine a starting line for a second.

All the kids that play football (soccer) are lined up on the starting line. A person says for all the kids who play football to take a step forward. And all of them do. The person then says, take a step forward if you want to play professionally and 80% of the kids step forward.

The person then says, all the kids who have played in a representative team take a step forward and 20% of the kids left take a step forward. The person then says, all the kids who are playing at grassroots, take a step backwards while the representative kids take another step forward.

The person then says, if you’ve played for a representative team for one year, take another step forward, for two years, two steps forward, for three years, three steps forward and for four years or more, take 4 steps forward.

And suddenly, you have 16 players who are steps ahead of the rest. But are those 16 kids really that far ahead or so much better than the grassroots kids.  Maybe there are 15 kids who don’t belong there, however due to being born earlier in the year, they have matured and grown faster than the later born players.

As the kids get older, those late developers are progressing and catching up or those players born at the start of the year that didn’t specialise early in football are also now catching up, but the Coaches and Technical Directors of representative teams (not all of them, but a lot of them) have a fixed mindset.

These people cannot believe how kids outside of their academies/representative teams can develop into great players on their own initiative or under the guidance of a grassroots coach or their own parent.

The Germans have shown how this is possible.

“Of those who were recruited at an age of under 11 or under 13, at the age of under 19, only 9 percent are left. On the other hand, those who made it to the national A team of Germany, those we see in the World Cup for example, were being built up gradually across all age stages.

The population of senior top athletes emerges in the course of repeated selection, de-selection, and replacements across all age stages rather than developing from those early selected.

There were athletes who did not exceed initial D squad (regional junior squad), they were first recruited into the system at 15 years. The C squad (the national junior squad) were first recruited at the age of 17. Those who made it to senior world class (A squad) were first recruited at 19 years. So the more successful at the senior level, the later was the recruitment into the talent development system.

Most early selected youngsters do not become successful seniors. Most successful seniors were not selected particularly early.”

Professor Güllich gave an example from the German football TDP (talent development programme) system

In Michael Calvin’s documentary, “No Hunger In Paradise: The Players. The Journey. The Dream”, of all the boys who enter the academy at 9 years of age in the U.K, less than 0.5% make it or make a living from the game. Of the 1.5 million boys playing football, only 180 will make it to the Premier League. A success rate of 0.012%.

As the article states, the odds are the same as being hit by a meteorite as you are going home.

There are good coaches and Technical Directors  in Australia, however there are also TD’s in denial. So focused on their source of income, and the selling of their curriculum pathways.

Governing sporting bodies have done a great marketing job in making people believe in the pathway. This magic golden brick road, a linear path, that promises athletes who start as beginners will end up as experts.

It’s a myth. It doesn’t exist.

The belief in “The Pathway” is destructive to the sport. The road to being a professional is different for every player. Kids start playing a sport for various of reasons. Some enjoy manipulating the ball, others want to have fun, others want to be a professional player from a young age, some just like competing and winning.

The pathway puts forward the idea that if a player joins an academy, then a rep team, then a National Premier League Team they will eventually progress to the Professional League and the national youth teams and main team.

Instead of everyone investing in “The Pathway”, maybe the monies and the coaches should be invested in building the grassroots clubs, there facilities, and growing Football from the grassroots clubs and not the other way around. And one thing is clear, if the child isn’t technically proficient, then they will struggle.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Douche Posts

There are posts on this site from a few years back that I call douche posts.

You see in 2013, a few friends and I were talking about Blabbermouth’s link bait headlines and how in most cases Blabbermouth always picked some content of an interview that could be deemed controversial as their headline.

Anyway I said to my friends I would do a few douche posts like that as an experiment and see what kind of reaction we get.

It’s been over 4 years old and I can confirm those douche posts are the least viewed posts on the site.

You see, these posts are part of an experiment to test a few internet theories.

Theory 1;

With so much information available to us, nothing lasts on the internet. In other words, the post of today is forgotten tomorrow like the album you spent 8 months recording is released this week and forgotten the next week.

Theory 2:

Clickbait always wins. This was based on how Blabbermouth and Loudwire promote their posts.

My posts were designed to be a “not too obvious” click bait post. Maybe a douche post to some people, but in order to prove or disprove experiments, you need real life actors.

Results

In this case click bait doesn’t win.

The experiment is still in the early stages but this experiment has shown to me that clickbait news stories are not really worth it. You might outrage some people, and get some views but it’s not the way forward in the long term or if you want to build something that lasts.

Clickbait brings the wrong audience to the site. For sites to grow, they need users who are engaged with it, creating their own social culture group. And that’s my aim.

The bigger websites like Blabbermouth care about the clicks to the story. That’s how they make ad revenue. All the best to them.

And while these posts are the least viewed they sure have some interesting comments.

Of course, comments need to be taken with a grain of salt here. Insulting ones are ignored, however some comments asking me to check out other things that support the commenters viewpoint are engaging and worthwhile.

What these posts have told me is that people shouldn’t take things too seriously. I sure don’t. We are all imperfect and I don’t mind poking some fun my way. That’s what makes us human after all.

And one more thing, good or bad, everything lasts on the internet. Sometimes it takes time for people to find it. You know that song you released today, it could be forgotten for years, maybe decades. But as long as it’s out there, someone will find it.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Music Is A Relationship Between Artist And Fan

With chaos comes opportunity.  For centuries, progress is made from learning how to deal with the chaos.

Copyright is in a chaotic state. The corporations who hold the rights to valuable art, are fighting battles against infringement, organising web blocking and are trying their best to get stricter copyright enforcement laws passed while also lobbying hard to extend copyright terms. As if the current “life plus 70 years after death” term is not long, enough.

In addition, these copyright monopolies don’t want works entering the public domain, so in the late 90’s these large organisations got a law passed that would prevent works meant to enter the public domain from not entering until 2019.

For those that don’t know, the public domain is culture. Keith Richards once said, ‘you can’t copyright the blues.’ Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Presley and all of the sixties greats took songs from the Public Domain and built a highly lucrative career from it.

Culture is built and expanded by sharing stories and building on the works of others. But the Copyright organisations have manipulated and changed copyright so much, it’s far removed from its purpose of giving creators a short term monopoly on their works, so they have an incentive to create more works.

Short terms meant 14 years to 28 years depending if the artist renewed their work.

Works that should be in the public domain do not benefit the original creators in any way. The majority of them have passed away, however these works (the valuable ones) are beneficial for the few copyright monopoly gatekeepers.

For culture to thrive once again, it is important to respect the public domain. If you want another 60’s culture explosion, we need to have a public domain.

It’s not going to be easy, because you have the RIAA who continually push lies out into the world, so that technology companies can do something to protect the labels crap business models. You have ISP’s who are fighting their own battles about what their users do on the net. You have the techies who provide services, using channels supported and owned by the ISP’s. You have the various lobby groups for the public, for the techies, for the ISP’s and for the labels/movie studios. And when these tribes come into a room, it’s exactly what Frankie sings, they go to war.

And nowhere in the mix is the artist and the customer. Because in the end, it’s the relationship the customer has with the music/art which creates value. The labels claim they are there to represent the artists, which is complete BS. The labels are there to represent themselves.

For the recording business to thrive, you need the artist to create and you need a customer to become a fan and connect with the art, so they could be monetised. If that relationship is not happening, all of the other crap going on is pointless.

If you are an artist, you need to realise your fans are king. Exceptional fan service is the key driving force behind a bands success. It’s good old business 101, “treat your customers right and they’ll stay with you forever”.  Because if you build a community of customers and are serving these dedicated customers with something great, then you would expect profits to go up.

In all of the wars happening around access to music, the most important one, the artist and the fan connection, is continually ignored. Don’t be an artist that falls into that trap.

Standard
My Stories, Stupidity

Grassroots Clubs Continued

The kids I coach in grassroots football over the last few years have made four Grand Finals and only won one. This year, they played up an age group and got knocked out in the semi final game to make the Grand Final.

For the result centric parent, this is an underachievement. From their mouths, I have heard how it’s a team that chokes on the grandest stage. It’s unfortunate that the consistency shown throughout the year is forgotten based on a result from just one game.

For a development focused parent, this shows them that their child’s development is progressing on the right path. They are competing and as a by-product of competing, they are successful. And it’s pleasing to see a grassroots club competing against representative teams and academies. The rep teams and academies have parents who pay between $1500 to $2500 for the year while the parents of the kids I coach pay $195 for the year.

I am one of those silent coaches when it comes to game time. I say my pre-match speech with my white board for two minutes, have my half time talk for 3 minutes and wrap it up at the end of the game for 2 minutes. Short and sweet and to the point. In the end, it’s the kids that go out on the field and play the game. All I hope is that I’ve given them some technical and tactical edge to compete and enjoy the game.

I had a parent come up to me and say “How do you deal with the empty feeling of disappointment when so much hard work and so much development over the last 12 months ends with losing a grand final? I said to the parent to have a look at the kids.

They are smiling. The hurt at full time is gone, replaced by a fire/hunger to go one better next year. They have already moved on and are focusing on next year. Resilience is the key. The kids are the ones that need to overcome the feeling, not the parent or the coach.

Standard
A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Missed Opportunities

The record labels and music news sites that benefit from reporting positive articles about the labels, talk about the billions of dollars the music industry made in the financial year just before Napster hit. So from a simple viewpoint, when Napster hit, sales of music started to decline. For the RIAA and the record labels, these two events correlate, so it implies that one is causing the other to move. But actually the sales of music have been falling for some time.

What happened during the 90’s just before Napster went worldwide was a lot of re-purchasing. This is people who had music on vinyl or cassette and they started to re-purchase the music they already owned on CD’s. These re-purchased items, in most cases re-mastered or super deluxe editions with bonus content at higher prices would skew the record label figures to make it look like new music was bringing in billions of dollars when in fact it was people purchasing old catalogue items of their favourites. And once you had those albums on CD, you didn’t really need to re-purchase them again.

Lars and Kirk from Metallica maintain that it was the right action to go after Napster. No it wasn’t. The right action was to build a business model to replace the gap in the market that Napster was servicing. That gap was basically to allow people to share their music collections (bootlegs and original recordings) in a very simple and convenient way. Napster got popular because of it, and the record labels should have created something to match it.

But the labels did nothing, and then a small company called YouTube did fill the gap that Napster was really servicing. And YouTube today, generates billions of dollars. These billions could have been in the profit and loss statements of the record labels but they messed up. Remember, we are 20 years post Napster, and Napster still gets talked about, while the record labels did absolutely nothing to counter it, except scream for legislation and gestapo like police powers.

So going back to Lars and Kirk, creating a service that allowed people to share their music was the best course of action and as YouTube proves a very profitable one at that.

The arrival of YouTube and eventually streaming services put a dent into the traditional sales model, however with the increase in people attending concerts and festivals, one needs to ask the question, did piracy assist in these increased crowds?

Iron Maiden came back with Bruce Dickinson, bigger than ever and played to sold out crowds in countries they’ve hardly sold any recorded product in. Twisted Sister and Motley Crue also came back bigger than ever post Napster and played to their biggest ever crowds until they retired. Did piracy assist in these concert attendances as well?

And what about Metallica?

Having their music illegally available on Napster basically made sure that their music was available in every place in the world that had an internet connection (it was the same deal for Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and Motley Crue).

In other words, their music was worldwide, which of course led to more fans having access to their music and a correlation of super large concert attendances and highly ridiculous ticket prices to capitalise on their world-wide reach. Even Metallica sold out concerts in countries without really selling any recorded discs in those countries. In some countries their music wasn’t even available legally, only illegally.

And here we are in 2018, with the record labels still trying to kill the market gap that Napster serviced. In this case, YouTube is the one in the firing line. YouTube and Spotify should just become labels themselves and start financing the production of music themselves, the same way Netflix and Amazon create their own content and also license content from others. Then the argument will be different.

Standard