Yesterday, I was sitting watching my Twitter feed and I could not believe what I was reading – supposedly respected music business journalists from Music Week and The Guardian tweeting about who they want to win Xfactor. Why is this a problem you may well ask? Firstly, any journalist little own music business journalists (and for which I do not profess to be one), to even give space to such a bastardization of what real music is about, is akin to the gutter trash of the Murdoch media empire.
These supposed stars do not even write their own songs, some even lip sync when playing live. More than anything these poor talentless twerps are manipulated into what is almost modern-day slavery. How can I say this? Have you ever glanced over the contracts they have to sign with Simon Cowell?
They sign their management away for 30%, within the recording agreement the ‘star’ receives a royalty that is usually less than 12% after deductions (from the record company which Simon owns) and then on top of that they are forced to sing covers and so see pretty close to zero in publishing revenue. These same covers are quite often songs that Simon Cowell already has a publishing interest in. As a journalist if your writing about these reality ‘stars’ you are supporting their enslavement by default.
Those who argue that Xfactor and shows of its ilk deliver culture to society are quite clearly deluded like the false ‘stars; these shows produce. Name me one of the artists anywhere in the world who has had more than two successful albums from such a show? Name me one that has been successful on a global level? Furthermore, how many had more than one album? Tell us how much they made – TMV suspect it is very little. Tell us where is the new publishing catalogue being built? If you do your research, it is clear that publishing is what has kept the Major Label business model alive.
If anything, TMV would argue that shows such as Xfactor and the false ‘stars’ they produce actually detract from music culture generally. Where is the innovation and pushing of musical boundaries? Where is the new publishing catalogue? Are their any REAL lasting benefits to society at large? Perhaps if you consider burnt out vacuous reality stars as culture – but to do so would involve admitting you were pretty cultureless yourself.
Where are the music journalists covering bands that have a social message that is obviously building on a global level? One just has to state ‘Occupy’. Moreover, where are the labels signing such bands? It seems that music publications and labels have colluded to ensure artists are apathetic and non-political. All that seems to be around today is Rage Against the Machine and Billy Bragg. Yet they were signed more than 20 years ago. Name me one band with a political message that has been signed in the last 20 years by a major label?
By focusing on reality TV stars, which produce no new music of lasting benefit to society, music business journalist’s do REAL music culture a major disservice. Further reinforcing this is the fact these reality ‘stars’ are generally sold a false dream that when they are, churned, burned and spat out the other end, where they are left with serious physiological problems – and society is left to pick up the pieces as well as pay the bills…
So, if you are a music or music business journalist, we would suggest before giving space to what is clearly a bottom feeding frenzy, step back and ask yourself is there something that adds culturally to music that you should be covering and discussing instead?