Lefsetz on the Lack of Platinum Albums in 2014

Not one artist’s album has gone platinum in 2014. Is it streaming, albums, the music or all three?

If you’re looking for evidence that the sales model is dead, here it is. If you’re a marginal band on the road surviving on $20 signed CDs, if you’re employing sales shenanigans as publicity to drive concert attendance, I’ve got no problem with that.

But if you’re decrying the death of sales as a vast conspiracy of the military industrial complex, I feel sorry for you. Things change.

Agitating for a return to the past based on the loss of some beneficial features in the future is futile in a world where we sacrifice the keyboards of our BlackBerries for apps on our Androids and iPhones.

Something is always lost in the march of progress.

You could lament the disappearance of vent windows in automobiles with the advent of air conditioning but you’d be fighting a losing battle because the exclusion of these small windows saved the manufacturers money and most people didn’t miss them, when was the last time you even thought of them?

So, so long platinum records. You were a construct of the classic rock era, when the music was so good everybody clamored to own it. Music was the iPhone of its day.

But this really isn’t news. Everything I’ve said above has been in plain sight for nearly half a decade. So if you’re complaining, if you’ve been caught flat-footed, I feel sorry for you. You’re behind the times. In the information age you know nothing. You run your operation on your heart instead of your head.

Then again, if you put your heart in your music we might want to listen to it.

All we want is some truth. From someone who can write, sing and play.

Sounds simple, it’s not”. — Bob Lefsetz

Bob Lefsetz on the scalability of tech over the arts and music

Maybe your music doesn’t scale to everybody.

But what’s weird is no music scales to everybody today. There’s no hit everybody knows, no show everybody’s got to go to.

But we all know the aforementioned Google, Facebook and iPhone. And we know Amazon too.

And it’s all because they’re useful, they provide a service.

That’s the modern model, that’s what’s hip today.

Sure, write your book, make your music, but know the heyday of those creations is past. Could come back, then again, there was only one Renaissance. Oh, people have been painting ever since, it’s just that painting…doesn’t drive the culture.

But no one in book publishing or the music industry will admit the foregoing. They believe it’s the same as it ever was. But it’s not. The nitwits might go on TV talent shows, but the educated want nothing to do with the so-called arts, they’re all into tech, and tech is about being useful, because useful SCALES!