Lessons for Prog from the TV Renaissance

What the music industry could learn from TV

Some great points about what the music industry could learn from TV:

Of all the lies told to musicians, here’s the biggest lie of them all: you have to give your talent away for free. …

The experts who offer this bad advice need to watch some more TV. While record labels have been shrinking, TV networks have reinvented themselves by selling content via a profitable subscription model. TV has reversed the trend: households once got it for free, but now they are willing to pay for it. Yes, you can still get broadcast TV channels without paying a monthly fee, but only seven percent of American households go that route.

Not only has TV switched successfully from “giving it away” to a subscription model, but the shift has also spurred a new golden age of television. The same economic pressures that are killing the music business have led to the highest quality shows in the history of the medium. …

Here are the five lessons the music business needs to learn from TV.

1. Target adults, not kids. …

2. Embrace complexity. …

3. Improve the technology. …

4. Resist tired formulas. …

5. Invest in talent and quality. …

All great reasons for record companies to back a prog renaissance.

One thought on “Lessons for Prog from the TV Renaissance

  1. eheter

    I like most of these suggestions, although like some of the commenters in the original article, I wonder how the suggestions based on TV translate to music. I would think just about any prog-lover would agree with #’s 1, 2, 4, and 5.

    I don’t agree with the author’s extolling of vinyl, and I think that’s largely a retro-fad that really doesn’t offer as much in terms of sound quality as its adherents would like to believe. Whatever problems there are with digital sound and the modern mechanisms of music distribution are with the applications of technology, not the technology itself. On another comment for a different post here I included a link regarding digital audio and sampling theorem, and it’s well known that you can get virtually perfect reproduction with digital audio. If someone overcompresses a file or what have you, that’s more of a production and mastering problem, not a technology problem.

    I also don’t like how vinyl limits the artist’s ability to write as they wish. I never liked how ‘Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression’ has a break in the middle so that one can flip the album from one side to the other. And I’m horrified by the thought of having to flip over something like Gazpacho’s ‘Night’, instead of letting it flow seamlessly from start to finish, as it was written and is meant to be heard.

    And besides that, on the technological front, Yes’s ‘Awaken’ even in a 128 kpbs mp3 file through lousy speakers or earbuds will always move me, because it’s an incredible, earth-shattering, soul-shaking piece of music/art. On the other hand, a Lady Gaga single on a freshly press vinyl platter, played on a $10,000 turntable, through a $50,000 amplifier, and from $100,000 speakers will always suck harder and stronger than the largest black hole in the universe.



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