BWP - Biz Went Pop
INTRODUCTION TO BWP For years, we both worked in the music industry. But around the late 90s and early 2000, things started to unravel. The old school music industry is an industry that left us and a business that went "pop" - BWP. The corporations turned it's back on all the creative and passionate people that made the industry a wonderful place to work and downsized like crazy taking the Big 6 down to the Big 1 and Medium 2s of today. There are execs clinging on for dear life but this won't last for not for long as the landscape changes by the minute. But the bloodletting not only effected the two of us, it impacted hundreds if not thousands of people. This section takes a hard look at how people dealt with the industry that left us - emotionally, financially, career-wise and document the stories of how this community of music lovers and laborers are faring now.
RAH w/ Lucious Jackson at Tower Records
4th&Broadway published in Billboard Magazine.
Click on image to read the caption
STRATEGY FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY 2004
From 2000 until 2004, I attended Loyola Marymount University to obtain my MBA. My classes were at night after work and I took a 6 month hiatus from classes due to the birth of my first child. The culmination of my studies resulted in a white paper about the industry that I loved so dearly. It wasn't easy since I was juggling a full time job, night school, research, my newborn and my husband. But I pushed myself to finish because I felt that it was important to document what was happening at that time. The industry was in rapid change due to disruptive technology. It's interesting to read this again now in 2012 and to see the direction that the industry has taken.
You're welcome to download the paper here and let me know what you think.
MUSIC INDUSTRY SURVEY 2011
So a few years ago, I did a quick survey of current and ex music industry folks to take the temperature of how things were going. Here's what I found out.
Snapshot of Survey Taker Demographics
Currently working in MI
56.4% Not currently in the MI
43.6% Currently in MI
How long have/did you work in the MI ?
31.8% Worked 10-15 Years
27.3% Worked 15-20 Years
22.7% Worked 5-10 Years
18.2% Worked Over 20 Years
What type of companies have/did you work for of the MI?
63.6% Record Label
59.1% Record Store/Retail
27.3% Artist Management/Agents
81.8% reported that their Primary area of work in the MI was in Sales/Marketing
Results of Survey Takers who are Not Currently working in the Music Industry(MI)
80% Left the MI in the past decade between 2000 – 2010
72.7% of this group are currently employed
27.3% of this group are currently unemployed
Industries or areas mentioned that former MI employees currently work
New Media/Internet Sales
Marketing other industry
75% reported that they needed to learn new skills to remain vital in workforce
Skills that were mentioned in survey in no particular order
- quickly learn about a whole new industry
- social media
75% felt a loss or sadness
25% relief and enjoyed music again
Would you go back to work in the MI?
56.3% Yes Why? Love the industry, spent my whole life working in it, nostalgia
43.8% No Why? Not the same, labels etc. don't care about music or artist development, it's a numbers game with no soul
Are you currently seeking employment?
83.3% Yes Type of jobs mentioned in survey: Anything, Marketing, Related to music, Events
In what Industry?
Answers varied from "Anything that can use my skills" to consumer goods and music
New skills that people are currently learning/learned to rejoin workforce
Skills that were mentioned in survey in no particular order
- online marketing
- business administration
- new industry (real estate, restaurant, wine, med/pharma, enviro/sustainability)
- graphic design
Would you go back to work in the current MI?
Results of pollsters who are Currently working in the Music Industry(MI)
What is your current Area of Work?
31.3% Artist Manager/Agent
Social Media was named the #1 skill needed to remain Vital in the current MI
Looking Into the Future
What will immediately shape the MI in the next 5 - 10 years?
Feedback listed below in no particular order.
Mass Marketing (American Idol, TV Placement)
How people consume music (integrated(ipad/phone/laptop),streaming, online radio other things we dont know)
How people find out about music (no terrestial radio, facebook, google+, other social media that we don't know about yet)
Funding disruption (don't need labels, kickstarter, crowd funding)
Splintering of genres
Singles driven no albums
Internet artist one hit wonders
Death of physical product aka CD but limited vinyl for real Djs
Remembering the Past with some Great One Line Stories
I asked Survey Takers to share a fond memory from their days in the biz. Some are listed here in no particular order. Others declined saying the space was too small and that I should call them instead cause it would take a while. And still others declined citing that it would be too painful.
We met in the music industry and then married - enough said
Went to the Hyatt on Sunset for a 30 minute interview with a band that turned into several hours of drinking
Dared by an artist to stage dive, hit the security wall
Concert sponsored by Phillip Morris at a No Smoking Venue
Working with a great individual and mentor
Became friends with a band who I'm still friendly with today
Payola was common and reimbused on expense reports
Fun promotions! York peppermint patties = Bjork Peppermint Patties
First job – no chair, no desk, didn't type and responsible for a weekly column but ended up staying for 12 years
Had a band stay in my apartment, they left me beer as a thank you
Delivered mysterious packages to radio stations
Stepping on David Bowie's foot at CBGBs and then having him remember me from earlier in the day and bought me a drink
Saying to Mick Jagger “Sorry, didn't catch your name...”
Running through a NYC hotel maid's closet to get towels for an in-store with Everclear...never found any
Wal Mart asked if “we had something on tv for kids” and I had Kidz Bop. I knew it was going to be good.
Going to a recording studio with Dave Matthews Band in one room and Kronos Quartet in the other
Meatloaf telling us that he was going to be bigger than Bruce Springsteen
One upping a record executive who said I didn't know a band that he was listening to and showing up the next day with the guitarist and lead singer of that exact band.The lesson I learned is ...never assume you know more than other people in the room .