I've been so busy with bringing an ArtistsOwnedPublic.co to life, that I've not really been able to look too deep into the sales of music as reported via the National Sales report from Nielsen Soundscan. I figured it was a good time to test my gut (that physical was kicking digial ass, dispite all the hoba-abo -blo about streaming), address the growing grumble about the value of Record Store Day, issues about Independents getting on Pressing Plants to even become competitive with the majors, and how the USA is still floundering with it's cultural and economic policies, and make a prediction for what this means to the overall marketplace and our culture as we export it.
For a lack of better analogy, the USA is Entertaining our Economy to Death.
Let's start with my growing bewilderment of the Obama Administration inability to move forward any kind of exporting of US Made Music. The USA each year under this Administration has exported less. Sure, The independent community was excited when Obama first entered office and everyone was onboard with Rep, Jerry Nadler when he introduce the M.U.S.I.C. Act, which I've blogged about many times however I'm givin the highlights below.
(c) DEFINITION.—In this section, the term ‘‘United 18 States independent music label company’’ means a cor- 19 poration, partnership, or other association created under 20 the laws of the United States or of any State (including 21 the District of Columbia or any commonwealth, territory, 22 or possession of the United States)
(1) signs musical recording artists to contracts 24 to assist in the recording, promotion, and sale of the 25 recorded music; for the immediately preceding fiscal year 2 has— (A) total revenues of less than $50,000,000; and (B) total recorded music sales of less than one percent of the total recorded music sales in the United States; and is not majority owned by a corporation, partnership, or other association that has total revenues of more than $50,000,000.
(2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2013 14 through 2017 to carry out this section.
Here we are at the door step of this program ending in 2017 and a look athe Seasonally Adjusted U.S. Eports of Good by End Use Cataegory -- shows that the USA is still importing more music than it exports.
That is just crazy (arent the most of the largest recording artists in the world are from the US) since so many often sing about how proud they're of being an American. Aren't we as a nation proud enough to export it?
This bring me back to part of the issues. The Majors understand too well if the Indies start to get into this larger pool of fans that are still buying physical ( a majority 58.1 percent is physical) and start to export US Made Music, the Majors goolden goose is cooked.
However since I've watched this MusicAct pretty much come and go with the situation only getting worse; I'm not sure what can be done short of the revolution along the lines of what is happening in politics. Yet, The US music business is owned by Multi-National-Corporations that don't want "Made In the USA" exported (for any number of reasons with $ being online 1 of them) and surely don't want to have it known that Congress has sat on it's hands every year since the enactment of this measure and done NOTHING.
On a peronally note, I"ve asked my Representive Eleanor Homes Norton in person and on social media more than once, if she'd setup to support DC Made Music by inquiring into how #DCMusic makers can access Music Act funding; And, never gotten a response. I also know the Music Act wasn't brought up this year for Grammys on the Hill and that' because the Majors Suck and Congress don't care about local music or don't known that it's important?
It can't be understanding of it's Economic Impact or Congress would do more to support this Export item (334612) that happens to be our Culture and often the Cornerstone or cultural diplomacyNow on to the Occuping of Vinyl plants since Vice was covered it people are thinking something may be afoot. And, after last weeks Record Store Day, I'm sure more grumbling will commence. However I've been on about this for some time infact about a year ago I posted on Reddit about the "Occupying of Vinyl Plants" and got labeled a tinfoil hat fools and this issue of them just clogging up the plants (Capacity Restraint). Now they're rubbish that is being pressed is keeping the fans from getting releases from the Indie bands they truly are going to record stores day-in-and-out to discover and reward recording artists by Buying This and helping a local music release find an audience.
As the whole notion of having a Record Store Day --some where along the line has become this day where top artists release pet projects in very limited, for them, batches and essencially clogging up the whole ecosystem and keeping defacto local music deminutive to the majors. IMHO It's got to stop and we need to get back to vialable stragegy for Clicks and Bricks Distribution issues. And, whomever is the next President can deal with the mess that Obama made of the US Recording business.
Predictions if we don't done anything it's going to get worse, if we just start to take notice of how other countries activally promote their export of this peice of culture and make a half ass attempt at it our econony can only improve. Infact if we could get this going and the Majors back to exporting their US based artists as US Made Music the US Economy would be humming a different tune.
However until we close the loop hole created by President Clinton and reinstitute the Check Box Rule on Custom forms, asking if the item is IP, who's and pay them and the USA a tax on it', The USA will keep Entertining our Economy to Death and our Culture too as this has allowed one of the few indusries making jobs to become haliburtonized and it's hurting our standing abroad.