WTF Happened to Black Music? The Revolution

In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. Today, six media giants control 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to (see below). This has a profound effect on the music that we get to hear.

The Revolution - Prince Tribute Concert

Everybody’s looking 4 the answers
How the story started and how it will end
What’s the use in half a story, half a dream
U have 2 climb all of the steps in between (yeah, we ride)
Everybody’s looking 4 the ladder
Everybody wants salvation of the soul
The steps U take are no easy road (the steps you take are no easy road)
(it’s not that easy)
But the reward is great
4 those who want 2 go (I do)
~ Prince
“[Prince] helped so many people. Most people don’t know that. He wanted to keep his charitable activities a secret. He wanted to keep his passion for underprivileged people between him and his god.”
Peace is more the absence of war

“We spent hours talking about [Prince’s] concerns about technology and getting those skills to inner city youth.”
Prince was a great musician

“Prince came in, and he said to the labels, ‘Do not try to just put me with the urban group; I want the world. I want to be with the pop staff. I’m going to make rock and roll, as well as soul, as well as funk…I don’t want to just go to Soul Train, I don’t want to just open up for Rick James, I want to be on Dick Clark.’”

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The Music Revolution at Madison Square Garden

The Music Revolution

Six media giants control 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to (see below). This has a profound effect on the music that we get to hear.
In three days, Adele’s new album, 25, has become the best-selling release of 2015, bypassing Taylor Swift’s 1989. In it’s first three days, 25 sold more than 2.4 million copies, also smashing the single-week US album sales record, previously held by 90s boyband ★NSYNC.
Adele’s success is an indication that large corporations have been using a terrible business model for the music industry. In 1999 worldwide music revenue was $27 billion, in 2014 it had dropped to $15 billion. In 1999, music companies forced people to buy albums, mostly fulled with crappy music to get the one or two songs that they really wanted to hear. Music companies also focused on disposable pop hits. The Internet has forced this to change.

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Let’s Create a Million New Good Jobs

The unemployment rate is 5.0%. This is great but the problem is that millions of people are still unemployed or underemployed.
Yet we need more than just jobs alone. We need good jobs. According to the Social Security Administration 51.4 percent of all Americans make less than $30,000 per year which is only slightly higher than the poverty guideline for a family of four of $24,250. 1 in 5 people in New York City live below the poverty level.
Small businesses account for a large share of the United States’ GDP. A subset of firms that are young and high-growth generate a large share of new jobs. Locally owned firms have been found to generate greater local economic ripple effects than chain establishments or other non-locally owned companies…. the Small Business Administration, for example, attributes almost half of private nonfarm GDP and almost two-thirds of net new private-sector jobs to what it calls small businesses.
[Yet a]cross the 16 programs in 14 states examined, large companies are receiving 80 to 96 percent of the subsidy dollars, and somewhat smaller but still very disproportionate shares of the deals (indicating that deals granted large businesses are more lucrative). Overall, big businesses received 90 percent of the $3.2 billion awarded, and 70 percent of the deals.
For example, in New York City, 80 percent of $82,471,363 in deals went to large firms.
Greg LeRoy

Greg LeRoy founded Good Jobs First in 1998

One way to address these problems is for Americans to buy more products manufactured in the United States and for New Yorkers to purchase more locally made products.

Made in NYC
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The Company That Outperforms Google and Facebook Will Be Diverse

That number, in fact, echoed language in the company’s original prospectus, where Facebook wrote that “total worldwide advertising spending in 2010 was $588 billion,” in the first paragraph of the document section titled “Our Market Opportunity,”
The skeptics from New York – America’s advertising capital – could be forgiven for laughing then.
Facebook sold over $1 billion more in advertising during the period than it did in the same quarter a year ago, driving total revenue up 41% to $4.5 billion.
Google and Facebook are advertising companies, nearly all of their revenue comes from advertising. Yet, they are not very good advertising companies in the sense that the best advertising in based on emotional connections. This is not well understood in Silicon Valley and also why kindergartners are often smarter than business school students.

[Silicon Valley is] a hard place to write about because there’s a lack of emotional content. It’s a cold place.

Google is an old business…. Google has never really been about human psychology.
~ Tyler Cowen
In the same fashion that Madison Avenue laughed at Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, another company will come along and out perform both Google and Facebook.

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