Uncommon Economic Follow-Up: Reconnections

Monday, December 07, 2009

Our series of follow-ups for the 1-year anniversary of the Your Uncommon Economic Indicators project continues. Gerry Segal, YUEI contributor who you may remember as the winner of the BLS satire slam, talks about how his exposure on The Brian Lehrer Show and social media has allowed him to reconnect with his musical interests. Then, Bill Werde, editorial director of Billboard Magazine, looks at whether social media presents a viable economic model for the music publishing industry.


Gerry Segal and Bill Werde

Comments [19]

Will Sears from Williamstown, Ma

My friend started a non-profit for even better reused, free books, delivered right in the subway station. There are even drop boxes when you are done.

Here's the link:

Dec. 21 2009 10:58 AM
darla from east village

get real. just think of how hypocritical you anti-music industry critics are in accusing the record companies of being greedy when it is clear to see that file sharing promotes over consumption. i would guarantee most of you who gladly choose to steal from the over exploited under appreciated artist, (yes, artist) download more music than you could ever attentively listen to. music listening has become akin to channel surfing in a bankrupt culture gorging on mp3's. pathetic. it's all going down the drain. none of the greats: paul simon, joni mitchell, tom waits, bob dylan, stevie wonder could have ever possibly made it then or today without the support of "getting a break". is an architect required to build every house he designs and hammer in every nail? i do blame to record companies but i also accuse those who now feel entitled to steal music as being equally complicit in the demise of music as the cultural force it once was.

Dec. 07 2009 08:52 PM
mk from rockaway

Before the recording industry existed, music was alive and well and musicians got paid to perform.

Since the music industry, many musicians now make millions for doing almost nothing. I could care less if they think they are being ripped off because minimum wage workers download their stuff for free.

The guest's premise about songwriters seems to imply that anyone who wants to should have the right to make money as a songwriter, just because that is what they want. Great! I'll start tomorrow then please.

Dec. 07 2009 11:58 AM
Camille from Slovenia

I used to work in the music industry and many different areas. Look, most people make a living by going to work EVERY DAY. Not just doing ONE JOB and expecting to get automatically get money from it for a long time. If musicians want to make a career of it then they need to work EVERY DAY and perform as much as possible, have a good live show and perform in as many places as possible. The albums are just promotion for the live shows and supplemental income.

Dec. 07 2009 11:58 AM
Paul from Westchester

Funny how your guest mentions we're in a singles-focused musical era, while the record companies have been phasing out the CD single for over 10 years now.

Dec. 07 2009 11:57 AM
G from NYC

Who cares about the plight of musicians? Somebody else. Not me.

Downloading has no effect on the kind of music getting made. Taste does. There is no lack of musical styles after the advent of downloading. That is an absurd statement.

Dec. 07 2009 11:57 AM
Tony from Santa Clara, CA

The music industry was handed out a fantastic deal that reduced their cost to almost zero. They should be extremely profitable, but instead of embracing the change, they pushed their customers toward stealing.

Dec. 07 2009 11:57 AM
Nick from NYC

Most indie musicians are not against file sharing. No brainer. Recording companies are just plain greedy. You're not presenting a balanced point of view on this.

As far as what music gets made: the indies and self-produced artists produce vital and interesting music, while the bloated dinosaur music conglomerates put out the musical equivalent of cheese food.

Dec. 07 2009 11:56 AM
Amy from Manhattan

If touring is now the only way to make money, how do musicians make the transition from having day jobs? How do you get to the point of being available to tour if you can't make any money *until* you tour?

Dec. 07 2009 11:56 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

So it’s all file sharing and not overpriced mediocre new product or milking rehashed old product at same-as-new prices?

Dec. 07 2009 11:56 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

30 Gigs --- hundreds of thousands of songs.

Nope. If advocates of open source and peer to peer understate the impact of file trading, your guest radically overstates it.

How about some comments from mid-level successful musicians who see PENNIES from record labels that have extraordinary techniques for concealing profits and stealing from artists.

The record labels want to have the cake and eat it. Big surprise! We the people figured out a way to get around their thievery.

Dec. 07 2009 11:56 AM
peter from Brooklyn

Finally, someone has recognized the growth of amateur music. In the past ten years in Park Slope alone, I've become involved with four classical ensembles, tha could give some professional groups a run for their money. As far as its effect on professional musicians, there are professionals who play in these groups (most for free), but they get students as a result.

Dec. 07 2009 11:55 AM

I totally agree about CD's being the end of the music industry. CDs with their perfect sound quality and the ability to duplicate them with no loss if desired then utilizing sharing has gutted the music industry and is beginning to take it's toll on the movie industry as dvd's are now pirated and uploaded BEFORE some are even released!

Dec. 07 2009 11:55 AM
Kim from NJ

This is the best time for PROFESSIONAL musicians to become successful, and create their own sustainable careers. I am a conservatory trained professional classical musician, and I'm more fully able to explore my broad creative interests by using the internet to personally craft my career. We no longer need to rely upon promoters or managers to do this for us. It just takes some entrepreneur training and some creativity to be successful.

Dec. 07 2009 11:54 AM
JBeek from Inwood

I got it - via Facebook, natch:

Dec. 07 2009 11:53 AM
JBeek from Inwood

what's that URL for the Bronx hoot?

I remember the (apocryphal?) story of the VV ad asking "anyone who knows the whereabouts of Danny Kalb..." - and would love to get a chance to see him play.

Dec. 07 2009 11:49 AM
Elizabeth from Manhattan

Hi Brian,

No offense; you are a great host. I'm confused about why the topic of music; (susan boyle and great britain's got talent) is being aired on a Monday morning after a heavy news week. Please keep the music topics to Thursdays or Fridays. I feel bored.

Dec. 07 2009 11:48 AM
notababyboomer from Brooklyn

please, brian, why are you indulging and encouraging this guy? his music is awful, and his story is so typical of a baby boomer making his fortune, retiring "young", then going back to his youth and pursuing those long lost dreams of being a folk musician or /fill in the blank/ and reverting back to being a teenager/guy in his 20's again. oh! and he's using those groovy new social networks that the all the kids are using these days! and shameless plugging! please, spare us.

Dec. 07 2009 11:48 AM
Brian from Fort Greene, NY

C'mon Brian...retired and financially secure Gerry Segal has gotten more than his 15-minutes of fame. Don't break your arm patting yourself on your back, buddy.

Dec. 07 2009 11:40 AM

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