Jack Ponti Addresses The Devaluation of Music - Noise11.com
Alice Cooper Hey Stoopid

Alice Cooper Hey Stoopid co-written by Jack Ponti

Jack Ponti Addresses The Devaluation of Music

by Jack Ponti on December 27, 2012

in News,Noise Pro

Music has been criminally devalued to the point where our own government doesn’t see the truth, and that truth is mass theft.

Alice Cooper Hey Stoopid

Alice Cooper Hey Stoopid co-written by Jack Ponti

The term “intellectual property “has done damage as it psychologically removes “hard” value of the asset and renders it almost ethereal.

The beginning of the end began with the trend of the “non-star” or “anti-star”. Music was always entertainment coupled with escapism.

The proliferation of the anti-star movement lead to the demise of what was the tethering element in music, that was an admiration, fascination, or idolatry of the artist themselves.

Music was an escape and the “star” allowed the passage into a land or lifestyle unlike your own.

From Frank Sinatra to right before this trend, it was all about the person you wish you were, or the person you wish you could have sex with, the idol.

It was entertaining and provided escape.

You would fit into particular social strata based upon the music you listened to.
You identified with it, and it identified you. You could learn more about a person by the music they listened to than you could find out in conversation.

That began to disappear and was rapidly replaced by the gaming world.

Kids were identified by which games they played and the games you played identified you. Much like if you are Mac or PC, that now defines you.

This began the time of optionality. Video games were a new option of entertainment.
Entertainment option first began to erode fan bases in the world of television with the advent of cable.

Pre cable, there were a few major stations and you would not the option of channel surfing, you stayed glued to the show, you became involved, you became attached.
During the golden era of “must see TV”, the viewing audience per hit show was massive.

These shows became water cooler fodder and seeped into our culture.

Then cable hit, then satellite, then on and on.

There are only so many people who watch TV, when the options are limited, they will grow with a show, with option they tend to lose interest before they gain interest. Much like the failure of many food franchises. They begin with a very strict radius of competition.

Once you go from a 10 mile radius to a 5 mile radius to a 1 mile radius, you create immediate competition and direct and absolute cannibalization.

The successful franchises keep a long radius.

Then the Internet began to accelerate the de-mystification of the artist, not there were many stars left, but stardom needs a certain amount of distance and mystery.

The Internet peeled away the onion too fast.

Much like anticipating how someone looks naked is usually far more rewarding than finally seeing them so.

So you have a volatile combination brewing: Tearing away from the core attraction of entertainment coupled with entertainment optionality and the de-mystification of the attraction.

Then we have the introduction of the MP3. No need to go on about that.

Suddenly we have a wave of sites that offer music for free. This is a natural knee jerk reaction of teenage rebellion. We all lived. The need to be cool, the need to be “bad”. Not bad enough to wind in jail or in the hospital, but this new method was attractive to that core spirit and was wildly embraced.

You weren’t cool if you bought records.

Let’s not get into the RIAA dropping the ball, which they did.

Let’s not get into the industry not seeing the technology, which they didn’t.These are two very costly mistakes.

Then Jobs sees the opening and sells the entire industry on salvation, when it was never anything more than him wanting to sell software, which he did in volume and Apple has the liquid cash to prove that little ploy worked.

People are lemmings, more so the kids are, so when the rally cry of music should be free sprung from the indie community, they all embraced it like gospel.

That cry was from artists who never had a chance at actually making it in music and found a great reason to hide such failure.

It wasn’t based on some altruistic, let freedom fly, love missive. No it was a great excuse for their own lack of ability

But that new freak flag fit tongue and groove with the new methodology of theft.

There is nothing more important than being cool and nothing screams “cool” louder than fuck the man.

That has always been the rally cry, but now the “man” is the big bad record company and not the symbols of the “man” of yesteryear (i.e the police, parents, government).

Through this all we dealt with theft with kid gloves, afraid to upset the consumer.
Yet we have no problem investing manpower, money and all avenues of the law to go after bootleggers and counterfeiters of every shape and size.

I bet more dollars are spent going after fashion knock offs than bit torrents, but let’s not go on a tangent here.

Somewhere, someone decides music should be free, after all it’s not a hard asset.
So without penalties, fear, even a slight reprimand, the habit grows.

Then as each generation comes up the “habit” is now the norm and even the remote understanding of it being illegal is washed away with time.

Technology advances and kids are tech savvy by the age of 10.

So now it is not the rebel thinking it’s cool, it’s the next generation thinking it’s normal.

You add to that the current issue with YouTube.

YouTube has become the player of choice, the library of choice, the streaming site of choice, and with the advent of YouTube to MP3 conversion applications, the digital store of choice.

Plus it’s portable. Hello smart phones.

You add to that the fact that “YouTube” and, oh oddly enough, “Google” are now part of our daily language and you now have not only the elimination of fear of reprimand, but the psychological position that “it’s YouTube, how can that be wrong?”

This has now rendered any logical approach to educating anyone on the wrongs of theft, null and void.

Hence an industry in ruins, surely not spending the lobbying dollars Google will, surely not spending the money or manpower to fight, and living in a constant state of denial.

YouTube did one very good thing for us, it is rendering bit torrent sites obsolete ad archaic.

It will also combat the threat of streaming, such as Spotify, Pandora, etc.
If they are smart and stealth, all they have to do is go to the labels, strike a deal, then remove the iTunes direct button, open their own digital store, and they will take down iTunes as well.

So maybe it’s time for the law makers to stop masturbating in the gray areas of intellectual copyright law and properties, and find that magic button to press play.

Jack Ponti is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, manager, label executive and consultant.

Stay updated with your free Noise11 daily music news letter. Subscribe to Noise11 Music News here

Related Posts

Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl, Photo By Ros O'Gorman
Does Dave Grohl Have The Balls To Change The Music Biz Asks Jack Ponti

Retired music exec, producer, songwriter Jack Ponti has sent an open letter to Dave Grohl asking if he has the Dave’s the right the wrongs of the current music business.

September 3, 2015
Hey Stoopid, Jack Ponti Speaks The Hard Truth Of The Music Biz

Jack Ponti's credits align him with Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, India.Arie, Sebastian Bach, just to name a few.

July 3, 2014