Michael Jackson’s life and death is tragic, i don’t want to touch anyones feelings. But to me, he a symbol for all what was wrong with popular music. Back then, MJ was everywhere, there was no escape, and i hated it. I always was disgusted with this mass hysteria about his all around artificial appearance and his undoubtedly innovative but slick and commercialized art. And now this coincidence in 2009, he suddenly dies, at the same time as the music industry, it’s like a bad orchestration or a twist of fate.
Thanks to hypebot, i found this remarkable post from Umair Haque on Harvard Business Blogs. He calculates MJ’s royalty income to $12M per year, which is a lot of money, but astoundingly low considering MJs outstanding fame:
If the world’s biggest pop star only made $12 million a year from his recordings, why would anyone make serious music? Where did the rest of the money go? Why, straight into record labels’ pockets.
Did they make better music with it? Nope — they made Britney and Lady GaGa. And that’s how they killed themselves: by underinvesting in quality, to rake in the take.
It’s not the web that is responsible for the current desaster of music economy, it is the greed of those who conducted all this. The music industry deserves to disappear.