Aug 18, 2010

Panic Radio: Mandate FM on Phones

Old Music Biz wants mandated FM on mobile devices

Broadcasters & Labels: "They don't hate us, they miss us!"

Panic or Insanity? Who ya got?

Big Music reared its ugly ahead again today, with yet another pitiful attempt to stop the clock on the rapidly changing technology and media time shifts. Watching as the base of your age old empire of iron man rule continues to crumble at your feet cannot be an easy thing to experience. I've never been there myself but I do know from history that the reaction in such scenarios is just about always the same. Panic!

Panic rules as well dressed henchmen deployed by the major broadcasting networks and music labels are now descending on Capitol Hill to squeeze their latest shakedown into the proper political channels, waving fistfuls of campaign contributions in the air as bait as they scramble through the hallways and meal houses of DC.

But this particular idea that they've been unleashed to peddle is such a doozy that it just might signal a different transition: not the one from greed to panic, but one from panic to insanity. Think of when that one single moment in time occurred, that point where despots like Nero, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and all the others first went over the edge into pure madness – and consider now that Big Music might be right there in that very place today. Welcome to the club, fellas; dues can be paid in the back room.

That new push is this: to mandate, thru legislation, that FM radio chips be included (as standard equipment) in all portable devices, including cell phones. The internal thinking must go like this: “nobody's listening to us on radio any more, so maybe if we force them to own a micro-radio they will start listening to us again.“ Umm; OK.

“It gives consumers access to more music choices,”
said a pitiful Yes Man or the National Association of Broadcasters.

OK, insert that funny sound of an a spinning record coming to a scratching halt right here, please. Then; someone tell me when the radio and music conglomerates ever gave a rats ass about music choices? Unless you define choice here as being which one of Clear Channel's 900 stations you want to dial into to see who's playing the latest Lady Gaga hit at this very moment. There's a choice for you, I guess.

But there's what they've got going right now to right their ship. Quite the plan: fight this crazy thing called the New Digital Order, with its array of new alternatives to the consumption of music, by pretending that the old broadcast/push model somehow not only deserves a plate at the Free Market table, but that plate should be guaranteed forever – even if the host has asked you to leave!

Memo to Big Music: the universe is voting with its ears to move away from your corrupt and broken machine. The veil has been lifted, your scandal has been uncovered and you can't possibly get that old girlfriend back now. In fact, chasing her into her new boyfriend's house never does anyone a whole lot of good and will likely just hasten your being cleared completely from her contact list. The glory days are gone, the big league dream is over and you're back to working at the hardware store. Deal with it without embarrassing yourself

Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Association rightfully deemed this nonsense as being the "height of absurdity. Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do," he said.

In these quarters, it's more akin to requiring that all books include a version that is written in Latin. You know, just in case.

So: panic or insanity? Who ya got?




Sam the Sham said...

I worked at an area Clear Channel station for 1 year and a half. I am still trying to get the stink out of my hair.

Drummer Boi said...

Im looking foward to your upcoming on the royalities distributiuon. Will it be on here or in some of the other places you publish?

Anonymous said...

Un. real .