Rap Coalition

A HOW-TO RESOURCE FOR RAP ARTISTS, PRODUCERS, & DJs. Since knowledge is power, here is your best defense to succeed in the urban music industry...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Labels Must Become Managers
By, Bob Lefsetz

The vaunted 360 deal is basically a land grab. Challenged financially, major
labels are forcing acts to fork over interests in ancillary rights, most notably
touring and merchandise, and delivering almost nothing in return. The future
company will have in-house or subcontracted companies that deliver these
services. What was seen as a label today will be a quarterback tomorrow.

This is why Guy Hands is so stupid.

Guy Hands can only see capital. There's an asset, primarily EMI's catalog. How
can he maximize revenue from this, at the same time breaking new acts cheaply.
But no one wants to sign with a label that's cash-poor, with few employees.
Musicians want a full service stop. And that's Irving's play.

Irving wants to turn the business upside down. He wants to put all the power in
the hands of the acts. The press is focusing on ticketing fees. That's like
analyzing the Iraq war based on the food shipped to the troops. It's an
important consideration, but not the essence.

At risk in the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger is not Seth Hurwitz and the other
independent promoters, nor the ignorant ticket-buyer who doesn't realize that
all the best seats are NEVER available, but the labels. If this merger goes
through, the labels will become second-class citizens essentially overnight.
Sure, Irving will do a deal with Interscope or Sony or...whoever ponies up a ton
of bread. And believe me, the labels will pay, they need talent for their
pipelines. Which is why they should shut down and become licensing companies.
Because the path they are on is one of destruction.

In order to compete with Irving, you've got to become Irving, you've got to
become a manager!

Sure, you need marketing and promotion people. But what you need most is
vision, of a team that is in business with the act, that shares in the upside
and is not guaranteed compensation. Right now, the label and the act are
adversaries. If the act hits, the label gets rich and the act becomes famous.
In addition to this fame, you used to be able to make bread on the road. Now
the label wants a piece of that! Not an attractive deal.

But what if the label took a percentage. And had a merch company. As for being
the agent, there is a finicky California law, but there are ways to get around
it. Yes, labels must be reconstituted, as opposed to being fat cats they must
be headed by people like Irving, Cliff Burnstein and the myriad of indie
managers like Bruce Allen and Gary Borman.

That goes for indie labels too. If all you're doing is putting out records,
you've got me scratching my head. If you need to make the band's manager a
partner, so be it. You've got to have all the rights to make this work. In
order to be nimble, in order to make a profit.

Terry McBride had the theories right, he was just too early and sans enough hit
acts. Furthermore, how happy can an act be if its manager is flying around the
world playing the role of star himself?

Rather than being forces of nature, heads of labels/managers must be relatively
faceless. To the average Metallica fan, Cliff Burnstein is a credit on the
album. He's not making pronouncements. Even Irving is not grubbing for
publicity. The act is the star, not the handler!

We've got to move away from the record being the prime driver. This does not
mean music should be free, but sometimes it has to be, to help spread the word.

A new partnership would look like the one Trent Reznor has with Jim Guerinot.
There's no need for a traditional label.

But not every act is a visionary like Trent. So you've got to stock your
company with people who can provide these services, everything from iPhone apps
to exotic online marketing initiatives. You must invest money, managers always
do, but there cannot be a huge advance and the act cannot be screwed.

This is where we are going. Are you smart enough to get on the bus?

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By, Bob Lefsetz

If only tracks had cost a nickel, or a dime. Do you really think everybody
would have jumped through hoops to steal them?

Pretty soon, music's gonna be free. Call that Spotify. As for labels pulling
Spotify licenses, isn't that like the government enacting Prohibition? It would
be one thing if no one had ever gotten drunk, if the effects of alcohol were not
known. But once they were, people needed to get high, damn the law.

So I just don't understand this ten year period. What did the rights holders

That the public doesn't care about internal bickering? That licenses require
publishers and labels to agree on terms, and they can't?

That ten years of revenue not only went uncollected, but never will be?

That's why the rights holders are fucked. They continue to live in a world they
want to see, not the one that actually exists. Eric Garland proffered at NARM
that the rights holders were not prepared for terabyte transfers offline. I.e.
hard drive swapping. As for three strikes laws, intimidating both ISPs and
traders, oops, there's a question of legality. As the French court said, you
can't mess with someone's basic rights without a full legal proceeding.

When are the rights holders going to get off their high horses and realize
they're in the pit with their customers. That the day of dictation is over.
Or, are they going to be like their brethren in the newspaper business, crying
it's just not fair until the very end. And even Letterman took a cut when he
re-upped with CBS. Network ratings aren't what they used to be, and ad revenues
certainly are not.

Rights holders could have reaped revenue for a decade, and then sold consumers
the same damn tracks all over again. Instead, they fought downloading until it
became streaming. This is like losing out on the revenue of cassettes waiting
for the CD.

End result? Labels will have less power and less income. Why go with the major
label who will restrict you, yet want to take all the revenue?

Today it's not about being married to the past, but fighting for your place in
the present. iPhone has to adapt, even lower prices, to compete with not only
the Palm Pre, but Android and RIM. As for Nokia... Remember when everybody had
one in the U.S? I don't know anybody who's got a Nokia phone today. And
Motorola is going down the tubes. Their RAZR was a one hit wonder. They booked
tons of revenue for a short period of time, now what?

Point is, Apple tells app writers to price their iPhone programs extremely
cheaply, to make them impulse buys. As a result, a billion apps have been
downloaded in a month, and irrelevant of the revenue generated, it's these apps
that have made the iPhone such a dominant platform.

Let me explain this to you... The more people who have your music on their hard
drive, the more people who want to see you live and buy your merch and keep your
career going.

If you're overpriced like the Pre, and no one wants to utilize the declining
Sprint, you're dragged down the drain.

Most people can't figure out how to steal. Napster was easy, even KaZaA, but
BitTorrent is too daunting for them and the RIAA anti-piracy campaign has got
them afraid to steal. Yes, the RIAA campaign worked! It took millions and
millions of people who were consuming mass quantities of music via Napster
completely out of the game. Left them with their money and time to watch TV,
buy DVDs and play video games.

The way you deal with shrinking margins is to cut costs, not to raise prices.
Raising prices when your product can be obtained for free is like charging
$100,000 for a Hummer. Huh?

Utterly ridiculous.


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From Moby (To Bob Lefsetz)

How's it going?

The album just came out and it would be #1 euro charts if not for michael
jackson re-releases.

So that's good.

But here's something funny: the best selling itunes track is 'shot in the back
of the head'.

Why is that funny?

Because its the track we've been giving away for free for the last 2 months and
that we're still givng away for free.


How are you?


Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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The TuneCore Deal
By, Bob Lefsetz

So what we've got here is a Universal alliance that allows the music
conglomerate a chance to pick up nascent acts, merging them into their system
with all its advantages. Huh?

That's the problem here. No one knows what acts are successful! We've got to
get that data, we've got to get inside, so we know what's happening. If
ANYTHING is happening everybody with an ear to the ground knows it immediately.
So I don't see the advantage to Universal here. Nor do I see the advantage to
acts. If you've got some success and you want to go with a major label is the
problem that you don't have a preexisting relationship? Are you kidding? Every
single major will take a meeting with anybody who can demonstrate sales success.
Their problem is wading through the wannabes who want to get signed, get a ton
of cash with NO track record. Furthermore, so many of today's acts with a track
record DON'T want a major label deal. Why give up all that action to be told
what to do, giving up the lion's share of the profits along the way?

As for selling CDs in Guitar Center... Wow, how eighties! We sell them at
Whole Foods, we sell them at convenience stores, that's the problem, that's why
revenue sucks, people have nowhere to buy CDs! Absolutely ridiculous. To turn
Tunecore into a backward-looking operation is like using your iPhone to
calculate when your typewriter ribbon will run out. Huh?

If only there were some true innovation here. What if Universal offered
something more than the usual "rich and famous" contract.
What if Universal was in partnership with ALL the bands on Tunecore and offered
unique opportunities?

That's how dumb Universal is. In order to truly enter the twenty first century
and profit they must be a distributor for ALL, skimming a tiny profit on each.
A great musician is usually a lousy businessman. Rather than try to rape the
player, offer him something he can't do himself. Like a Website where not only
do you sell his music, but you sell merch, facilitate contests and giveaways,
where you generate additional revenue beyond recorded music!

That's the opportunity. Stop crying in your beer about iTunes. Give me one
site where I can buy ALL my music-related stuff. That's what Ticketmaster wants
to do with its Live Nation merger. That's the play. Maybe even give away the
music with the sale of a concert ticket, but also sell merch as part of the same
transaction. But what if you're a wannabe band, just starting out, and
Frontline won't manage you and Live Nation won't promote you? Who's your friend
then? Some of these acts will be successful...who's gonna start out on the
ground floor with them and help them? Believe me, Universal is no help. Have
you seen one of their contracts? And now they want a piece of EVERYTHING, not
only recorded music. Blows my mind that they've got no vision of the future
other than saying we're best at selling music the old way! Isn't that what Doug
and Jimmy are doing? We'll get you in front of millions and make you a success,
and now not only will you get screwed on recordings, you'll get screwed on live
appearances...what a deal!

Someone's gonna roll up the new acts. And based on this Tunecore deal, one can
say Universal will not be the one. You're gonna need someone who can see the
future. Who sees that a ton of pennies is worth more than a few dollars. Who
sees the future is about partnership with the acts, with transparent accounting
and fair deals. Michael Jackson called Tommy Mottola the devil and he was
making more money selling records than anybody!

But he wasn't making as much as CBS/Sony.

As long as Universal believes it's entitled to the lion's share of the revenue,
while offering nothing new, nothing innovative, nothing helpful in this new
digital era, the company is laughable.

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Perez Hilton's Label Deal
By, Bob Lefsetz

Oh stop whining. He earned it. By doing everything you won't.

He used his own money to start a site made in his own vision, compromising not a
whit, to the point where Warner Brothers was attracted to him. Are you really
creating unique music, doing it your way, making money to the point where the
majors come knocking on your door?

It's an American story. Guy stumbles on to business idea, perfects it and rides
the glory all the way to..?

I'm not sure. Perez is famous. He's making money now. But he's under the
illusion that people truly care about him. They don't care about him, they care
about gossip. And once Perez stops slewing the gossip, adding his unique brand
of commentary atop it, almost no one's going to care. Hell, they're going to
care even less than they do about his vaunted Madonna's acting career!

You see Perez Hilton is a twenty first century train-wreck. Who's hopefully
intelligent enough to know his days are numbered. He didn't put 10,000 hours
into perfecting anything, he just stumbled into the spotlight and wants to stay
there. Like that evil doctor on "Big Brother" and that nasty couple who won
"Survivor". Huh? Who?

Exactly the point. In order to last, you've got to have substance. Depth.
Something that appeals to people that they don't think they can do themselves.
Kind of like Google. Everybody wanted a search engine that could deliver the
results they wanted, they just didn't put in the years in math class learning
how to write the algorithms! Perez is far from dumb. But talented?

As for his deal with Warner... Do you know anything about human nature? Do you
really think Perez is going to trash Warner acts now that he's in business with
the company? Do you really think he's not going to hype their acts? Shit, they
should have done the deal earlier! If nothing else, Perez is going to be
sitting in Warner offices, hearing what they're hyping, and he'll be prone to
hype it too. After all, we live in an attention economy. And suddenly, Warner
has Perez Hilton's attention!

As for the deal...

Come on, is that what you really want? A deal with Warner Brothers? Isn't that
like the aforementioned Google selling out to Microsoft? If you establish a
beachhead, you build upon it, expanding your own empire. If you truly believe
in yourself.

Perez thinks he's got an ear for talent. Let's just say he does. That's a
small percentage of the overall pie in an act's success. Does Perez know
anything else about winning in the music business? Hell, supposedly his
partners at Warner do. But how long until he says one thing and Warner says
another? If he's so confident, why doesn't he go into business by himself?
Tying up with Ian Rogers at Topspin as opposed to a major label.

But Topspin's not going to bankroll you, it's just an apparatus to effect your
success, allowing you to do it yourself. The story is not sexy, there's no
gossip column angle. In other words, Perez is completely old school! Yes, for
a guy who claims not to care what people think about him, who thinks he's
playing by his own rules, he's playing by twentieth century rules!

He could use some of that $72,000 a day advertisers pay to be on his site to
break his own bands. And own everything. Emulate another gay hero, David
Geffen. Do you really think if Geffen was starting out today he'd go into
business with Edgar Bronfman, Jr. or Doug Morris? No way. Or, if he did, he'd
want the lion's share of the money. But that's one of the things Geffen does
best, sidle up to you, making you think he's your best friend and then executing
a lucrative deal. Perez is not famous for negotiating. He's just famous!

I wish him no ill will. But there's a date on success like his. There's no
core in what he's selling. It's all flash and no substance. And last I
checked, it's hard to profit in the music world on flash. You can sell a
single, not an album, and no one wants to see you live. In other words, would
you rather be in business with Kings Of Leon, not even ubiquitous enough to be
parodied on Perez's site, or Flo Rida? Flo Rida might have a hit...but in an
era where so many people don't know what's atop the chart and just don't care.

Watch the movie. That's what you're paying for, with your eyeballs, going to
his site. Watch Perez navigate the entertainment industry, creating a new
paradigm of fame, just like John Mayer. But John Mayer took a year off from
high school to study the guitar, he went to Berklee, he paid a great deal of
dues. Perez listened to a lot of records. Welcome to the club! If that's all
that was required, we'd all be rich record executives. But knowing how to
navigate the corridors of business, knowing everything from airplay to
distribution to endorsements to...that's how you gain money and power in the
music business.

Hell, Perez would have been better off going into business with Terry McBride,
who understands the new game yet is lacking a working superstar. Perez could
have done it different.

But he chose not to. He chose to play the same old game.

And you're pissed he stole your opportunity?

I'm laughing at you, not him. At least he built something and tried. You're
just bitching the world wasn't handed to you on a silver platter.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

The Death Of Traditional Media
By, Bob Lefsetz

The story was broken on TMZ and spread on Twitter. Not only was the straight media caught flat-footed, stating that it was playing by traditional rules, waiting for confirmation, it let TMZ continue to own the story.

In other words, in the future, if a story is breaking, you will not go to nytimes.com. You'll fire up TMZ, or maybe CNN.com, which provided heavily-watched video of the inauguration and the Presidential debates, instead.

When newspapers were the only game in town they could survive by being all things to all people. But that model has evaporated, as quickly as the concept of the ubiquitous pop star. We don't want that which appeals to everybody, we want that which appeals to us!

I get three physical newspapers a day. But like the commentator said on the "Daily Show", it's "aged news" (http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=230076&title=end-times). The "New York Times" was so stupid as to let Jason Jones inside their building, not realizing they'd be ridiculed. These are the people we want reporting our news?

And the old saw that websites just repost the stories of traditional reporters... Well, that was blown out of the water by TMZ. TMZ has its own sources, does its own reporting. If there's a gossip story, that's where I'm going. Even Perez Hilton doesn't realize the change. He's been relegated to commentator status. He's become niche overnight. We want the gossip facts, and for that information we're going to the source, TMZ. If Perez wants to compete he's got to hire reporters, pay off tipsters. Now he's what he's become. A self-promoting tyke. Perez is famous, he's created a mini-industry where he gets on TV and sells books. He's a star. Hopefully, he's happy. Because he's no longer the king of gossip.

So do one thing incredibly well.

Not only did the traditional media miss the Michael Jackson story, it didn't own it. And it's not only the newspapers, but TV. We didn't want others' opinions, we wanted the story! The story wasn't Lou Ferrigno talking about working out, but what drugs truly killed Michael Jackson. Give credit to the AP, they got an exclusive with Michael's nutritionist, about the anesthetic. On TV, we got has-been celebrities talking about their distant memories.

So good riddance to newspapers. Who were too stupid to know that the landscape had changed and too stupid to change with it.

If the "New York Times" is so good, why didn't they put a whole team of professionals on this story, who could have ferreted out the details we wanted to know? Why didn't they put a box on their homepage, linking us to a plethora of stories? The L.A. "Times" tried the latter, but failed, because they had almost no reporting. We're supposed to support you after you fire everybody? No way.

TMZ stayed on the story. Even when scooped by the AP, they didn't ignore the anesthesia story, but reported it.

We got the news we wanted, with deep reporting.

That's what we want now. Incredible depth about what we're interested in.

Don't load your band's website with an entrance page and tons of Flash. That's good for people who go once! But true fans go multiple times and are frustrated by the delay. Make your site fast, with a constant stream of new information displayed, so people will come back and get what they want. This is how labels blew it on the web. They didn't exploit their own sites, and the public went elsewhere. As for labels, are they that different from newspapers? Is there really a need for one company which releases product in a multitude of genres? It made sense in the era of physical distribution, when terrestrial radio was king. But haven't we seen that trying to be all things to all people in the internet era is a failed strategy? If you're going to consolidate acts, have a pop label, or a metal label, get people to be fans of your label the same way those interested in gossip are fans of TMZ.

The Album Is Dead

How come no one is writing this story? That Michael Jackson sold so few albums in the wake of his death?


MJ only sold 422,000 albums. But he sold 2.3 million individual tracks!

Now that album figure is physical and digital combined. 225,000 were digital. And there was only so much physical product in the stores. But it turns out that online people only want the single!

Are you getting this? A legendary artist, with at least two classic albums, and most people just want to cherry-pick the singles.

Even more fascinating is that through Wednesday, the "Thriller" video had been streamed more than 8.5 million times online.

In other words, are the labels' woes related to piracy or a changing marketplace?

Turns out for many a view of the "Thriller" video was better than owning the track.

And those who need tracks, who are paying for the privilege, don't want to buy a bundle, but just what they desire.

So, if you're making albums, know that you're making them for the core. Everyman might like a single, but he doesn't want the album. You could say he's been burned by too many filler cuts packaged at too high a price, but I'd say it's got more to do with time. Who's got the time to listen to an hour of music that you're not truly interested in when there are all these other diversions that fascinate you?

If you're a pop act, you're screwed. Because no one thinks your albums are any good. Despite a few exceptions, most people believe the touring rock acts, who've been at it for years, are the ones creating a body of work that is worth owning and investigating. The pop single is an evanescent artifact. It's hard to reap huge financial rewards on evanescent artifacts. In other words, the web might kill the pop star. Video killed the rock star and replaced him with a pop star, the web is bringing the rock star back. Someone who knows how to play, who you bond with based on his music and identity as opposed to his looks and his hired creative posse is positioned well for the future.

And that future will involve multiple revenue streams in order to make your money. Not just recorded music, but live and merch and fan clubs. It's not about ripping people off, but charging them to get closer!

Joe Jackson's Faux Pas

You screw up on video, it lives forever.

Hyping your new business venture at the BET Awards when your son just died is not only in poor taste, your faux pas lives in perpetuity online, tainting you.

The era of hype, of self-promotion, of acts going on the MTV Video Music Awards and telling you to buy their new album, are done. We don't want to see you sell. We want you to create great shit that sells itself. We determine what's worthwhile. If your hype is better than your product, you're screwed.

Kind of like Josh Freese. Brilliant marketing. Has anybody listened to his music, does anybody care?

Start at 3:25 if you don't want to watch the whole clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H27665VPRmQ&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo%2Egoogle%2Ecom%2Fvideosearch%3Fclient%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%2Dus%26q%3Djoe%2520jackson%2520bet%2520awards%26oe%3DUTF%2D8%26um%3D1%26ie%3DUTF%2D8%26sa%3DN%26hl%3Den%26tab&feature=player_embedded


Everybody knows who MIchael Jackson was. Today many don't know what the number one record is and don't care. There's a chart, but it's a sideshow. Asking someone to recite the Top Ten is like asking them to name the ten best Little League teams. Parents care about their kids' teams, but it ends there. The machine foisting these concoctions upon the public just doesn't realize that most people don't care. It's not about making them care, eradicating piracy, but what the public cares about! You can't castigate the public, you must entice it! You must earn people's attention. And then respect them in the ongoing relationship. Rip a person off once, and not only will you lose that individual as a customer, you'll lose a whole swath of the public when that person tells everybody he knows online.

We're living in a changed universe. The web enables ubiquity, but how many people will want to buy a Susan Boyle album, even a single, in five years? Two years? One? There's train-wreck value, but not lasting value.

We may never have mass grieving for a pop star again. It's the end of an era.

That's the story here. We're not only mourning Michael Jackson, we're mourning MTV, Top Forty radio, albums and our collective youth. Memories are great, but the old days are not coming back.

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Music Industry’s Refusal to Breed New Talent, Cripples it
By, Kevin Ross from Radio Facts
July 5, 2009 · Posted in radio facts

Over the last decade the music industry has been on a downward spiral ever since Napster reared its ugly head in 1998. The record labels took a hard hit as millions of participants downloaded and uploaded free music on a peer to peer network set up by of all things… a college student named Shawn Fanning. Shawn was very smart and very dumb. He was a computer programmer and the setup of the system was ingenious but he didn’t set it up where he could make a profit. He was shut down by court order and later sold the brand and logo and even though the company is still in business today, it immediately lost its appeal when users had to now pay for the service. Has the industry learned its lesson since then? Security companies often hire criminals to help them make their systems more secure. Why didn’t the labels hire Shawn? The industry should have seen this coming after all, the industry created mp3 technology a couple of years before Napster came along. Instead of utilizing this kind of talent, the industry spent millions fighting against the technology. A fight that is still going on today but it’s now coupled with slow record sales.

If the record labels have suffered, radio has taken an even harder hit. The lost profits from file sharing all but shut down artist’s promotions for many stations, which were not almost fully owned by corporations on the urban side like Radio One and Clear Channel. Trade magazines died and the frivolous spending came to a screeching halt. Industry parties, conferences and trade ads with labels bragging about their chart position all died simultaneously around 2002.

Radio corporations realized they were not going to be able to incorporate massive incomes from the labels which was what attracted several of them to purchase mass stations in the first place and they had to come up with other ways to garner revenue. Radio One owner Cathy Hughes raised eyebrows in the early 2000s when she went national with a campaign to stop programmers from receiving payola starting with her stations. Her statement was, (paraphrasing) ‘Why should I pay them and they are getting money from other sources to play music on my stations?’ The other corporations didn’t touch that one publicly and Cathy stood alone in the media but the other corporations followed suit. They made stringent rules and watched programmers like hawks to make sure the programmers were not earning revenue that could be directly going to the station. In addition they stripped programmers of creative duties like nurturing new talent by giving them extra responsibilities.

Urban radio, it is said is 75% syndication today and even though the numbers for those shows in several markets are impressive, these syndicated shows are cancerous to the urban radio format. Why? urban radio has always been the leader in creating trends. Networks like MTV have made millions from realizing the trend over the last few decades when other networks refused to utilize research that clearly indicated black kids in urban communities created the trends that white suburban kids adopted. Hip Hop remains the prime example.

Urban radio in the 60s, 70, and even the 80s created trends, radio stars and was a make or break platform for new artists. When corporations took over the urban radio landscape and hired constipated consultants who didn’t know anything about the urban lifestyle and trends (even several of the conservative black consultants) it was the first nail in the coffin of urban radio’s creative edge. Consultants for urban radio are like the worst bacteria in your system causing the most putrid smelling diarrhea you can imagine. Most consultants for urban radio are old and dated and if you asked them who the top rapper is they would say Will Smith. They WAIT for trends instead of creating them, they advised urban radio on which announcers to use and the announcers were almost always what we call in the industry “liner-driven robots” or “Yuckers” which basically means arrogant jocks who enjoy hearing their own voice in their headphones and don’t ever really say much of anything of substance but the call letters of the station and reading public service announcements or station promotions.

These types of announcers come a dime a dozen are are about as exciting as watching water run out of the faucet. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, other trends were created to continue to rape urban radio’s creative edge. Voicetracking, (basically liner-driven robots and yuckers who announce for several stations in different markets) and syndication.

Urban radio syndication is not all bad but it’s certainly not all good. Dominating 75% of urban radio’s landscape is unacceptable and so few of the shows are creative or have hosts under 40. Syndication is killing urban radio because it is a direct hit on the development of local talent and urban radio’s (former) winning, trend-creative edge. Tom Joyner has been on over 10 years. In that time there were literally hundreds of potential urban jocks who could have started a lucrative career and they would have risen through the ranks to be a programmer at the end of that 10 years. Tom is almost 60 and his show is about as funny as a cold cup of coffee. He’s not breaking new music, he’s not creating stars and he’s not breeding new talent. Code Blue on the urban industry… CODE BLUE. In addition his presence, and others like him in the urban radio landscape, has not only stifled the development of new morning show talent but it has also halted the birth of new urban programmers in more than a decade. AT LEAST Tom is a radio veteran….

Comedians who are basically frustrated with Hollywood’s racist practices and their inability to find suitable work have found an ally in urban radio. Corporations like Radio One, Clear Channel and radio consultants TRAINED urban radio announcers to be robots and to not have personalities and then punished them for it by hiring out of work comedians who didn’t have to abide by those rules. There is currently an overdose of syndicated show flooding the urban radio market with more to come.

In the 60s and 70s urban radio announcers were STARS. They were allowed to program their own shows, book their own gigs and they probably made more money THEN then the urban announcers make today 25 to 40 years later. That practice was halted when radio stations realized they were forking over too much potential revenue to announcers who had too much power. So consultants and corporations stripped them of their self esteem by removing all opportunities to shine and making idiotic statements like “The Music is the Star.”

Corporate greed has stifled the growth of the urban industry and while corporations complain about the lack of advertising revenue and the Performance Tax issue they fail to look at what they produce. When the economy is tight, advertisers spend money where it’s most effective. What’s the answer to all that the industry is currently going through? Sometimes the answer is in the question: The industry will start growing… when the industry starts GROWING.

Kevin Ross/Radio Facts