I am not socially conservative, but watching the Grammys last night made me feel wildly prudish.  The production seemed unplanned, ...

2018 Grammy Awards Sh*tshow

I am not socially conservative, but watching the Grammys last night made me feel wildly prudish. The production seemed unplanned,  a tad scary, bloated and over budget simply for the sake of being over budget. Hillary Clinton's cameo...that was the best part of the 3.5 hour sh*tshow. 

I feel this is representative of the music industry as a whole. While historically  corporations have had a hand in music and distribution (think>Parlophone>EMI>Universal>Warner), it is my not so humble opinion that since the Napster and iTunes days music has become dominated by the mega-corporation, and has totally evaporated into the hands of three giants (Universal, Warner and Sony). All the labels are housed here and the publishers too. All the money making producers and performers want to go with these labels. Artists who are usually gun-shy and timid to sign contracts will give away newborn children to join the (perceived) cult-club of greatness, but all they really want is cash flow. That cash flow is leveraged against future royalties and subject to nixing over the next M&A deal. Artists don’t notice that. They fail to see they are line items in a budget to a degree, hoodwinked by cool executives moving the goods like a short order cook. Since these leveraged payments need to create revenue, the machine of Warner, Universal-Vivendi and Sony mass market and feed the machines of AEG and Live Nation - both of whom own a staggering amount of production rights and performance venues. This is turn creates a quasi-anti-trust type of activity surrounding broadcast events, in regards to the entertainment spoon fed through those channels. It is licensed by one end and sold to another. If you are ever curious about these claims, just look at the stock exchanges Liberty Media trades on. Any corporate competition deal you want will be cleared in Turkish courts (tounge in cheek Turkey, no hard feelings). Regardless, the leveraged payments are recouped, many times over, and replayed at a loss and resold at discounts, repackaged and sold down the line. The artist gets one lump of money, and then perhaps royalties which will secure payments on the back end. It is as if the Grammy Awards stand for nothing more than that...an assurance to the artists on the rosters of the big corporate labels that there is money to blow, money to spend, and special feelings all around. In reality that money is nothing more than a charade. Music is a becoming a corporate beverage and the big labels are cult destinations for authenticity stripped artists how want cash flow in lew of what used to be record sales. Why should I even add the fact that Apple, Google, Amazon and other  streaming and music tech companies are clogging up the distribution channels to such a degree that we don’t even know where we will be in five - ten years time. 

Despite my irritation with the evaporation of music, I was shocked by the lack of the Grammys authenticity. It turns out I was not the only one...Last nights show was the lowest on record in six years. 

From Variety: Viewership of Sunday’s 60th annual Grammy Awards is down significantly from the 2017 telecast, nabbing the smallest audience in the show’s history in the key demo. In addition, the three and a half hour awards show is averaged a 6.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 19.8 million viewers, according to time zone adjusted numbers. Last year’s show drew a 7.8 and 26.1 million, meaning the 2018 Grammys are currently down nearly 12 percent in the demo and 24 percent in total viewers.
The least-watched Grammys were in 1995, where the 11.25 million viewers tied 1975 for the all-time low.
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