Friday, March 18, 2016

Lesson 1: don't trash plan A before checking plan B works

That creative work for Sinfini Music came from Studio Output. This creative shop's client list numbers a slew of BBC brands including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and J.K. Rowling's personal company Pottermore. Studio Output's credentials presentation features its work for Sinfini, but makes no mention of the project's failure and closure. Presumably because the Sinfini work is considered a success by the creative shop; which would have received a generous non-performance related fee for its work paid from the millions that were squandered on the aborted website. Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream nailed it in a recent interview:
I have zero expectations for the music industry. [Labels] beholden to shareholders... only invest in Ellie Goulding or puppet girl singers or boybands they know they can make a killing on. They'll never invest in art, they're not artistically driven people... It's impossible to earn a living from making records unless you're Adele.
More lessons from the failure of Sinfini via this link.

Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Philip Amos said...

Bobby Gillespie's observations have given me to think. I've never known the financial structure of CAMI or the gargantuan media conglomerates and others of that ilk. It is a matter way out of my bailiwicks, so I rather suspect I wouldn't understand it if I saw it. I suspect I'm not intended to. But two thoughts on the issue pop into mind. First, I'm immensely curious as to the fate of laws governing the activities of corporations passed in the U.S. and in Westminster circa 1890-1910. One simple point as an example: corporations had to submit a clear statement of the entity's purpose, and it could thereafter only pursue that one purpose, i.e, getting your papers stamped to import sugar did not at once give you the right to buy up shoe factories or manufacture baby powder. There I am thinking of Britain.

An example from the U.S.: All corporations were required to have a mission statement and to list those they served. In the 50s, such statements from the likes of GE, Chrysler, etc., differed little one from another. First they served their customers, then employees, then the local community, the larger community, and some way down we come to "shareholders".

I should hazard that the sea change started with a slight swell around 1960, and all these laws have fallen into legal desuetude, but not because they were obsolete; rather, because they were no longer enforced. They are still on the books, though, and I remember that every time some character appears before us to to justify a 'downsizing' or 'outsourcing' by telling us that, "We must consider the interests of our shareholders".

But Gillespie's comment reminds me that I'm not sure even that bold-faced statement is what they are doing. This is because it seems that these 'shareholders' are more often than not the executives of the corporations, including the one making the announcement. Remember all those stock options. And legally, an executive, whether a shareholder or not, is a 'stakeholder'.

The above is the simple line of thought that led me to a simple thought: I've never thought about the financial structure of CAMI. Or Sinfini. Or DGG today. Perhaps when Gillespie speaks of "shareholders" he's unknowingly referring to what are, in fact, 'stakeholders'. I must stop here, else I shall get out of my depth, for I haven't researched this and don't intend to. My superstructure is fragile, and I'm not stooping to researching Economics (Oz inhabited by a horde of wizards) or Finance (most of the greatest experts on which live in country-club prisons, so they can't be that expert, obviously). I should simply like to know the very basic structure of corps in the music world, corps in all areas thereof, and who really owns them, for whom they really speak.