Op-Ed: What We Learned This Year – By Bob Lefsetz

Steve Barnett is a hero. He took Capitol from zero to the top of the heap. Shows what an individual can do.

Sound may be lame on recordings, but it's living large at the Forum, where a dedicated music space has touring acts and SoCal fans smiling. Talk about virality.

Festivals are king. It's still shaking out how many we need, but there will be more.

Warner Music is an enigma.

Publicity is everything. Taylor Swift proved it.

Max Martin is the biggest star in music.

"The Voice" helps the career of the coaches, but does nothing for the acts competing.

You can't get a good ticket unless you know someone, have a credit card which is sponsoring the gig and has a presale or you pay a scalper. Income inequality lives large in the live space.

Electronic music still did not break through. The Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas was the biggest festival in the U.S. but it got a fraction of the press of Coachella and Lollapalooza. Then again, the Sahara Tent at Coachella dominates.

All the money is in the ticketing.

Streaming won, you can tell by the debate. Just like with Napster, when everybody starts talking about it, the new era is here.

YouTube may not dominate. That's the story of the month. How competitors are trying to lock up talent. Once again, it's all about the acts, the acts have all the power. And he who pays most wins. Google's deals suck. Just check their ad shares. No, that's right, you'd rather bitch about Spotify, which pays so much more.

Pop, country and everything else. That's the landscape.

A great record transcends genres. Sam Smith sounds nothing like anything else on the radio, yet it triumphed. The public is hungry for new and different, if it's great.

Samsung was a fad, in phones. Tim Cook knew it was all about profitability, he gets props for that. Furthermore, the iPhone 6 is a gargantuan surprise/success.

Mark Zuckerberg is more than Facebook. He's a force to contend with. His purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram illustrate that he not busy born is busy dying.

Jeff Bezos has revolutionized the "Washington Post," it shows what money can do. It was the "Post" that broke the UVA/"Rolling Stone"/Jackie snafu. Proving once again that well-paid professionals with experience trump amateurs every day. You can have an opinion, but without facts you're irrelevant. Which is why TV news is dying and all the online only news outlets have high valuations but don't move the needle.

Data is everything. Nate Silver ushered in the era. But never forget, in art data is irrelevant, it's all about inspiration.

In an era with no credibility, the one hit wonder is king.

We live in an on demand culture. People want everything at their fingertips instantly. Which is why we're going to day and date in movies and the concept of windowing in music is fallacious. If you won't sell it to me right away, I'll steal it, never forget that. Your business model is not sacred, just ask television outlets.

We live in a mobile world. Everyone's wired and connected. Sell to the handset.

Price matters. Otherwise, everybody would not be leaving AT&T and Verizon for the inferior T-Mobile. I love John Legere, but anybody with T-Mobile is just cheap. Because you want a high speed connection everywhere, and T-Mobile does not deliver this.

Usability is everything. Instagram just trumped Twitter because it's comprehensible. We want instant news, but we want it in a format we can understand.

It's so hard to break through in music, that when you do you and your record last.

Art is just a pawn in the game. As illustrated by the Amazon/Hachette war. It's the writers who suffered. However, this was a corporate battle fought in secret. We never learned what the deal points were, it's hard to side with the old institutions that say they support the artist but really are out for themselves.

Money. Either you have it or you're envious of those who do.

Lucian Grainge is God

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