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THE LEFSETZ LETTER: History/Longevity


The Major Labels

I really thought they were going to survive. But they've fumbled the future again and again. They sued their customers, they put FBI warnings on their products, what are they, a branch of the GOVERNMENT?

You're in business with your customers. And the major labels have messed their customers again and again. To the point where trust cannot be rebuilt.

Furthermore, instead of producing a broad swath of material such that every demo and desire is covered, the majors are purveying lowest common denominator crap in the hope of lassoing a large chunk of ignorant consumers, who show no loyalty, who aren't really even music fans.

Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

The list goes on and on. Pricing, failure to develop a

reasonable online strategy. The mismanagement is staggering. You wonder how the horse and buggy business died, just watch the major label paradigm for a repeat.

More music for more people. That's what technology allows. But the majors want to sell less product to the same number of people. That's denying the future.

The majors' strength is distribution. They should play that card as opposed to laying out zillions of dollars to break faux artists. Just charge at the toll, where the transaction is made, provide back office work for pennies for EVERYBODY! And that which gets traction, cut a deal with the act to pump in marketing money for a GREATER piece of the action. Hell, publishing is a penny business and look at the value of THOSE entities!



Intellectual property is priceless. Literally, not everybody can create it, and that which is good delivers revenue for as long as the law allows.

It is the COPYRIGHT HOLDERS who are refusing to capitalize on new technologies. People are stealing the wares because the owners WON'T SELL THEM TO THEM!

It would be like Dell saying you had to buy a computer over the Net or phone and get lousy service from India. As opposed to buying a Mac and being able to ask questions for FREE at a retail establishment. Hell, HP is kicking Dell's butt because people want to buy in a store, they don't want to wait.

In other words, you've got to follow the ever changing market.

The movie companies are trying to combat demand. Hell, if someone wants to download a 90 minute movie, CHARGE THEM! Don't say their desire is wrong.

The gears are turning ever so slowly. Theft is rampant. But that doesn't mean the rights are worthless, anything but. They dropped the price of video and demand increased, i.e. the switch from VHS to DVD. Lower the price even further and MORE people will want the wares. As for music…music WROTE the paradigm.

Toyota sells cars the people want. Detroit manufactures cars without orders and then tries to convince the public to buy them. SELL THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!