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The Lefsetz Letter: Welcome To Cluttersville

You won't know right away.

That's what the internet promised, instant response. But now the pipes are clogged with messages and if your project has any virality, you won't see the signals immediately, but rather two days to two weeks to a month later.

Don't confuse this with hype-driven action. With enough publicity you can get something paid attention to, kinda like that initial Lorde single, but it didn't stick. You want to see an acceleration, a ramp.

And when you're done, you still won't be ubiquitous, you see number one is no longer number one.

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.

How can that be you say?

There's a chart! We believe in data! Logic beat out Chris Stapleton last week!

But how many people know who either of those acts are? Never mind the inane metrics that decide the rankings. Multiple streams of one track equal an album and country has lousy streaming numbers and hip-hop rules online.

Confused yet?

I think it was put best by Chris Robinson on the Howard Stern show yesterday.


Huh? Isn't this the frontman of the Black Crowes, with those huge MTV hits, with that tour with Jimmy Page?

But Chris said his wife was his manager and his records don't sell and when asked if his kids wanted to be rock stars he said…

There are no rock stars anymore, just musicians.

Think about that. We've been sold a bill of goods. That everybody could be a star. Not only those on Spotify, but the makeup queens on YouTube, the jokesters on the dearly-departed Vine. Article after article talked about their impact, even though in most cases you'd never heard of these people, and a great percentage have gone back to their day job, or into porn, literally.

So, there's no there there.

Kinda like with D.C., the biggest story extant. It's reported that Donald Trump shared secrets with the Russians and you go to the Fox News website…and it's not even there. Literally. Check it out next time there's a crisis. It's like CNN and Fox are two different world, never mind MSNBC. And isn't it interesting all the stories are being broken by the WaPo and the NYT, we're in a glory era for journalism, it's finally doing its job, once it got over the false equivalencies and Bezos injected capital, but the WSJ is silent, although the WSJ did break the Theranos story.

But the point of all this is if we can't get consensus on the biggest story in our nation, what are the odds we can get consensus on you?

All the tools you used to employ… The late night TV appearances, the feature stories, they don't work. Those hanging on to the last chads of a dying paradigm will still tout NPR and "CBS Sunday Morning," but at best they'll give you a bit of attention, make your core feel good, convince just a few others and then it all stops.

So you're back where you always were, in the business of building your own career.

You're waiting for someone to rescue you, for your one big break, but…


And stunts rarely work and when they do they don't last and…

Amazon celebrated twenty years as a public company and Jeff Bezos attributed its success to a seven year plan in a three year world. Like Fleetwood Mac sang, you've got to go your own way, and they're a good example, it took almost a decade for that band to find the right formula.

And it does take time, and you do have to refine your message, take chances, figure out what works, but when it does…

You will never be as big as you dreamed you'd be. If you're lucky, you will have established a cottage industry, that pays your bills, that allows you some luxuries.

No one is as big as they say they are, never mind how big you think they are. Don't confuse the celebrity industrial complex with true reach. It's all smoke and mirrors, you're on your own now.

But that's not a terrible place to be.

As long as you put your head down and do the work. Put one foot in front of another. And stop dreaming of that rocket ship to success, it no longer exists.