Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Billboard Power 100

This list was published about a month ago, so this is a bit of an old story.  I've been browsing through it from time to time and there is a lot to process. Here are a few random thoughts:

-- Everyone in the top 10 is male, and there are just five women in the top 50.

-- The "I want to fuck you like an animal" guy is the third most powerful person in music as part of a digital sales and streaming conglomerate.  Happiness in slavery indeed!

-- Lucian Grainge, the CEO of UMG, the most dominant music company in the history of the business, and the most powerful person in music according to this ranking, sees himself and his company as underdogs.  No really, he said it!

-- About half of the top ten are in the live music promotion and management side of the business.  That seems about right.

-- The teen pop svengalis like Scooter Braun and agents to the megastars like Jonathan Dickins (Adele's manager) start showing up in the 30's.  These are the people filling the classic, old school management roles, whose job is to make their clients as famous as possible.  None of them make excuses about being underdogs and having to take on multimedia empires and navigate labyrinthian revenue streams to make a living.  Maybe because nobody wants to hear stars and their managers complain about how hard it is to become famous, so they learn to shut up and deal and exude confidence at all times.  But in the upper strata of the list, a good many execs seem to want genius credit for diversifying their business model.  Like in the good old days we could sell millions of CD's and artists could sit at home and make videos, but now we (reluctantly) have to do so much more to make our millions.  Perhaps this is where the underdog mentality comes in -- they've had to leave their comfort zones and adapt in ways that two generations of predecessors haven't, and they see themselves as playing with a disadvantage because of it.

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