Hello, and welcome to the class. Glad you’re here. Before we dig in, let’s talk a little bit about what this class is and what it is not, what to expect, and so on. I am assuming you already watched the promo video for the class, so you already know what the scope will be – basically, from the issues of intellectual property in music industry, music licensing and publishing, to live music industry, recording industry, relevant marketplace and commercial issues, and so on. Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are heading in the industry. All the things we need to know in order to begin understanding the music industry as a cultural and commercial phenomenon, and if interested, to begin participating in it and exploring it even deeper, academically or professionally. What this course is NOT, is a magic potion for the success in the music industry. And it’s not a music course. It’s a music INDUSTRY course. And even if it was a music course, no course could write gripping lyrics for you. It couldn’t compose haunting melodies and hooks for you. It couldn’t produce a stellar recording for you. It couldn’t practice your guitar, or your keyboard, or your singing for you. It couldn’t perform a great solo for you. You get a picture. You got to do that for yourself. Or you got to inspire and motivate, and discover that, in others you are working with, if you are strictly a music entrepreneur and not an artist. And just like no music course can write that great song for you, no music industry course can sell that song for you. It can’t market, distribute, license, network, or promote for you. You got to do that yourself. Or at least you have to learn what is needed to be done, and who in the industry does what, how, and why, and then partner with them to do it for you. But from the position of awareness and understanding. And that’s what this course does. It provides you with that necessary awareness and understanding. Like its title suggests, GPS for Today’s Music Industry. It is a positioning system to help you navigate through the industry’s field, to help you not get lost on its numerous paths but to find your own in it. It is here to help you understand industry’s ways, methods, and practices, in a threefold way: one - by making you familiar with its past, its roots, its DNA if you will, which is where all we have and do in the industry today comes from; two - by making you aware of its present state, regulations, and lay of the land, which is where we operate today; and three – led by the lessons from our past and present, to look into what tomorrow may bring, and what curves might lie ahead; what needs to be corrected and modified, what fights still need to be fought and won, in the legislature and in the market place, so the industry can thrive in our ever changing and ever expanding universe of digital technology, networking, and communications. And how about that big elephant in the music industry lounge? You know, the one about the music industry dying, being at its deathbed, breathing it’s last. How digital is killing it, the Internet is killing it, MP3 is killing it, file sharing is killing it. Actually, strictly speaking, it’s not the elephant in the room, because that would mean that ALL know it but NO ONE speaks about it…and EVERYONE speaks about THIS issue. Those who should, and those who really shouldn’t. Those whose knowledge and understanding of the industry’s past and present enables them and entitles them to speak, AND those whose ignorance compels them to speak. You know the cycle – ignorance breeds arrogance, and arrogance breeds mindless audacity, and mindless audacity breeds broad but shallow opinions, miles wide and an inch deep. Of course, as it often is the case in the society in general, the latter are usually louder and publically more numerous, so their opinion prevails and drowns out everything else. And so we got to “the death of the music industry” chorus, echoing through the endless hallways of the media and the cyberspace. But regardless of all the noise those messengers of the industry’s death are making, for good twenty years now, the music industry is still here and is not going anywhere, especially not to the great beyond. To paraphrase Mark Twain: the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, the industry says, as it goes about its business. No, it’s not the same as twenty or thirty years ago. It’s not the same today as it was yesterday. What is? It’s changing, evolving, adopting to the new world and the new markets as it has done throughout its history. Oliver Wendell Holmes, an iconic United States Supreme Court judge from the early 1900s, once said, commenting on one of the Supreme Court cases: “A page of history is worth a volume of logic”. And he is right. History itself validates and justifies this truth. The facts of history will always be more potent and compelling indicators than logic, of the true nature of the situation and the realities now and to come. So let’s look at that page for a second and see what’s there regarding music industry. Doomsayers and naysayers have always been with us, especially at the pivotal, changing moments in the history of the industry. Some were even great music figures. John Philip Sousa, for instance, a star of the music scene in late 19th and early 20th century, the American March King, loudly opposed and demonized the recording technology, and boldly prophesized the doom of music because of it. “These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country”, he said. “The country band with its energetic renditions, its loyal support by local merchants, its benefit concerts, end so on, is apparently doomed to vanish in the general assault on personality in music”, he angrily opined. And then, the recording industry made him into a superstar that he was, and made him and his band pretty well off, to say the least, the income that aided him to continue making his music and to share it with the world. Didn’t return any checks to the Victor record label that issued numerous of his band’s recordings. And the music played on. In the 1920s radio entered the picture, and together with all the economic changes in the country, seemingly threatened to decimate the industry. In the early 30s, record sales plummeted to mere 6% of what they were in the previous decade. 6%. And doomsayers and naysayers were everywhere, of course. Radio is killing the music industry. Why would anyone buy records if they can hear it for free on the radio? It’s over. And it wasn’t. Radio became the closest ally, a great partner, a business conduit and a significant income stream for the music industry. And the music industry went about its business, in spite of all the rumors of its immanent death. And music played on. And then when those two industries became allies (the radio and the recording industry) and radio switched from live musicians to records, musicians union cried foul, and saw it as the end of the musicians’ livelihood, and the end of the live music industry, because playing live on radio was such a significant income source for them that without it they would have to change professions, and there goes the live music industry with it. Radio and records are killing music they cried out. And in 1942 went on strike against both, and for two years, from 1942-1944 no union musician recorded or did radio in the United States. The end is near. And yet the industry went about its business, and the musicians didn’t change professions, and they got union recording contracts, and the recording activities and income eventually became a regular part of their livelihood, and the music played on. And then came the 60s, and the dropping out of the society, and the drug culture, and the communes, and the free love and free everything else, and though 400,000 came to Woodstock, the festival lost money, and the doomsayers and naysayers were everywhere again. These young people can’t afford a haircut, much less records and concert tickets. It is over for the industry. If we are counting on these fans to buy music, and they are leaving the society in droves and joining the lala land where money doesn’t exist, then it’s game over. But industry went about its business, and the 70s came, and music played on, louder and more alive than ever before. And then a cassette tape came, and the doomsayers and naysayers were positive it was the Armageddon of the industry again. Why would they buy, if they can just tape it from the radio, or from their friends’ records? It is the end indeed. And yet the music played on. And then a digital audio tape came, and a recordable CDs came, and larger and cheaper hard drives came, and MP3s came, and P2Ps and Napster came, and there was that doomsayers’ cry over and over again – the barbarians are at the gates, now it’s over for sure. And yet, time and time again, music industry went about its business, and music played on. And here we are today. “Death of the music industry” chorus echoes through the halls once again. And music still plays on. On more stages, and in more homes, and in more cars, and through more services, on more devices, by more artists and for more fans than ever before. So tell me, you think it’s over? History speaks louder and truer than any logic we can conjure. And what does it tell you about the music industry and its doomsayers? Judge for yourself. All of which, by the way, doesn’t change the true nature of music, which is not only our product, but the essence of our industry as well. Or at least, it should be the essence of the industry. Because all our industry is, its whole purpose, is to facilitate the communication between the artists and the world, while allowing the artists the benefit of livelihood so they can continue creating, and music can keep on playing. That’s it. And that’s all. Not fame. Not fortune. Not expense accounts, private jets, and penthouse parties. That may or may not be there, but if that’s our sole motivation, if that’s our true impetus, then we need to rethink the whole thing and perhaps pick some other industry to be a part of. Gambling industry comes to mind. Maybe banking? But not music. Because at its best, music is not just amusement or entertainment. It’s much larger that that, much more powerful that that. It is nothing less then a miracle, as archaic and arcane as that may sound. Because when a vibrating molecule of air tickles your eardrum, and makes you weep or rejoice or dance or stop dead in your tracks, I don’t know what else to call it but a miracle. And because unlike anything else that we know, it speaks directly to our soul, crossing all of those boundaries of the physical form and image, and of language, color, gender, generation. It can say what no words can say, and show what no image can show. It speaks the language beyond language, and tells the stories that transcend the tactile and the ordinary, which connect us all with an invisible thread that is stronger than the strongest chord. And with THIS flowing through its veins, it’s not just business. It’s the business of music, and that’s not an ordinary business. Keep that in mind as you go through different modules here. Everything that we will cover in this course is subservient to music itself, and exists because of music itself, and because of the need to connect the artists who create it and the world who needs it. The danger lies in a temptation to make music a means for a business end, instead of the other way around. Business is here because of music, and not music because of business. When that gets mixed up, when music becomes just a mean, just another product, and given human condition, it happens more often than not, music itself suffers. It gets reduced to a can, a package, a pretty cover, to a pathetic, predictable, pedestrian shadow of itself, and becomes a street walker, fast food for the soul, that does more harm than good, no matter how much money it makes in the market. You know that music. You all heard it. On the airwaves and in the cyberspace. And you instinctively recognize it. You may not admit that’s what it is, because it tastes good and it goes down easy, but it’s empty and mute. It doesn’t nourish, it doesn’t say anything. It just is. Because business needs something to sell. No genre is immune to its numbing sting. And it has been with us ever since the beginning of the industry. Refuse to be a part of such travesty. Be involved with artists you truly believe in, and be committed to music that moves you, that speaks to you, music that you understand and love, and then all that you learn in this course can set you on the path to something really productive, meaningful, and stimulating, which is what music industry was always meant to be and should be. Remember, business because of music, not music because of business. Simple, like all the great things. Welcome to the class. I’ll see you in the next video.