There was a time when music had integrity. Back when the gangsters and racketeers ruled the music business, the music had a real sense of integrity to it. That was back when gangsters knew of “this hot new band/artist” they had noticed in their buddy’s club. Then, if they owned their own club, they book that band for gigs. Or maybe a relative of theirs was in a band, and that band had street credibility; all they needed was a break. The bands took pride in making a full album, a collection of songs reflecting their current state of affairs. Back then the people who ran the record companies were music fans.
In the last ten years, however, a disturbing trend has taken over. While all of the rockers were out entertaining the people, all of the scholars were off getting their business degrees. This led to a massive take-over. When the scholars finished their schooling, some of them used their business degrees to get into the music business. They became record label executives, and as a result, they viewed the record label as more of a bank then an entertainment industry. Of course, every label gets in the game to make money, but the simple fact is that music fans will buy whatever they are told to buy, for the most part.
Gone are the days of bands having to prove themselves on the club scene, building their live performance and song repertoire. The music business is now a fast-food industry – 15 minutes of flash, here today / gone tomorrow artists. The ones who suffer are the kids, but the target demographic that the labels go after are none the wiser.
An at-home, online, record store that allows the fans to pick and choose their music.
Technology has taken the music world by the throat, and there’s no better tool to promote music than the Internet. An online record store would put the power in the people’s hands, instead of putting the people into handcuffs.
The first thing you would do would be to build a website for music fans. This website would provide links to any artist you were seeking. The website would also include feature sections. For instance, if a particular artist were having a lot of hits for their website, they would be featured. New artists would also get their own section as well. After all, if they’re new, people may not know of them. This option would benefit these new artists as it would give them exposure.
Now, with this format, all parties would benefit. The fans who want the music would benefit the most. We live in a day where music video has become the most important promotional tool. The problem is the music suffers. Video networks have strict rules about what gets aired, and what doesn’t. And, since the record labels are worried about the bottom line, the artists are forced to compromise their talents in order to get airplay to sell records. Again, the kids are the ones losing out because they are not getting the most from their artist.
What’s even more aggravating is, with this compromise for airplay format, artists have become “filler artists.” They have a couple of decent songs (again, they are compromised songs) that get the airplay to sell records, and the rest of the albums are filled with weak material recorded for the sake of having “a full album” Kids hear a song they like on the video network and go shell out $20 for the CD. When they get it home and listen to it, they are usually disappointed that they forked over $20 dollars for 2 or 3 songs. This may not seem like a lot of money, but to a school aged kid on an allowance, or a university student living off of a student loan, it’s a heck of a lot.
With my solution, the kids get to choose whatever they want. They could go on to an artist’s website and, for a fee of say $5, download and burn the album to a CD. This way, everybody wins. The kids save a lot of money. Instead of shelling out that $20 for one CD, they could have 4 CDs for that price. The artists would also benefit greatly. The most successful artist in the industry makes less than $2.50 per unit sold as things stand today. The artists would receive a much larger portion of the profits this way, so they win out as well. The artists would save greatly on CD pressing costs, since the album would be “on the net”, thus, they wouldn’t feel the need to rush things to recoup expenses, which would make for a much better product.
With this format, the record companies, as we know them, would become obsolete. Again, this would benefit all parties. Traditionally, an artist forwards a demo of the new album for approval by the record company. The record company will usually reject it. So, the artist goes back to the studio to fix it up some more so the record label will be happy. While all of this is taking place, the artist is incurring greater production costs, and they are also shredding their integrity bit by bit, making for a lesser product.
With my solution, the artists and the fans ultimately win out. Without record company politics involved, the fans get the artist’s finished product the way the artist intended it to be. The artists save money. The fans save money. Most importantly, the music keeps it’s passion and its integrity, which is the way music is supposed to be. Like I said – all parties involved are winners!
Professional Boxing, as we know it, has been corrupt almost since it’s inception. Anytime a sport relies on judges to decide a winner; it’s bound to be corrupt. After all, sport has become a business. And all businesses worry about the bottom line. The same applies to Boxing, perhaps more than any other sport. Boxing is a sport of heroes and villains, each one having its own fan base and market potential. Rest assured, Boxing is a “star making” business. With a “star making” business comes the responsibility of capitalizing on the earning potential. Judges, who are appointed by the governing bodies of professional Boxing, feel the pressure of pleasing their bosses. A judge’s job is to provide impartial scoring to each and every fight, but this never happens. Anyone who has watched even so much as a handful of fights knows that the judges are biased. And we’ve also seen matches in which a judge’s decision was questioned by all who witnessed the match.
This problem has complicated an event that is so simple in its nature; human conflict is as primal as is the need to seek a mate. What it’s done is left many a fan with a sour taste in his/her mouth. Many fans of late are walking away from a fight they’ve just watched with the feeling they’ve been cheated. After all, we have eyes and ears that we use to watch a fight and, when a judge scores a fight that wasn’t in sync with what you witnessed, it only serves to infuriate even more so.
A fully interactive fight/fan website
The solution for sparing fans the from the ho-hum performances of fighters fighting within the confines of a fixed environment, is to let the fans have a voice. This can be achieved by having a fully interactive cyber-boxing website.
The first thing you would want to do, after registering your website, is recruit fighters. They don’t have to be pros. In fact, they’d be better than pros. Get some buddies together, whether they’re street fighters, boxers, hockey goons etc. It would be much more pleasurable to pit these kinds of styles against one another than it would be to watch some pros go at it. After all, pros are “technically sound” and have reputations to uphold, which generally results in boring, methodical matches that are as enjoyable as using vinegar for eye-drops.
With this format, you’ll have many different styles matching up against each other. They would get together once a week and don the gloves. There would be no million-dollar reputations at stake; just good old-fashioned male pride – not wanting to get your butt kicked. You would have fights that are made up of three rounds of three minutes. These fighters wouldn’t necessarily be “top-caliber athletes” so you’d almost be guaranteed a knockout in every match, which is what boxing fans want to see anyway. This would make for an exciting night of entertainment for fight fans across the globe, which is what it’s supposed to be what it is about anyway.
The second thing you would want to do is get rid of pillow-glove boxing. By this, I mean get rid of the big pillow-type boxing gloves that have become the glove of choice in the pro ranks. There’s an old saying that goes – “believe ten percent of what you hear and ninety percent of what you see” Never has a figure of speech been more applicable to a situation. The boxing gloves that are used in the pro ranks are used to both “protect the fighter’s health” and pseudo-satisfy the public’s thirst for violence. The gloves are so big and padded, and so many microphones surround the ring, that when a fighter throws a punch, it gives off a loud THUD. This usually happens when glove to glove contact is made. The punch may sound impressive, but it has no effect. The next time you watch a pro fight, listen to the “oohs” and “ahhs” the crowd spit forth when the thud is made. The spectators are being tricked into believing that a significant blow has been landed.
With my format, smaller gloves equals better results. It forces the people to SEE the significance of the blow, not hear the uselessness of a blocked punch. Plus, it increases punching speed. And every human being is impressed by speed, regardless of the venue from which it is drawn. That is why middleweights and welterweights can prosper in the pro ranks. They may lack the bone-crunching power of the heavyweights, but their blistering punching speed is impressive to watch.
The third thing you’d want to do, is incorporate the fully interactive part. Each week, you’d have live cybercasts of the fights. You would put on five or more fights each Friday or Saturday night, depending, of course, on how many fighters you recruit. You would then have a membership feature for your website. You would charge a fee for the viewing of each fight. Then you would have a price for one-time viewers to tune in to see the fight, but you’d have a discounted price for people who are paid members. Paid members will also have the luxury of accessing the archives of previous fights.
As an added feature for those who are prepaid members or pay to watch a current night of fights, you would include an area that allows the fans to predict who they think will win the fight. By doing this, the fans will be much more into the fights. It’s like sports gambling – when you have a bet riding on a team, you all of a sudden become much more interested in the outcome, whereas before, you may have been indifferent to the outcome. Well, a prediction is along the same lines. If a person chooses a certain fighter to win, they sure as heck want them to win. After all, not too many people enjoy “being wrong.”
Another feature you would have is online fan scoring. They would have a 5-minute window to cast their votes at the conclusion of the match. No winner is announced until all of the fan’s votes are tallied. This way, the people get to choose the winner. There would be no cover boy boxers whose mere presence influence a decision. Just the fans deciding who was the better man that night. This is potentially the greatest asset to the website. People wouldn’t just be spectators anymore – they’d actually be a part of the “governing body.” And people, for the most part, love to be in control. This format puts the proverbial ball in their court. With all of the corrupt scoring in boxing, and rules in the “no holds barred” tournaments, I truly believe this solution could/should be the wave of the future in the fight world.
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