Lefsetz also seems to be on board with this idea, as a recent post of his screams it loud and clear.
You can’t survive the present economic conditions unless you participate in ALL revenue streams of the act. Since the disc/legal file business is de minimis. But the majors can’t get a piece of these streams. Because it’s these monies the acts are living on. The label builds you, you profit on ticket receipts and merchandise sales. And since the label can’t get a piece of this ancillary revenue, they trumpet acts that work on their paradigm. In other words, two-dimensional caricatures that can be sold via image all over the media. They want something with INCESSANT impressions. They want to beat the public over the head to purchase the equivalent of hula hoops. Because to take the time to develop an act slowly, that has real fans… Well, the Grateful Dead never sold that many records. And how many albums did Fleetwood Mac make before they hit on a winning formula? The majors don’t want to invest in musicmakers who march to the beat of their own drummer, they just want a pretty face, who’ll do what they say, who will sing the songs written by the hacks and produced by the usual suspects.
Given the way things are, I can't compete in the CD marketplace. It's chock full of people spending massive dollars to potentially have a "hit" which maybe clears the red out of all the books. Where I can compete is the same place that I did back in the 80's, in the true underground- where the barrier to entry isn't a $3 per unit co-op at Best Buy.