I watched practically all of Glastonbury over the weekend (on the TV, obviously) and I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with the music industry: there are too many bands. There are bloody thousands of them. It’s insane. No wonder the biz is unravelling: there’s such massive fragmentation. Look at the record labels: there used to be hundreds of them but they wised up years ago and now there are three.
The bands need to do the same thing. I expect a massive wave of artist consolidation. In ten years there will be five or six bands (one for each major music genre, basically. Really good bands could double up). Think about it. Do we really need The Kooks and Babyshambles? The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs? Editors and The Automatic?
See what I mean? Couldn’t Amy Winehouse (who can really sing) get together with that Hot Chip crowd (who can’t)? There appear to be dozens of people in Arcade Fire, most of whom do no more than jiggle about or hum. Surely there’s some excess capacity there?
It’ll be hard to begin with, especially for the bands who are phased out or downsized, but once the acts have got their… erm… act together and merged to form half a dozen mega-bands (we could call them ‘super groups’) the industry’s economics will all start to make sense again. Sanity will prevail… Come on guys!