Archive for February, 2012:


X-Apprentice

I think too much about reality TV formats (which is to say, I sometimes think about them).  I have long argued that X-Factor should be using overnight download figures of the performance as the basis for which contestants stay or go rather than telephone voting – because this shows people will actually pay real money for the contestant in question’s songs.  However, with the music industry changing at a rate which is seemingly quite uncomfortable for the recording industry, I wonder if this competing to be the next hit machine’s indentured artist is really the future.

No.  The future should involve Alan Sugar.  Not necessarily literally.  Potentially the recording artist of the future should be as savvy at the board table as they are at the mixing desk.  If the industry is changing you want someone who can not only sing sweet tunes, but can also adapt to whatever shape the world is in this year.

I propose a show more like ‘The Apprentice’.  A set of tasks each week for a group of hopefuls, testing not only their music making, but also their music industry nous.  Tasks such as making money from busking, self-branding, keeping up with technology, finding ways to make money from giving something away for free… anything like that.  And each week a music industy impresario could let one of them go (“Jim – you’ve been knocked out of the charts”).

The prize?  Not a recording deal, but venture capital to fund the artist in their next project (be it an album, a tour, or whatever they have in mind and can convince the judge of) – along with providing help and contacts in the industry.

© Ben.Cha.lmers.co.uk
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