Math in Entertainment
This discussion has been the hardest discussion I have had to write in all my classes at Full-Sail. This discussion has brought out the toughest questions for someone going into the Entertainment Industry to answer because I know most of my classmates do not agree with my priorities or my attitude toward money. To me money should be used to better humanity, not just one person. It should be used to guarantee that every human is treated with dignity and respect. Money should be used to house, clothe, and feed, protect the environment, and assure that each person has medical care. My feelings surrounding this topic go deep. They come from my own experience and observation of what America says it stands for and what America really does stand for. This country should be the best in the world, yet it is on a road to becoming a third world country.
I took the entire week to consider how to respond to this discussion. Should I be honest and explain my views or should I go with the status quo and be like everyone else in looking at the money that I might get paid? The status quo would say just answer the questions and let the rest go, but I can’t do that. My overdeveloped love for humanity and the injustice that is so prevalent in our society made it impossible to just go with the status quo on this discussion.
Before I answer these questions, let me pose a few for our discussion board. Why are you here at Full Sail University? Are you here because you want that 3 million dollar check or are you here to find a way to change our society? I am here for both. That is the honest truth: I am here to earn the 3 million dollar check that will allow me to change my communities’ view of money. I am here to fight injustice for the homeless man standing on the street begging, to fight for the child who only gets one meal a day because their parents are paid a low income, to fight for the animals that are pushed aside because our society does not care about them and to fight for the environment that we are slowly destroying. I am here to fight the money that is given to “the corporations” and the upper one percent while the rest of us struggles between buying food to feed our families or medical care. I am here to fight for the right of human beings to actually live, instead of slowly die. I am here to change the world and to help my family get into a better position to do more than just survive.
I know this is not the popular stand to take, but it is the right and just stand to discuss. It is the human stand to fight for, to stand up for, and to demand of our government. It is the injustice of corporate America we need to look at and change. The Entertainment Industry is just one part of it. Look at the Sports Industry, and Wall Street and we can see it is time to stand up for the people, for WE THE PEOPLE.
Having read Courtney Love’s speech, I had never realized that it was that bad for those in the music industry. I feel it comes from the obscene amount of money that is thrown around, that we think artists are paid a lot more then they really receive. In any business that collects billions of dollars, the average person just assumes the creators collect an upper portion. Contracts, we average people, feel should grant the creator more revenue for their creative endeavors. I guess this assumption goes back to my own feelings of justice. Those who do the work should benefit more from the system, then those who run the corporations. The CEO’s of the corporations should be paid a reasonable wage for their work and the rest should go to those who create the demand.
When we look at the numbers offered by actual recording contracts, we find that the music industry basically steals from the artists. When the total profit of the contract is $175,000,000 and the actual recording group receives just two percent, we find that those who worked for it were paid such a small portion of the total profit; it makes all my arguments point to the need to change the system. If we work the math from the totals, we find that we need to take the total two percent for the group, then divide it among the members to see what each person made from the two percent, then take that total and divide by the number of years they were together to figure out each persons earnings. In this way, we see why the group declared bankruptcy. The sad part of this situation is that most people looking at $291,667 a year would be pretty well set. For me, to even see that number, I find it hard to wrap my mind around it as an income.
When discussing the total number of albums released in a year by the recording industry, and we see that only .09379% make it to platinum level, the average person might be asking why are so few released when there are thousands of musicians creating music for our enjoyment. Could it be the industry itself wants to keep a monopoly in the business of music? Keep the artists from moving on toward a better future? I feel that Ms. Love uses the word “boring” in her speech because as consumers, we are not actually allowed to choose our music because the record industry keeps a monopoly in the industry. If, as Courtney Love states in her speech, delivered on 6-14-2000, retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/, she is only giving a portion of the facts, then 32,000 new albums seems a bit low when we look at the number of different musical groups consumers can listen to in an average year. The word “boring” to me implies that the numbers did not match the reality of today’s market. If only 30 albums sell a million copies, it begs the question, why so few actually made it? I agree with her assessment that this is a failure on the industry’s part yet the industry itself is pulling in billions from the artists themselves. This also makes my point that as a society, we need to look at the distribution of wealth and how we value the creative artists and workers in this country. Without the musicians, the recording industry would not be making the billions they do make, just as without the average person, this country would have no industry at all.
When we look at the average artists payment per CD sold, we find that the average sale of 34 cents would be the amount the artist receives from the sale of one CD based on the 2% revenue paid to the artist. So of the $17 dollars collected by the music industry, the artist collects a measly 34 cents per album. By looking at the total sale multiplied by the percentage of the average contract for the artist, we find they are underpaid for their work. Without the artist, what does the music industry really have to sell? This amount feels so wrong to me. For the industry to only pay the creator of the music 34 cents per CD is a form of robbery. The artist should make more then the record industry just because the artist created the words, music, and sounds that we as consumers purchase.
After we look at the amount of pay the artist receives, is it any wonder that a majority of recording artists would be making around 30,000 dollars a year? When we look at the music industry’s take home of 40 billion, we should be asking why they actually deserve the 40 billion when the artists are basically living in poverty compared to the money the industry receives. On average then, we can figure that the ratio of 3 to 4,000,000 compares the percentage of what an artist makes to the amount of money that the industry gets paid. I am sure, by now, it is obvious I do not agree with the way the music industry treats its musicians.
In her speech, Ms. Love talks about the need for change in the way the industry treats the artists. She also mentions the need for the Internet to open the door to a new way to look at artists and their music. I feel the first thing that needs to be done is to create a union for the musicians to tackle the issue of revenue sharing. Then the Internet can take over and allow for the billions of people on Earth to pick and choose how we listen and purchase music. I do not see her predictions as making the issue any better for the artists. In fact, the music industry has taken steps to try to control the Internet and music to dire extremes. Check out just one step: http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-10012-pipa-is-the-new-sopa.html it was actually defeated as it should be, but still the Industry is out to destroy the open and honest exchange of information on the Internet. We are still under attack and need to keep watch over these corporate industries that want to rule the entire world. The best way to combat this attitude is to open the Internet to the artists themselves. One way to do this is through revenue sharing with sites like Netflix. Just last week I got this email regarding the Entertainment business that could actually work for the music industry: http://www.indiegogo.com/moviecloud If someone could find the way to gather the artists together, and use this idea, they could break the music industry monopoly as well. We have hope. It is my opinion that the workers are getting tired of being treated like slaves and a rebellion is brewing. Even the script writing and movie industry hold a monopoly over the distribution and creation of movies. Private companies find it hard to compete with the huge conglomerate of companies that control these industries. We need more companies to fight for the rights of the artists and to increase the unions that this country needs to keep big business in line. I think as an industry, things are moving slowly to protect the artists and create a better way to ensure a fairer compensation plan. If we speak up and make these new enterprises take the artist into account, we can make the world a better place for all.
After reading the article by Ms. Love, I feel it is vital that all artists know how to do basic math. I find that it is so easy to misplace a decimal point or miss read a paragraph that we need to be able to understand and decipher the foreign language of math to protect ourselves. I also feel we should insist that contracts be written in plain English so that no one is taken advantage of in the business of making money. It is important that we insist on protecting those who create as much as we insist on protecting children. It is the children and the artists that will get our country moving again and we need to work toward making sure all have the same chances to live the American Dream and not just live day to day.
Love, C. (2000, June 14). Courtney love does the math. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/
CityBeatStaff. (2012, January 4). Pipa is the new sopa. Retrieved from http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-10012-pipa-is-the-new-sopa.html
Simens & Christopher. (2012, May 11). Movie cloud: Indiegogo. Retrieved from http://www.indiegogo.com/moviecloud
This is how well you met the expectations
Your submission is one of the best I’ve read in my time at Full Sail. Honestly, this discussion question is very relevant to students because it gets to the heart of the matter by answering the common lament: Why do I need to learn any math. It is useless. Well, it isn’t useless. Score is kept in every financial transaction with math. Without math, money has no meaning. If I could give you a 110, I would. And you are about the only student in the last few months I can recall who cited the sources the way they needed to. You did an incredible job here. I know when someone is just dumping some slop in to get some credit when they didn’t give the question a second thought. It is very hard to be successful in life without knowing basic math because the guys sitting on the other side of the table do know it.