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Let me stifle a yawn, but Bono is in the news again, and it’s sad to think that the singer and songwriter and part of the great record that was U2’s “Joshua Tree” is seen today more as Bozo than Bono- just another rich, ageing, bloated celebrity whose every dumbass remark is reported by the media when, in actuality, the man stopped being relevant to music almost two decades ago.

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After his spate of stuttering apologies for filling many of phones with a U2 record no one wanted, Bono, who must suffer from a Jesus complex far worse than what’s afflicting Kanye West, has now come to the defence of Spotify.

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With more money than even the most successful of musicians, St Bono can afford to talk about how fair the streaming channel is in its payment to artists.

Of course, the old fool would say that as what does money matter to Bono when he’s able to cook up records and hand them out like pancakes, is set for life and can afford to play the role of some sage-like elder statesman of Rock?

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For all anyone knows, Bono could even own a stake in Spotify as the timing of his remarks appear strangely like “shareholder damage control” following the brave decision by Taylor Swift to stop haranguing her exes in song, and, instead, pull her entire catalogue from the music streaming site.

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Bono aka Bozo wheezes that, “I see streaming services as exciting ways to get to people. In the end, that’s what we want for U2 songs.”

But, wait: Isn’t trying to “get to people” with “U2 songs” what Bono tried to do with Apple with the “gift” no one wanted?

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As for the often-used defence ploy that Spotify pays “70% of revenue to record companies”, well, great, but how is this 70% split amongst artists, especially those artists yet to even make it onto those “priority” lists music companies compile to see who is “worthy” of their nickel and dime “marketing” dollars?

And having been at EMI when “marketing” was simple Promotion 101, what “marketing” do music companies do today that an artist can’t do for themselves- especially those new artists signed to “worldwide deals” with no advances and whose records just sit on shelves gathering dust?

The problem is that the genie was let outta the bottle over a decade ago, artists were told that doing and giving away their art for free was the way forward, and the rich got richer and the opportunists sucker-punched every new musician except for those who were muppets controlled by the industry’s higher powers. And once their Use By Date was up, they were cut from the herd and left out to dry.

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Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas

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Yes, Ed Sheeran is starting up his own label which will be a Warner Music imprint and says he wishes to sign singer-songwriters like himself.

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Excuse me while I stifle another yawn, but does the world need a label with more Ed Sheeran-type soft-cock folkies?

More to the point, Ed Sheeran starts a label and then what? It’s like fan-funded records: How many have gone on to do anything other than being vanity pieces for the artist who’s been bank-rolled?

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It’s as stupid as all that codswallop about Gaga being named Polaroid’s Creative Director, Dave A Stewart being Nokia’s, er, “agent of change” and every rapper being bought by brands to flog some bling blang product.

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What’s the solution? There isn’t one.

The music industry is fucked, music companies are a con living on borrowed time, and if new artists “happen”- and what “happen” means in financial terms remains grey- it’s purely through dumb luck and some guardian angel who has crash-landed down to earth.

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Hans Ebert
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance Inc and Fast Track Global Ltd
www.fasttrack.hk