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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:29 pm

hobbyist wrote:You may not think that most of it is junk, whether music photog or writing, but in my view the amount of crud is massive and hides the few good things making them harder to find.

The 'digital revolution' has obviously made it possible for anyone and everyone to 'self-publish', and -- as always -- that has both 'good' and 'bad' aspects, largely depending on your viewpoint.

In the previous model, the 'crud' was filtered out of the public domain by the professional publishers and promoters... but so too was some of the really good stuff that just didn't happen to fit with their vision at the time.

I don't believe the actual balance of good things to crud has changed significantly -- although there are literally twice as many people making 'art' in all its forms today than there were in the 1960s. Nevertheless, the 'new technology' means that you now need to do some of the filtering yourself -- or take advantage of all the other people doing their own filtering on their own social media channels -- rather than have 'a professional's idea' of good stuff held up in front of you.

...photography, and writing used to be much easier and better to make money doing.

Possibly... From what I can see, those that are really good at it still make good money. It's the middle and lower tiers that struggle -- but then that was always the way with advancing technology.

It's the same with the multi-skilling point you raised earlier. When I started in the news broadcasting business we went out with a crew of four (reporter, cameraman, sound recordist, and sparks).

Over the course of a single decade the cameras became more sensitive and lighting wasn't needed anymore so the sparks went (or, thanks to their stronger union, they got retrained as a multi-skilled soundie, and the soundie went instead!). And then the camera became a cam-corder so the camerman started doing sound as well and the soundie went. Today, the reporter is often doing the whole thing on their own with an ultra-compact camera... or even their smart phone... and increasingly now, there isn't even a reporter; the broadcasters rely on Joe Public to send in their own (vertically framed) footage instead!

But it's all just the same old thing called CHANGE... and it's always happened and always will happen. The trick is to embrace it try to keep ahead of it, rather than always looking backwards and be trampled to death by it. ;-)

Going back again to when I started full time employment I remember listening in utter amazement (and some despair) at all my senior, very-experienced colleagues reminiscing about how good it was 'back in the day', and how standards (and new recruits!) are so terrible now (and this was 30+ years ago)... while there was me, in complete awe of the new technology all around me, and so excited over all the fantastic opportunities and prospects ahead of me...

It's certain that the model of employment will change in the future -- along with lots of other things. But that's entirely normal: the way our parents lived in the 1960s after the two World Wars was massively different from the way their parents or grand-parents lived in the 1900s before the Wars. And the way we live today is very different again from the way we lived in the 60s and 70s.... So it's absolutely for certain that the way our grand-kids live in 25 or thirty years time will be massively different again. Whether it's better or worse, or just different, only time -- and perspectives -- will tell...

H
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:37 pm

I'm just wondering whether I'm in a little bubble here where I see more and more live venues starting up and plenty of opportunities for people to play live. In Portsmouth there seems to be a new venue every month and there are a whole network of music nights around here in mid Hampshire/Surrey that seem to attract new artists of a very high standard. I guess that the big problem for someone wanting to earn money is that many of these are run on a co-operative basis where very little money actually changes hands.

When I started off back in the early 80's we rarely made much money from gigs - most of the pubs wanted straight rock bands so we found ourselves playing youth clubs and benefit gigs where we might just about cover the petrol money. Later on, as the bands I was playing with improved and became more entertaining, we managed to break into the pub circuit and make a little money but not a huge amount.

The real money in the business is to be made offering services to musicians. Tuition, publishing and equipment are a few areas that come to mind. Even the recording business has opportunities if you can tap into the right customers - some people don't want the hassle of learning how to record and are happy to pay someone else to do it.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:07 pm

hobbyist wrote:I go back to the early 60s.

My bad - for some reason I assumed you were 10 years or more younger than me as opposed to a few older else I would have expressed my thoughts in different terms.

James Perrett wrote:I'm just wondering whether I'm in a little bubble here where I see more and more live venues starting up and plenty of opportunities for people to play live. In Portsmouth there seems to be a new venue every month and there are a whole network of music nights around here in mid Hampshire/Surrey that seem to attract new artists of a very high standard.

That's good to hear James - in Brighton it's rather different, at least in terms of your average pub band. Before 2000 or so the live music scene was very different to what it is now in the area and a large number of the pubs and venues that we used to play no longer do live music. It was sad watching them all drop off the list over the years.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:41 pm

York has a mixed scene. For solo/acoustic acts it's pretty good. Lots of small, real-ale pubs looking for a bit of low-key live music makes for a fairly healthy scene there. There's also a reasonable number of pubs regularly hosting rock covers bands.
The difficulty (it was ever thus!) is getting a full band spot playing originals. We have three or four venues that actually host that kind of set-up, payment is generally of the order of £1 per punter you bring in - which doesn't go far when you're a bunch of middle-aged folks without any strong connections to the universities...
But that was the case 15 years ago as well.
The other option of course is to bear the risk yourself and put on your own gigs.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:59 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:You may not think that most of it is junk, whether music photog or writing, but in my view the amount of crud is massive and hides the few good things making them harder to find.

The 'digital revolution' has obviously made it possible for anyone and everyone to 'self-publish', and -- as always -- that has both 'good' and 'bad' aspects, largely depending on your viewpoint.


agreed

In the previous model, the 'crud' was filtered out of the public domain by the professional publishers and promoters... but so too was some of the really good stuff that just didn't happen to fit with their vision at the time.

again true

I don't believe the actual balance of good things to crud has changed significantly -- although there are literally twice as many people making 'art' in all its forms today than there were in the 1960s. Nevertheless, the 'new technology' means that you now need to do some of the filtering yourself -- or take advantage of all the other people doing their own filtering on their own social media channels -- rather than have 'a professional's idea' of good stuff held up in front of you.


I see the balance swinging far toward the bad side as anyone can now easily create and 'publish' whereas before you had to be more determined which kept some of the crud from getting out of desk drawers


...photography, and writing used to be much easier and better to make money doing.

Possibly... From what I can see, those that are really good at it still make good money. It's the middle and lower tiers that struggle -- but then that was always the way with advancing technology.

True. The few at the top do well.
It is the middle that hurts more now.
And the long tail has virtually no chance at all.


It's the same with the multi-skilling point you raised earlier. When I started in the news broadcasting business we went out with a crew of four (reporter, cameraman, sound recordist, and sparks).

Over the course of a single decade the cameras became more sensitive and lighting wasn't needed anymore so the sparks went (or, thanks to their stronger union, they got retrained as a multi-skilled soundie, and the soundie went instead!). And then the camera became a cam-corder so the camerman started doing sound as well and the soundie went. Today, the reporter is often doing the whole thing on their own with an ultra-compact camera... or even their smart phone... and increasingly now, there isn't even a reporter; the broadcasters rely on Joe Public to send in their own (vertically framed) footage instead!

True. So many usa stations advertise for free pictures that people are happy to send in. Even when they are the only one on site capturing something historical that is worth big money they still give it away.


But it's all just the same old thing called CHANGE... and it's always happened and always will happen. The trick is to embrace it try to keep ahead of it, rather than always looking backwards and be trampled to death by it. ;-)


Change is the only constant.
But IMHO what I see is the change making things worse for all of us.


Going back again to when I started full time employment I remember listening in utter amazement (and some despair) at all my senior, very-experienced colleagues reminiscing about how good it was 'back in the day', and how standards (and new recruits!) are so terrible now (and this was 30+ years ago)... while there was me, in complete awe of the new technology all around me, and so excited over all the fantastic opportunities and prospects ahead of me...


Another 3000 journalists lost jobs in the start of 2019

It's certain that the model of employment will change in the future -- along with lots of other things. But that's entirely normal: the way our parents lived in the 1960s after the two World Wars was massively different from the way their parents or grand-parents lived in the 1900s before the Wars. And the way we live today is very different again from the way we lived in the 60s and 70s.... So it's absolutely for certain that the way our grand-kids live in 25 or thirty years time will be massively different again. Whether it's better or worse, or just different, only time -- and perspectives -- will tell...

H


True.

But as Fortune magazine indicated last issue the model is looking worse for the masses of people.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:01 pm

My take on it is that a significant part of the problem is that we're trying to solve new problems with old models.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:03 pm

James Perrett wrote:....
The real money in the business is to be made offering services to musicians. Tuition, publishing and equipment are a few areas that come to mind. Even the recording business has opportunities if you can tap into the right customers - some people don't want the hassle of learning how to record and are happy to pay someone else to do it.

True but the competition is tough as big companies have automated it to own the really low end for cheap help, and many people prefer to DIY with the affordable gear that is so much better now and so much cheaper, making the middle smaller and the top non existent.

My laptop can outperform a million usd studio from the 70s without breathing hard.

The only issue is , IF I am making money from my work is could you do some task better faster easier cheaper than I can DIY.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:49 pm

hobbyist wrote:The only issue is , IF I am making money from my work is could you do some task better faster easier cheaper than I can DIY.

While you, and quite a few others on here, are happy to DIY, some musicians prefer to get on with the process of writing and playing rather than learn to record themselves. One guy I work with will record a basic idea on his phone - sometimes just a vocal line and other times voice and guitar. He'll take them to his collaborator who will turn them into proper recordings and then bring those recordings to me for mastering/editing and possibly remixing. He doesn't want to get involved in learning about recording (although he must have spent hundreds or even thousands of hours in studios) and prefers to work with collaborators who understand what he wants and have the skills to produce it.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:54 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Before 2000 or so the live music scene was very different to what it is now in the area and a large number of the pubs and venues that we used to play no longer do live music. It was sad watching them all drop off the list over the years.

In Portsmouth probably the only privately run live venue that still exists from the 90's is the Wedgewood Rooms which seems to be doing OK (I hesitate to say well because running any venue is a precarious business). Quite a few pub venues have closed but the change in licensing laws seem to have made it easier for others to open and I heard last night that someone has even converted a local industrial unit into a venue.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:06 pm

hobbyist wrote:I see the balance swinging far toward the bad side as anyone can now easily create and 'publish' whereas before you had to be more determined which kept some of the crud from getting out of desk drawers

Sure, there's a lot of deluded crud all over the interweb. But I would humbly suggest your viewpoint is one of a 'glass-half-empty' mindset. The fact that everyone can now easily create and publish means there's also some genuinely fantastic off-the-wall talent getting seen and shared on social media today that would never have been let through the front doors of the big agents in years gone by. It's really not all bad. :-D

Even when they are the only one on site capturing something historical that is worth big money they still give it away.

But the audience get to see things that otherwise wouldn't have been captured at all... And I know of one very successful professional photographer who was inspired to become a pro precisely because his work was published directly without him having to work through an agency. It gave his CV the boost he needed that he would never otherwise have been able to achieve. It's really not all bad -- there are new, different opportunities, and new benefits.

But IMHO what I see is the change making things worse for all of us.

Glass half empty! You really do sound just like my senior workmates thirty years ago... ;-)

Another 3000 journalists lost jobs in the start of 2019

I find it hard to get upset at that particular statistic... :lol: However, it is obviously clear that more and newer technology may well mean fewer 'traditional' jobs. So our way of living (and earning) is going to have to evolve along with it... But that's not a new phenomenon is it? Think of all the ways people's working lives have evolved over the past decades and centuries because of new technologies. All those stagecoach drivers and stablemen put out of work because of those new-fangled trains, for example. It's an unsettling concept for those of us judging things from our past experiences, but would you really want to go back?

The only alternative is to restrict or do away with technology, have people to take on the dangerous, dirty, tedious, and drudgey jobs again, and to pay a lot more for goods, groceries, and things. Good luck with that as a manifesto! :-D
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:16 pm

hobbyist wrote:My laptop can outperform a million usd studio from the 70s without breathing hard.

It's certainly true that the tools have evolved fantastically. But a cloth-eared novice with the world's most powerful MacBook Pro will still struggle to mix a hit record, and good though it is, the technology still can't yet make a pokey bedroom sound like Oceanway or Abbey Road's no.2 studios, let alone accommodate an 80-piece orchestra.

So it's different, but not necessarily worse, and if there are opportunities lost at the low end, there are also new opportunities opening up for those brave enough to run at the leading edge.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:44 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:My laptop can outperform a million usd studio from the 70s without breathing hard.

It's certainly true that the tools have evolved fantastically. But a cloth-eared novice with the world's most powerful MacBook Pro will still struggle to mix a hit record, and good though it is, the technology still can't yet make a pokey bedroom sound like Oceanway or Abbey Road's no.2 studios, let alone accommodate an 80-piece orchestra.

So it's different, but not necessarily worse, and if there are opportunities lost at the low end, there are also new opportunities opening up for those brave enough to run at the leading edge.

True, but the cheap cost of the tools has given more people the chance to prove how bad they are. And when they all compete the income for those who do succeed is lower.

Also with more entertainment options there are fewer buyers for music or any given segment.

Opportunities are always changing. But like Fortune magazine just said they are not coming as fast as we need them now. Jobs are being killed off faster and people are breeding faster than job replacement can suffice to handle.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby awjoe » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:52 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:...photography, and writing used to be much easier and better to make money doing.

Possibly... From what I can see, those that are really good at it still make good money. It's the middle and lower tiers that struggle -- but then that was always the way with advancing technology.

H

Yeah, I think this is one of the more perceptive and pertinent comments in this thread. The recording revolution opened up opportunities for lots and lots of variously talented people to:

a) join the game

b) not make much money

I mean, if you're not making money in any given field, there's a strong possibility that you're just not as good at it as the people who *are* making money at it. I can instance my own self-delusion here. I've written some pretty good songs (is that the self-delusion kicking in?) but my recordings and mixes of them aren't as good as I thought they were when I made them. Just not close to pro. So now I'm going for it. Concentrating on that all-important 'performance at the recording stage'. I want to see if I can do better than the 'middle tier' that Hugh describes. More self-delusion? Maybe, but now that I know that the self-delusion is my biggest enemy, I stand a better chance of spotting it, a better chance of not boring the world with mediocre music.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:07 pm

hobbyist wrote:But like Fortune magazine just said they are not coming as fast as we need them now. Jobs are being killed off faster and people are breeding faster than job replacement can suffice to handle.

So apart from banning procreation, what's your solution?

H
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:09 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:I see the balance swinging far toward the bad side as anyone can now easily create and 'publish' whereas before you had to be more determined which kept some of the crud from getting out of desk drawers

Sure, there's a lot of deluded crud all over the interweb. But I would humbly suggest your viewpoint is one of a 'glass-half-empty' mindset. The fact that everyone can now easily create and publish means there's also some genuinely fantastic off-the-wall talent getting seen and shared on social media today that would never have been let through the front doors of the big agents in years gone by. It's really not all bad. :-D

Not all bad. Just not as good as it was. Too many of them making bad stuff so the stuff that is good even harder to find.


Even when they are the only one on site capturing something historical that is worth big money they still give it away.
But the audience get to see things that otherwise wouldn't have been captured at all... And I know of one very successful professional photographer who was inspired to become a pro precisely because his work was published directly without him having to work through an agency. It gave his CV the boost he needed that he would never otherwise have been able to achieve. It's really not all bad -- there are new, different opportunities, and new benefits.

Harder for the pros to work at all when every cell phone owner can snap the pic and email it in on the spot. And uncle Bob shoots weddings for free, while soccer moms take the team pics for free.

But IMHO what I see is the change making things worse for all of us.
Glass half empty! You really do sound just like my senior workmates thirty years ago... ;-)

Perhaps. Or maybe we are looking at different parts of the elephant.
I call them as I see them. The glass is not only half empty. The glass is now smaller as more people put their straws into it at once.

Another 3000 journalists lost jobs in the start of 2019
I find it hard to get upset at that particular statistic... :lol: However, it is obviously clear that more and newer technology may well mean fewer 'traditional' jobs. So our way of living (and earning) is going to have to evolve along with it... But that's not a new phenomenon is it? Think of all the ways people's working lives have evolved over the past decades and centuries because of new technologies. All those stagecoach drivers and stablemen put out of work because of those new-fangled trains, for example. It's an unsettling concept for those of us judging things from our past experiences, but would you really want to go back?

Nothing lasts forever. Especially trends and extrapolations.
All systems saturate. Job growth is saturating while population keeps growing exponentially.

The only alternative is to restrict or do away with technology, have people to take on the dangerous, dirty, tedious, and drudgey jobs again, and to pay a lot more for goods, groceries, and things. Good luck with that as a manifesto! :-D


Ideally technology would serve all of us so we ALL could work say 3 days a week and support our family because goods are so cheap with machines doing all the work. Nobody out of work, nobody working excessive overtime.

In the longer run that too would fail as only a few people would be needed who have exceeding high levels of education and experience to keep designing bigger and better machines and maybe operating/maintaining them too, while most people would be free to self actualise while never working.

Would the supersmart be forced to work? Could you pay them enough to want to work when nobody else has to? Who would want to suffer through all the crud at the uni for a decade or so to be able to be the one that has to work? How many would deliberately flunk so they would be free all day like most of the people are?

The problem is government and special interest groups. They only care about themselves, not optimising the system to benefit everybody equally. And no that is not socialism just a constrained market to guarantee fairness where everybody should be working their share and no special group at the top effsupp things like now while living really high on the hog.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:14 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:But like Fortune magazine just said they are not coming as fast as we need them now. Jobs are being killed off faster and people are breeding faster than job replacement can suffice to handle.

So apart from banning procreation, what's your solution?

H

As a systems engineer I see no solution that is feasible.

There are some possibilities but you could not get enough people willing to work together to make it happen. Certainly not before the antis start a war or do something to sabotage the effort.

We do need to severely limit population growth anyway , but that will never happen. We are past peak food, water, energy, and a dozen other key parameters. We may have decades or a century but it will end badly; if not for us then our grandkids.

I believe that like all systems this one we have on the planet for civilisaton will grow until some massive disaster helps stabilise things again. Or Armageddon writes =30=.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby hobbyist » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:25 pm

awjoe wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
hobbyist wrote:...photography, and writing used to be much easier and better to make money doing.

Possibly... From what I can see, those that are really good at it still make good money. It's the middle and lower tiers that struggle -- but then that was always the way with advancing technology.

H

Yeah, I think this is one of the more perceptive and pertinent comments in this thread. The recording revolution opened up opportunities for lots and lots of variously talented people to:

a) join the game

b) not make much money

I mean, if you're not making money in any given field, there's a strong possibility that you're just not as good at it as the people who *are* making money at it. I can instance my own self-delusion here. I've written some pretty good songs (is that the self-delusion kicking in?) but my recordings and mixes of them aren't as good as I thought they were when I made them. Just not close to pro. So now I'm going for it. Concentrating on that all-important 'performance at the recording stage'. I want to see if I can do better than the 'middle tier' that Hugh describes. More self-delusion? Maybe, but now that I know that the self-delusion is my biggest enemy, I stand a better chance of spotting it, a better chance of not boring the world with mediocre music.

There are two factors, luck and skill , that are key. But you also have to work hard and promote yourself.

And nepotism often plays a role. Look at hollywood where so many actors kids get the breaks while newcomers have a harder time to break in. Most people that made it started young. Very few old people decide to have a go and then succeed.

The skill levels keep increasing. You may be better than those a decade or two ago, but the bar keeps getting higher. And there are more people just under you trying to improve their game to go ahead.

A better strategy is to have a job they cant ship to some other 3rd world country and do music for fun. If you did make it you could still switch.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:29 pm

hobbyist wrote:Not all bad. Just not as good as it was. Too many of them making bad stuff so the stuff that is good even harder to find.

Or... Just as good as it was, but not not spoon-fed some else's idea of what is good?

Harder for the pros to work at all when every cell phone owner can snap the pic and email it in on the spot.

Utter nonsense... An amateur cell-phone pic will never be better than an image captured by a skilled and talented pro. It's not the tech, its the eye (and the experience)... But equally, an image from a amateur on the spot will always be better than a pro still sat in the office whining about how hard it is to make a buck... ;-)

And uncle Bob shoots weddings for free, while soccer moms take the team pics for free.

Possibly... But in those cases the chances are the budgets wouldn't be available ~today~ for a pro anyway. Times change. Why would anyone not take advantage of the technology now available if the delivered results are adequate/acceptable?

If a business model is entirely reliant on low-budget weddings and school sports games the time has probably come to re-evaluate the business. But there will be other specialist areas where the talents and skills haven't been usurped and are still valued and profitable.

I call them as I see them.

I get that. I'm just suggesting there is another way to see them, if you choose to.

Ideally technology would serve all of us so we ALL could work say 3 days a week and support our family because goods are so cheap with machines doing all the work. Nobody out of work, nobody working excessive overtime.

Sure. Maybe we will get there one day, when greed, profit and selfishness have all been eradicated from the human psyche. Won't be in my lifetime... :-(
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:35 pm

hobbyist wrote:I believe that like all systems this one we have on the planet for civilisaton will grow until some massive disaster helps stabilise things again. Or Armageddon writes =30=.

Unfortunately, I agree with you here. The patent absense of self-regulation means things will continue growing until curbed either by natural regulation -- disease, for example -- or some form of global warfare. Either way the human population will be massively diminished and a new way of living established for the survivors... Hopefully.
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Re: Equipment hire, business idea advice needed.

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:06 pm

hobbyist wrote:Also with more entertainment options there are fewer buyers for music or any given segment.
Just to drag us away from Armageddon and back to music for a moment, ;) , this ^^^ is a really good point that often gets overlooked when people talk about the demise of the music industry.
When I was a kid there were three (then four) channels of TV, your bike, your mates and music. That was your entertainment.
Nowadays music is competing against a much broader range of entertainment options.
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