Are The World’s Richest Drummers Helping to Steal Music?
CelebrityNetworth.com revealed the world’s richest drummers. But was the agenda behind this simple gossip piece really to promote piracy?
The people near the top of the Celebrity Networth’s World’s Richest Drummers list are those you might expect: Ringo Star, Phil Collins, Don Henley, etc. The site claims the reason these bangers have had amazing income is touring the world and performing on chart-busting recordings for many years.
But this is not exactly true.
For example, why would Ringo, who has not played on a new hit in over 20 years, rank higher than Joey Kramer, who had played on more than a few top 40 hits in the last decade.
Or Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason ranking lower then Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl. Dark Side of the Moon has been in the top 100 album sales of all time, year after year, while any Foo Fighters album (and I’m not knocking them in any way) would be lucky to make it into the top 500.
What up? I’m gonna show you the pattern I noticed in the list and afterward I might just throw in a freetard conspiracy theory for spice.
I asked Celebrity Networth’s managing editor, Brian Warner if he segregated the passive verses active revenue streams. “Yes,” he confirmed they took into account, “record sales, merchandise, royalties, licensing, touring etc.” His effort, while admirable, seemed to make a rookie mistake those outside the music space often do when analyzing us; he didn’t parse music publishing, which is not the same as a royalties from record sales/downloads.
The drummers that rank near the top of the list are ones that share significantly in their signature group’s publishing revenue. In fact, of the top five, two of them wrote their group’s hits. And while it’s true that Ringo–in 1st position–didn’t technically write any of the Beatles’s top 10, Lennon and McCartney still opted to share a percentage of songwriting revenue with their musical partner. Such was the case with some on the list. Others were not as fortunate.
If you apply publishing as a factor, rather than touring or recordings, the list’s hierarchy starts to make sense. Drummers who got publishing– got top cash. Drummers who relied solely on performing– made less. Which is, in a subtle way, is the opposite conclusion CelebrityNetworth.com reached.
WHY THE FLUB?
Well, one obvious reason is that for most who read this gossip, music publishing is insider minutia. Fair enough. But then why report a gaffed reason for the list’s hierarchy?
A “tell” of a bias is revealed in their conclusion:
“Most have had 30+ year careers banging away at the top of the charts and touring the world’s stadiums to perform for tens of thousands of adoring fans.”
Hummm. That is starting to sound familiar. Yes, I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere before. Who in the internet world constantly professes that touring is the way to make money with music and to forget about unit sales? Yes… it’s those who also believe that “information wants to be free” and by information they mean popular content. The freetards.
Think that is true? Think these guys touched $100 Million + status by performing, more so than from copyright participation? Except for medium sized venues with his All-Star Band, Ringo has not done a stadium tour since Noah built an ark. Where’s his $300 Million coming from? Barbara Bach’s cleavage.
So, does www.CelebrityNetworth.com fit the freetard profile? Let’s see.
I asked Warner how the site turns a profit. He wrote back “Trade secrets, my friend…” When I pressed for a less snarky answer I could use for a quote he confessed… “Advertising is our sole source of revenue.”
This is also true of many questionalbe P2P sites, like Megaupload and Pirate Bay.
Mr. Warner, according to his LinkedIn profile offers no credentials in journalism. Rather he spent several years managing Break Media, a viral marketing firm. He is schooled in how to attract Google’s spiders, more so than plying standards of reporting and research. (And in fact, the site’s Alexi ranking is an impressive 7500, so clearly he is very competent.)
But, fact checking is one of the biggest expenses in publishing and why organizations like the New York Times can not compete with gonzo blogs. Yet, of their four editors, three are described on the site as having a technology background. None have worked in journalism.
Finally, their domain owner is listed as “private” and they have no visible snail mail address to serve a complaint in the (unlikely?) event of slander.
All are symptoms of a business model with a priority towards web-traffic over accuracy, respect for intellectual property or privacy. The freetard trifecta.
While I’m sure some of the boys at Celebrity Networth have used the “music should be free” line to pick up a chick or two, all-in-all, bolstering an urban legend to attract Google juice may be sophomoric journalism, it is a bit shy of the standard to cast them into my freetard lion’s den.
So they get a pass. For now
Last year I predicted which sites that would be investigated (and in some cases shut down) by the Fed for copyright facilitation. In many cases, I was right.
My guess is that since web-traffic is the name of their game some advertisers are bound to eventually be those that will not make the RIAA or Homeland Security happy. We’ll see.