Add Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff to the list of people who think it’s harder, not easier, for artists to make it in the music business these days.
And according to Azoff, part of the problem is that it’s easier to make music than ever before, with less monetization, a stark contrast to the ‘golden age’ of the 60s and 70s. “Basically then versus now, you’d have one hit record and you could come to Los Angeles and sell out three days at the Staples Center – then it was the Forum, but now it would be Staples Center,” Azoff recently told interviewer Jude Apatow at the ‘Grill’. “Now, one you can’t get a hit but if you do get a hit, you get to open up for somebody at a club.”
“I regularly tell people that it’s way different, way more difficult now.”
And instead of getting signed, the new lottery card is… the Voice? “In those days, no one would consider going on a competition music show,” Azoff relayed. “Now you watch the Voice and hear all these kids say, ‘this is the greatest opportunity of my life,’ and yet, you’ve got 64 contestants on the Voice. We’ve had 10-11 years of American Idol, so you’ve had 100 or 110 top ten people, and you can count on your hand the number of careers that have sustained off of that.”
“So that just tells you that even with the massive exposure of network TV, how hard it is to make it in the music business.”
But what are the culprits? “Theft and choice, and also, it used to be very expensive to record a record, now you can do it at home,” Azoff said. “Music is now the soundtrack of people’s lives, but it has way less monetization.”
The complete interview (roughly 10 minutes) is here.