Now the music business sees TikTok as its tool. After being caught flat-footed by the success of “Old Town Road,” and then bringing it in-house at Sony, the labels decided they wanted some of that action. If TikTok could build the unknown Lil Nas X, imagine what it could do with a known quantity, a star?

The music business used to be first, but now it’s last. Because it is controlled by old people who did not get the memo, who believe they are indispensable and that no one can resist their money.

But isn’t it funny that not a single musical star has captured the zeitgeist of the Minneapolis/Black Lives Matter explosion in a song we all know. Illustrating that reflecting life, and opening up an audience’s eyes as to the way of life, are not part of the equation. In the music business, it’s all about collecting fans and milking them dry. When one of the biggest acts in the business, Justin Bieber, tries to manipulate the system to make his record number one, who in the hell is gonna listen to the words of a pop star?

via Bob Lefsetz

The quote above is from the most recent newsletter / article from Bob Lefsetz. Bob has been a long time music industry journalist and I thought that the above section is by far the best thing I have read about the music industry in the past 12 months.

Lefsetz is right!

The music industry has long been run by 60 year old businessman who don’t under the generations they are targeting. It’s no longer about the music and the industry runs more like buying and selling real estate than an art form at the top.

Pop music struggles to tell stories and really drive emotions. This is exactly why tracks from John Lennon, Elton John, Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, are still getting very large numbers of plays even with the youngest audiences.