NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Earlier this week in Should BMI's Good Old Boys' Network Make Rules for the Digital Age? I intentionally left out several key points in my takedown of the organization's board of directors' composition.
It was important to initially establish the type of board BMI has sleepwalked through the last couple decades with. Who are these people? What have they done? Do their experiences bear relevance, in any way, to the issues songwriters, publishers and composers face in the digital age?
Anybody in their right mind, including the people at BMI, would have to answer a resounding "no" to the last question or variations of it. Do you really think people at BMI, including the people on the board, can look in the mirror or into the eyes of the musicians they represent and honestly argue that this is the absolute best crew available for the job?
Even if they're figureheads, why go with them? Pick people who actually hold sway symbolically.In any event, from there, we go beyond the obvious. That group, as a whole, has no business fighting fights, making rules or serving as a symbol in the digital age, but not only because they're, by and large, failed broadcasters, up there in age and/or out of touch with technology and such. There's nothing wrong with being a traditional broadcaster. Plenty of excellent and innovative ones still exist (e.g., Hubbard Broadcasting). There's nothing wrong with being old. Age ain't nothing but a number. Some of the greatest minds in music are, technically, old. BMI might need to change its name. Broadcast Music is outdated. Even if BMI loaded its board with the most successful broadcast professionals of the modern day, there would be a problem. These people have interests not necessarily in line with the artists BMI represents. In theory -- and for good reason -- they want lower rates for radio, cable and such. That goes a long way towards explaining BMI's negative stance toward Pandora (P). But, even setting that aside, ASCAP, the other major group representing creators, keeps two separate boards -- a "writer board" and a "publisher board" -- stacked entirely with actual writers and publishers. I linked to the list ASCAP provides, complete with (unlike BMI) links to rich (and impressive) biographies of each person.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV