Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Profits Improve; MSFT Exec Wants a Mac, Musicians Behind the Curve
The four-quarter moving annualized total of inflation-adjusted industry profits is now $4.59 billion. The profits for the quarter itself were $1.27 billion, highest since Q3-2004 when it was $1.36 billion. The profits before interest and taxes were 5.7%, highest since Q3-2003, when it was 6%. This is the best industry profits performance in three years, and the data are slowly getting better and better. We are still about 1/3 of what profits were in 2000. This is a minor rise, but it's a good rise. Expect more cost cutting ahead, often from consolidation. We're in the right direction, finally
Article in ComputerWorld how MSFT development officer says that he would buy a Mac.
I'm not buying a Mac because I'm an Ubuntu man!
The headline was "Musicians Oppose Media Consolidation" so I figured I had to read this. Talk about being behind the curve! The complaint is about so many stations sounding alike as you drive along for miles and miles. This is coming at a time when radio properties are going up for sale because their future does look pretty bleak. They're attacked by streaming media, commercial free satellite radio, iPods, all kinds of recorded music, and any variety of things. The Internet is making location meaningless. Radio was a local medium. Its high maintenance costs led it to carrying national programming, which in turn, led it to consider local presence except for drive time as a real revenue problem. The companies may be consolidating, but the sources of content are clearly not, and radio is not the place to be.
The musicians doing the most complaining in this article are country-western artists. I always loved David Allen Coe's perfect country song, and the lyrics can be found here:
The key verse is
WELL, I WAS DRUNK THE DAY MY MOM GOT OUT OF PRISON
AND I WENT TO PICK HER UP IN THE RAIN
BUT BEFORE I COULD GET TO THE STATION IN MY PICKUP TRUCK
SHE GOT RUN NED OVER BY A DAMNED OLD TRAIN
There's the old joke about playing country music backwards: you get your house back, your girlfriend or spouse returns, and you get sober again.
The big "villain" has been ClearChannel, which was just sold to some private equity investors and will be partially dismantled. The economics of the industry changed and they weren't ready.