Beginning from October 20, 2015 till literally today, there has been considerable talk about Janet Jackson and the deletions of video from Instagram of her concert footage.
As someone immersed in Media on subjects of Music, International Relations, Innovation, Technology and People/Life worldwide, when you have worked hard for a long period of time, and with today’s tech, it’s easy to have it taken and used for purposes you are not able to manage. I shared a bit of my background, not to to tout the experience, but to make a point. Janet Jackson is an icon, a part of the Jackson Family, the sister of Michael Jackson, who has worked very hard. Every individual views their privacy differently. She is quite a private person. She comes from the music era, when an artist may have signed a recording deal, but they had more say over their brand and likeness – at least from the fan side. In many cases, the label would also have management of the artists’ brand as well.
I agree with Janet, if she felt the need to pull some of the concert footage, this is her right and must be respected. As an Artist today, there is no privacy. People in the marketing area dictate the latest trends and say to society its okay to take whatever images and video footage and post it all over the world. Then amongst marketers and the public-at-large will say, oh, Janet should understand this is the way tech is now.
No on the contrary, being from a musical era where she had say on what content of her was released, her new marriage where the privacy of a woman matters in the Muslim community. Taylor Swift recently set her boundaries. Now Janet is simply setting her own. This is something to respect and understand.
Think about this for a minute. In the old days not too long ago in the early 2000s, you provided a demo to the record label. You signed a recording deal and production deal for x amount of albums with an out clause of course, usually to the advantage of the label. The artist then toured, royalties earned in album sales in those days of physical product were given as the agreed percentage to the artist and rest repaid back to the label for any expenses distributed for promotion, publicity and touring. Now this is a very short version of the way things were. Physical product were usually CDs.
Now skip to today, artists’ really earn very little from streaming; mp3s which have terrible quality are almost nonexistent today (so artists’ are not able to gain a large revenue stream from digital downloads); revenue from mobile is bundled together and the list goes on. The major record labels want more from the artists’ today than ever because their revenue streams are dried out. Artists have to tour more than ever to gain revenue. Their lives are no longer private. And time they could be in the creative area, now has to be spent in engaging fans and taking selfies on social media.
Many artists’ of the early 2000’s and prior may not wish to indulge in the current trends. They may opt to instead look at this time of freedom, as a way to create their music on their own terms and can only hope their fans will adapt. This type of artist I am speaking of who uses today’s trends to direct and manage the direction of their career more closer to the heart strings, is an artist who understands the value of their work on another level.
Now with that said, artists’ like Beyonce who grow with the flow of current trends, uses social media to connect closer with her fans. But even Beyonce, manages what she shares with those fans.
Instagram to my knowledge, one is able to download and sell images or videos for sale to anyone. A gentlemen once downloaded the art and photography of another and sold it in a gallery. It was perfectly legal. So you may understand why Janet wanted her concert footage removed. I do not believe she meant for the fans’ accounts to be revoked.
This is the day of a new trend we say. For some its the time where they call the shots as artists. You weigh in.
Thanks for reading.
By Gail Davvis