Tools for MGMT: Episode 110

Ace Hotel, Netflix, The Kanye Conversation, Apple One

Change may be afoot?

I honestly couldn’t care less about a Twitter thread breaking down the nuances of Kanye’s various contracts. But if somehow he can force a sustained re-examination (and re-construction) of the misaligned incentives that form the base of the music industry… then more power to him.

Blackout Tuesday was as much of a farce now as it was on June 2nd – where uncomfortable questions about ownership, advances, recoupment, and payment terms were drowned out in a sea of black squares.

The more likely scenario, I fear – is one where Kanye gets his situation fixed, claims victory, and then we collectively move on from this moment with the status quo unchanged. And then he wins another GRAMMY or something.

People who are way smarter and more experienced than I am are tweeting and writing about this from all angles. My hope is that these important conversations can stay in the open (and not on Clubhouse…) so we can all learn, benefit, and apply collective pressure. And maybe, idk… we can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old? 🎵

My name is Ethan. I manage a screenwriter and a comedian. I started this newsletter to regularly send out a few links that I think other managers will find interesting. Thanks for reading this tenth dispatch!

RIP Ace Hotel Shoreditch

The end of an era, innit? Please reply to this email with your favorite memory on Shoreditch High Street. Mine has to be spilling my double espresso all over a fellow freelancer’s backpack right after he asked me to watch his MacBook… and then sitting next to him at the long table for 3 more hours until the music got too loud. x

Ace Hotel London Shoreditch will not reopen following months of closure

Apple One Bundle
I’m here for it. Two of my favorite shows from the past year are Apple TV exclusives (The Morning Show and Dickinson). In fact, I’m concerned that many of you haven’t yet carved out time to watch Dickinson yet… which is really weird considering that there’s an Apple TV free trial? And Wiz Khalifa is in the pilot. And Makonnen landed a 90 second synch?

As we’ve discussed, Apple Music remains more than adequate for my needs (which are listening to Drake and Zane Lowe). Also, here’s a good read on Apple Music’s strategy… versus Spotify’s strategy of giving all the money to the pods.

Review of No Rules Rules (new Netflix book)
Every now and again, The Baffler really does it for me… and this piece really goes IN on Netflix and their labor practices:

On the one hand, I thought, does it matter what goes on at Netflix? Who cares about a private empire of highly paid workers? On the other hand, it was clear that Netflix was the symbol of a terrible trend, the latest manifestation of a decadent meritocracy cult that preaches, with little evidence, that the only way to crack low-growth capitalism is with overworked talent, ruthless conformity, contingent policies, rule by fear, and money as the solution to all problems. The only thing that could make their influence more pernicious would be if the founder were to write a how-to book about this whole mess.

And I know this doesn’t apply to any of you, but:

Ok, I’m off – but here are a few more reads for your weekend ahead:

P.S. I got an email from Spotify for Artists this week saying that… six months into the pandemic… *wait for it…* you can now list virtual events on Spotify. We’re saved! 🙏