Deano’s answer to: “Why did there appear to be a corporate conspiracy to destroy rock n’ roll in the 1990’s?”

Rock bands are expensive to operate as businesses, and generally full of dickish personalities with enormous creative control and ego issues.

The 90s gave rise to flagrantly auto-tuned pop idol groups, so-called "reality television", and a host of other forms of extremely low-cost, high-margin entertainment. Which, by the way, was always "studio led", reducing control issues over even fairly big stars.

It was also a period that included the impressive rise in power and sophistication of the (largely dial-up) Internet, which in turn provided many additional entertainment outlets, and the ability to "feel part of the group" in a much less geographically-specific way… You could be a proud proto-goth, without having to blend in with the skinheads or metal stoners at your high school. Did I mention video games? VIDEO GAMES. Frag. Men. Tation.

In short? The music business gave up on arena rock. It was too expensive, too much a pain in the ass, and required large affluent audiences to concentrate their entertainment dollars all in one place, precisely at a time when they were "spreading the love" across a greater number of different forms of play/indulgence. It also didn't help that due to the transition to CDs, burgeoning internet use, the mp3, and services like Napster (the original, not the current whatever-the-heck-it-is), the recording industry was undergoing multiple, drawn-out changes to their long-standing business model – one of which, at least, was entirely involuntary (so-called music piracy).

At the end of the day, all these guys cared about was money. And there wasn't a lot of money in promoting single rock bands in the 90s (though, for a time, music festivals like Lollapalooza experienced a huge resurgence – again, by providing an alternative to the existing model – greater attendance in exchange for lower dollar-per-band in the cash box).

Why did there appear to be a corporate conspiracy to destroy rock n' roll in the 1990's?

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