The Null Device

Child slavery, 2001-style: Manufactured pop groups are in fashion with mainstream radio and the major-label recording industry. As such acts have a life of 3 years at most, and no lucrative back-catalogue (tomorrow's kids will be as interested in All Saints or Steps as today's are in Bros or New Kids On The Block). recording companies and the media pimps who promote these acts are trying to squeeze as much out of them as possible. Which means that the kids, often in their teens are being worked until they burn out:

Band members threatened to walk out after discovering that all they were earning from a promotional deal with British Telecom (BT) was a free mobile phone each. Even BT's generous gift of 30 minutes of free talk time wasn't enough to placate them. Already exhausted from a punishing round of European promotion - in which the distressed group had been forced to slum it by flying in economy class - the Clubbers had to be mollified with a Christmas present of US$150,000 apiece.
"as the global music market has opened up, so has the desire by record companies to exploit it. So you'll get situations where a teen star might not be doing great business in the UK but is very popular in the Far East. This means they're doing long-haul flights two or three times a week to cram in as many TV appearances in those markets as possible. Often they're not even travelling in business class - even Britney Spears travelled economy until recently - so sleep isn't really an option."

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