We’ve all heard the complaints about the current Music 3.0 music industry model: physical product doesn’t sell anymore, download sales don’t make up for the shortfall, and streaming music cannibalizes sales and pays a pittance in royalties. Then let’s heap on the accusation that music today is so formula and soul-less and generally a shadow of what it once was. But how does that explain the recent success of Mumford & Sons and Adele? Here are two principles that hold true in any age.
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Entries in music industry (33)
It seems like a week doesn’t go by without new proposals for streaming music services — some real, some imagined. Most services position themselves to be more convenient than digital downloads. Few promise better quality than CD audio. Therein lies the problem with listener-paid business models, a simple truth from the software industry that should be heeded.
When I got into the commercial software business, titles were delivered in boxes containing install discs accompanied by paper user manuals. From there it became commonplace to purchase a license key to download software and soft-copy documentation. It remains to be seen whether full-feature software can now be accessed solely through the cloud.
I feel compelled to write this after hearing about Jeff stepping down as Tunecore’s CEO. I’m not clear on who his replacement is, but I’m going to say something that Jeff was once kind enough to say about me: he’s everything that is right with the modern music industry. He makes time for his artists. He breathes music. I’ve always seen Tunecore as a supportive family and there can be no greater home for my work, and Jeff is responsible for creating such a welcoming and encouraging environment for emerging talent.
I was recently invited to speak at a TEDx event. I spoke on the subject of fan experience. Here it is… enjoy!
When self-appointed guardians of the Internet and rights holders argue about the fall and the future of the music industry, you can put all of the talking points into two buckets:
Guardians of the Internet
Open, free, free culture, remix, sharing, do no evil, censorship, don’t break the Internet, innovation, value creation, music-will-be-like-water (don’t worry), scale, disintermediation, alternative income sources, patronage, greedy and shortsighted labels, etc..
Rights holders (artists, labels, publishers)
Copyrights, permissions, illegal sharing, stealing, royalties, negligible royalties, transfer of wealth, ad-supported sharing, free-loading, livable wages, the necessity of labels and publishers as investors, etc..
There are many technological developments within the last ten years that have changed the way we interact and consume media. Development such as facebook, twitter, (myspace), tumblr and youtube have emerged and have become an integral part of how society interacts. However, one of the crucial elements that is often overlooked is the impact that google has on how things spread and the content that is consumed.
After publishing Why You Should Give Your Music Away for Free here on Music Think Tank, I have been inundated with articles, comments, and other assorted replies decrying that the new digital music business models are killing the music industry. It got me thinking about a crucial distinction that is being overlooked, and the consequences of doing so are preventing many from seeing the opportunities that are abound. It boils down to one main concept.
The Music Industry has been struggling to battle the revolution of Digital Piracy for years, with countless musician’s speaking out against it. This struggle has gone as far as the creation of a few ill-advised bills being proposed by Congress, known as SOPA and PIPA, to protect Hollywood’s movie and music industries from dropping drastic levels of revenue. However, these laws were far from desirable, and the Music Industry still faces a challenge in battling piracy, despite the activists against it!
At the tail end of 2005, I was sitting in my office as Digital Product Manager at Sony (BMG) working on the Take That website. The band had been away for ten years. Take That were making their comeback and this event was marked by many things - a documentary charting their career, a new “Greatest Hits” album called “The Ultimate Collection - Never Forget” and of course their first official website. Until this point in time the “Take That Appreciation Pages,” had occupied the prime real estate of web space as the number one destination for all things Take That. The owners of the “Take That Appreciation Pages,” were doing a better job then we ever could have at managing the fans. Resources at Sony were stretched between many, many artists. The Take That Appreciation Pages,were dedicated to their cause. When it came to Take That as Lulu said in the documentary you weren’t so much a fan as you were a disciple.
Recently I heard a quote attributed to a music business executive that went something like this: “The new model doesn’t exist…” I can’t honestly believe that it was framed that way by someone in the business…Just what exactly would qualify as success or viability in the “new model” by the present day music business establishment?
Last week I went to Nashville to guest lecture at my Cyber PR® Course at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). The class has 18 amazing students in it. 17 of them are certain they want to create careers in the Music Industry. I believe that they can. I told them hat the best way to do this is to follow the path of the entrepreneur and not the path of the CEO. They shared with me their visions for their own futures and I will be posting much more about them here in the coming weeks. This is the 4th installment on entrepreneurial leaders in the music business for Music Industry and Music Business students, so that they can begin to follow their paths and look to them for inspiration. This weeks inspiration comes from a man who inspires me deeply. Why? Because of him and his vision (which was born out of just one frustrating political conversation) there are now 175,000 new registered voters and a network of 8,000 volunteers working to make a difference for the future of our country. Please meet Andy Bernstein who like so many of us started as a fan…
I’ve started to notice a trend. Radio doesn’t like the internet. Actually, most of the music industry doesn’t like the internet. The traditional music industry can’t do much about file sharing, loss of their brand, the flattening of recording technology, etc, but they can do something about radio and traditional media. They can use their power in both worlds to ignore nearly every music star the internet has created.
Kurt Cobain blew his head off, even Martin Mills has a Maseratti and Amy Winehouse’s blood is not on Island Record’s hands.
The music industry is a strange thing. Full of a lot of mushy stuff that just loves being squished into its tight little cubicle alongside all the other mushy stuff.
James Blunt is the suburban front lawn of artists – there’s a song, there’s an album a cover, there’s a hit, there’s a car.
Most great artists are like the annoying neighbour that ignores your invite to the neighbourhood barbecue, the one that keeps letting his garden grow slightly wild, the one who ‘doesn’t care’ (but really does).
It amazes me that after being in the industry long enough to be considered a veteran by many that I have come to respect over the years, that there are some artists and companies industry related out there that think they are going to “GET TO THE TOP” by backstabbing or undercutting other musicians, agents, managers, producers, etc. That being said, they are “Playing Games” in our Industry!
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