It is a new world order for musicians. There’s also a high degree of change in the world of radio. Expectations, though, shouldn’t be changing all that much due to the complexities of rising to the top in a still very difficult system.
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Entries in new music business (5)
That time in the evolution of history that we’ve been dreaming about as artists and creative professionals, is. now.
For every sentiment echoed since the birth of civilization that a creative thinker or music maker have ever uttered that went like.. ONE day the MACHINE, the system, the big-guy, the boss, the “THEM” will pay!
For the rest of our foreseeable future a new music industry HAS finally emerged.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and to a lesser extent Hip Hop, are much better poised to thrive in the new music industry than traditional bands (live guitarists, drummers, vocalists, etc). Lefsetz has been talking about this phenomenon for a while but it’s only been recently that the truth of his claims have become apparent..
Traditional bands have, and always will, exist. I’m not arguing that. What I am saying is that the environment for the new music industry is far more favorable towards electronic music than it is traditional bands. If we take equal amounts of each type of band, over time we’ll see more electronic groups for all of the reasons listed below.
There are many examples of the benefits of working in harmony with nature. When first venturing out beyond home a child is taught to walk with traffic. A carpenter achieves a cleaner result by going with the grain rather than against it. In sports a team succeeds by taking advantage of what the defense gives them, and there are countless other examples that express why it is better to work with the flow rather than push against it. For the past ten years the recorded music industry has ignored this strategy, and stubbornly clung to a business model that is no longer in harmony with they way people consume music by predominantly releasing albums in a single song economy.
According to Nielsen Soundscan, in 2011 there were 1.374 billion digital transactions last year. Of those only 103 million or 7.5 % were for albums. This means that approximately 1 out of 14 times a consumer went to buy music online last year they were purchased an album. First with Napster and MP3s, then iTunes and the iPod, and now with streaming services like Spotify and Turntable.fm—the music consumer has repeatedly demonstrated that they prefer single songs to albums. Despite this fact, nearly 77,000 albums were released last year.
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?
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(Updated Feb 25, 2014)