The music industry of yesterday consisted of great control. If one could just control the few available key aspects, they could and have controlled the market. Distribution in the days of music consumption yesterday consisted of record stores. This is something that I am very fond of, as I remember being a kid working in my grandfather’s record store in Northern New Jersey. I remember the days of going to one-stops in Brooklyn early Saturday mornings and rushing back to New Jersey to make it in time for opening. The distribution dollars still led back to the same few places. Huge media conglomerates controlled distribution channels and consumption channels through radio, tv, and later on portable devices. This took MAJOR funding. It was unthinkable to go against these conglomerates in this state of the music industry. The costs of producing, distributing, and marketing a record were extremely expensive. Even if you had the funding to produce a record, marketing and distribution channels were still tied up with the large media conglomerates.
With the emergence of new music technology, the scope has broadened on all levels. Technology has made way for new opportunities, thus creating new models. The internet has eliminated a lot of past costs within the music industry; this goes for the way music is recorded, the format of music, the marketing, and especially the distribution outlets. New models have taken away the control aspect. A child can be born, grow up developing their musical talent, gather people who can assist in the process, record an album, market that album, distribute that album, get paid, and repeat the process over and over without ever dealing with a record label for their entire career. And that’s just the basic capability of an artist operating in today’s music industry.
Right now we are looking at three entities that are battling in the “Who’s Going to Shape the Music Industry Showdown.” None of these entities are record labels; in fact they are all technology companies. They are Apple, Amazon, and Google. Does this spell doom for major record labels, I doubt it, but who knows? That’s the beauty of the current state of the music industry. It is imploded with an unforeseen greatness of potential. In the coming days, we will see artists partner with entities that we never would have imagined, in fact it’s happening now! Incredibly amazing talents that we never would have heard of in the days of yesterday now have a shot. Sure there will be lesser talents also with opportunities, but if you don’t want to listen to them DON’T. You now have that power in today’s world. The control of the experience has returned to the user, where it should have and always be. So has the music industry changed from what we once known? YES, and it will continue to change, but you will hold the reigns. Follow the technology at your own discretion. The new music industry is here, and from the looks of it, the new music industry will always be here.
About the author: Taurean Casey is a Co-Founder of Music Assistant Now.