The music industry is going through what stock market analysts might describe as “a correction.” Music labels have largely dictated what they think we should listen too, and we, the listeners, are fighting back. At the same time, musicians are tired of getting screwed by music moguls. The most famous musicians aren’t always the best or most talented ones. Do you have make me mention Britney? Before the 19th century, it was royalty that dictated what was performed and who wrote the music. Composers had to please the royal courts. The music moguls of the twentieth century could easily be compared to the kings and queens of the old days. All that is changing. The moguls are loosing control, and they are all upset because their old school ways have finally caught up to them.
The Internet has transformed the “traditional” model of music business creating an environment that is allowing musicians to take back control and listeners to really choose who deserves fame. Dave Kusek, music business guru and VP at the Berklee College of Music, recently shared a presentation from his co-author Gerd Leonhard about the future of music. One post simply doesn’t give justice to all the points Leonhard makes in his presentation, so you anticipate more in the near future. The presentation is available below:
My point about musicians and listeners taking back control is described on Slide 9. My favorite point is made on slide 13: “Music is a Social Medium.” This is so dead on! Music is meant to be enjoyed individually and shared with others. Social media has provided a platform that not only allows musicians to listen to music before the decide to purchase. Music buying is one of the most personal choices we make as consumers. The music we appreciate listening to is the most subjective choice we make. What I think is good, will be different from what anyone else may think is good. The rise of social media has made it easier to learn and discover music. I continue to find new acts through social media, and appreciate more and more how it can help the music industry.
As a music listener, I don’t want to buy what I can’t hear, or invest in a new group I don’t really know well. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been robbed when purchasing a CD after just hearing one track. The track that lead me to buy the album is good, but the rest of the album is a waste. Aggravating! The music industry continues to avoid the fact that this is a problem. Consumers are leery of purchasing anything they don’t know, especially when it comes to something so personal. At least when you purchase a car or computer you can test and see if it fits your needs. Purchasing a CD without hearing it beforehand is a risk most consumers are less willing to make. Until the music industry understands that social media provides a method that allows listeners to listen to music and decide its worth, the industry will continue to struggle.
It was a nice surprise when Nine Inch Nails offered The Slip to fans as a free download. I was even more surprised to learn that Nine Inch Nails was planning on releasing a limited edition retail version of The Slip, which will hit shelves July 22nd. The limited edition two-disc set is limited to 200,000 individually numbered copies in digipak form. It will include a bonus DVD of Nine Inch Nails performing material from “The Slip” during rehearsals, as well as a 24-page booklet and stickers. It will be really interesting to see how successful the sale of the new Nine Inch Nails will be once released. NIN is leading the way as the find ways to change the industry, something that is needed and long overdue.
Photo Source: Lady Pain