Thursday, February 23, 2006

How the music industry can adapt

This is semi-unrelated to the topic on this blog, but I figure my "thousands" of readers want to hear me fix the music industry.

File sharing is bleeding the recording companies. College kids -- likely a huge source of revenue in the past -- tend to view the idea of buying music as quaint. This is a huge problem now, and more of one later because I suspect people tend to spend less on music as they get older (I did anyway).

The music industry's structure was developed in the 50s and 60s, centered around recording, marketing and distributing physical media through retail outlets. Now, all that's left in the process that's unique is all the artists creating new music. Retail stores are growing less important (possibly excepting the online retailers like iTunes). Distributors, etc. are almost useless.

Record companies primarily provide the marketing support for music. That is still needed because people don't have time or interest in screening every wannabe garage band to find music to listen to.

The need to phase out the distributors and other dinosaurs and work with online resources like bloggers and Internet radio types. Blogging is all about personal recommendations for other reading (trackback links, blogroll, etc.). Music buffs can play the same role for the music industry: they can screen and recommend new artists to a less involved public. That seems a far cheaper marketing avenue than the current route.

These music buffs will eventually realize their power and get demanding. So what? When they start acting like spoiled brats, people will abandon them in favor of others who are not "corrupted". Therefore, it's a constantly renewing resource for the record companies.

I'll solve the rest of the world's problems tomorrow. :)

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