The music business is dead. Or dying. Or morphing. Or all of the above

The music business is dead. Or dying. Or morphing. Or all of the above

Summary: Five hundred music business execs gathered today at the Digital Music Forum East conference in New York.To read Nate Anderson's account in Ars Technica, attendees differed on the matter of the importance of record labels.

SHARE:
3

Five hundred music business execs gathered today at the Digital Music Forum East conference in New York.

To read Nate Anderson's account in Ars Technica, attendees differed on the matter of the importance of record labels.

Sentiments were expressed that because the record companies do all this vetting before they sign artists and put them out there for the marketplace to decide on, that a built-in screening process involved in this vetting helps the music consumer save time by not having to wade through schlock.

Others at the conference seemed to say that between social media sites, direct download on artist-run sites, tardust.jpg and music recommendation software, music consumers have oppty to make their own choices, around and apart from those made for them by label A&R folks and least common denominator focus-research driven radio station program directors and their consultants.

Despite the Venus-Neptune gap in those two viewpoints, Nate does identify some commonality among the camps in attendance at the event:

  • DRM on purchased music is dead
  • A utility pricing model or flat-rate fee for music might be the way to go
  • Ad-supported streaming music sites like iMeem are legitimate players
  • Indie music accounts for upwards of 30 percent of music sales
  • Napster isn't losing $70 million per quarter (and is breaking even)
  • The music business is a bastion of creativity and experimentation

The last point is correct, but IMHO primarily because of the social media and recommendation engine resources I've alluded to.

But the question must then be asked, if a growing number of recording artists sell their downloadable tracks or CDs from their own sites, can we refer to that activity as a new music business functionality?

Or, are such sales not so much "music business" as "band business," with bits that carry music?

What do you think?

[poll id=199]

Topic: Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Live appearances

    From what little I know (based upon just a few people I know in the business) for people at the low and high end most of their money is made from personal appearances (bar gigs, concerts, etc.) So an indi who wants more exposure and better gigs needs a label to get him/her into the venues.
    Of course the above fact means that many of these folks can afford to give away their music for non-commercial use, since it brings more people into the live performances.
    So that means labels as marketers.
    carlino
  • RE: The music business is dead. Or dying. Or morphing. Or all of the above

    Kids don't need a ride to the mall to buy their favorite artist???s hit today. They can download it 24 a day, nor do they have to get the approval from some music publisher to show their composition to the world. These are changes the industry ignored to long and patching up what is left will be a big challenge
    woodyn
  • RE: The music business is dead. Or dying. Or morphing. Or all of the above

    You know what. This is alot of bullshit. First of all, the business is not dying. If anything else, it is transferring from one form to another. I am not sure exactly what that form is but that is the case.

    You cant blame the society for indie artists not making money. Why does Rihanna make money? Why does Flo Rida make money? Why does Timbaland make money?

    The fans aint stupid. They will buy quality and not junk. So dont blame the download frenzy, you dumb asses.

    The consumer knows what they want. They want quality. They will buy it if it is hot. The rest, will just download.

    Major labels, CD prices are a joke. What are you thinking? Trying to compensate for the "profit loss margin" from downloads? You fighting a loosing battle with yourself and your stupid ancient business model.

    One word...Change...Do it NOW!!!

    I wont give more information as I would RATHER GET PAYED FOR IT. Nobody does anything for free.

    simfonika@gmail.com
    pilgrim007