Friday, January 26, 2007 : News : Nashville Skyline : That Gurgling Sound? CD Sales Down the Drain : News : Nashville Skyline : That Gurgling Sound? CD Sales Down the Drain

More people are listening to more music than ever before.

Contrast 2007 in the music biz to 1983. In 1983, the music industry was introducing the CD - "Perfect Sound Forever." The CD was released to replace the LP, then the high-quality music distribution format (cassettes would remain for convenience and low-price). Within a few years, most titles weren't being released on LP, lower royalties were negotiated for artists to support the emerging format, returns were still paid-for by the artist yet retailer returns were ended or curtailed and defective CDs were far less common than defective LPs. The music industry profited from a boom (as did the home electronics industry), from the novelty of CDs, replacing of old LPs with catalog CD reissues, etc.

Now, the consumer has spoken - they want to access music via computers (and cell phones, gaming devices, etc.). They want a broad selection, available now. The music industry didn't invent this, sue their best customers for doing this, and didn't fashion a way to derive revenue from it, so guess what? Music sales are down!

As Flippo points out in the article, there is much great music out there that few of us will hear. We have lost the great filter provided by people passionate about music who ran record companies, replaced by a perpetual motion machine of new music provided by millions of artists, and we have to construct our own filters, or adopt hodge podge structures like MySpace.

This is all good, but we are at the beginning of a rough ride. We need to find a way to appropriately compensate people for creating art, and to pay them or others for distributing it (licence the ISPs!). The changes needed to compensate artists for their music will involve large conflicts that strick at the core of our Culture, our Commerce, and our Constitution.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Music industry divided over digital future | CNET

Music industry divided over digital future CNET

"Many people around the world tell me that we've handled our problems in an incorrect manner but no one tells me what we should have done," John Kennedy, the head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, told Reuters.

"Free is just impossible to compete with."


Any music industry spokesperson who states this is a brilliant example of why the music industry is suffering. Also, journalists who support this argument should go back to writing classified ad copy for the local dog trainer.

(We've been through this...) Licence the music through the ISPs - they are the new radio (with extra added value for music marketers). A buck or two a month for each subscriber will bring untold riches to the music industry, in amounts far exceeding the wildest estimations of any supposed losses due to file trading. ASCAP and BMI have it fairly right with broadcasters, venues, etc., and we can get this right.

Also, you have to be an absolute moron to say that we can't compete with free. When was the last time you bought water? dirt? air? a bible? The list of things that we pay for that we could get for free is staggering - someone just figured out how to market it properly.

I didn't know JFK, but John Kennedy, you are no JFK...