How to Fix the Music Industry

This blog is inspired by two videos that we watched in my ICOM 101 class. The videos dissected some of the issues surrounding the current state of the music industry. They were used more as a means of sparking interest in the subject.

I am not very involved on what is going on in the music industry, but I will talk briefly about what I took away from these videos and offer some of my own insight.

The first video was a vlog from Moby. He spoke a bit of where he sees the music industry going. He had some very interesting ideas. They are as follows:

  • Artists are becoming more self reliant. They are beginning to move away from the idea of being signed by a large record label. Technologies are becoming more readily available to the public. This allows artists to create their own brand and image. They don’t need a label to get their name out any more.
  • Record labels brought this “fallout” on themselves. They were so busy getting singles on top 40 stations that they never bothered to develop any type of band loyalty. They did not help with artist development and they almost emphasized this idea of a “low shelf life” for bands. They would pump out a hit single then move on to another band. They also treated consumers poorly. They continued pushing up the cost of cd’s even when the production costs were declining. It has become a bit of a slimy business.
  • The music industry is becoming more evenly distributed. With bands investing more in themselves they are able to increase their lifespan. It has become more of an “honest living” rather than the previous “get rich quick” scheme.

The second video was a documentary that took us around the world to speak with hot shots in the music industry. There were five main points that I took away from this video. They are as follows:

  • Radio provides the mediating position to expose users to what they like. People don’t want to have to go out and find new music on their own. They like tuning in to their favorite radio station and discovering new artists that way. Also, the music genome project offers a way for listeners to discover new artists on their own.
  • The consumer is always right and they know what they want.
  • People are beginning to promote themselves. (This ties into what I previously mentioned)
  • The industry needs less record label influence. The artist should be in charge of what they play and what their style is. This is where a fan base is built from. When a label forces a band to do things that they don’t want to do, they risk crippling the fan base. Or breaking the band apart.
  • Web applications are becoming more important. The web allows for the aggregation of information about a certain music type/ artist. Information is becoming more and more linked together. You can hear a song on the radio, go to the radio station’s website, find out the details of the song, find a link to the band page, find other albums from that band, find their influences, check out those band’s sites, and so on and so on….This helps create a much more dynamic industry.

I feel like the industry is going through some heavy changes…much needed changes. For too long the CEO’s of record labels have been cashing in on the talent of others. It’s time for the artists to take back the industry!




~ by soyouthinkyouknow on November 9, 2011.

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