Music Label 2.0

So after the CD industry collapses, we will have a new recording business. It’s pessimistic to assume otherwise. The masses now have access to high quality audio production via personal computer technology, so recorded music has a vibrant future. The form it takes will largely depend on how the legacy business falls, but I believe that commercial interests will eventually prevail. I mean, this is America, right?

While there is constant chatter on the failings of this industry, I’d like to enumerate what I think its strengths are. I find too much energy around the office is drained by the uncertainty and much of it is the negativity regarding online sales efforts. But we have a lot to be proud of and a lot to offer musicians in their efforts to become successful.

The first is our ability to recruit top talent. Even though the market place is screwed up, the majors still can find and develop the best artists. The file sharing networks see the most traffic with the same artists that are on the top of Billboard. So the industry is still healthy in bringing compelling artists to the public.

The second is our infrastructure to promote and market the roster. This is probably not a view shared by a lot of people out there. But the fact is that our traditional sales channels are changing as fast as the promotion outlets we’ve relied on. Radio still is the most important piece of selling music, but online promotions are completely underused. There are lots of radio promotion people in the business, but not too many online promotions (new media) people. As we get more facile with online activities, the promotion department will adapt and find new outlets. It might be painful, but the realizations are slowly coming.

The third leg of my optimism is the fact that specialization is the natural progress of things. The reason musicians are doing it all is because the label has not adapted to the times and a lot of trust has been lost. But if the industry works towards fixing the difficult problems, artists can go back to what is best for all us music fans: play music. There is no better path towards greatness than being able to practice, gig out, and record full time.

No doubt there’s much to do and a lot of uncertainty, but music will survive. And the roughed up, pessimistic labels still have a lot to offer if we got out of the box.

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~ by Som on November 28, 2007.

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