Facing The Music

from the say-goodbye dept

As if we haven’t had enough stories about the entertainment industry lately… However, Michael Wolff’s latest piece for New York Magazine is a great read. He predicts that the music industry is going the way of the book industry. While there were big writing “stars” 70 years ago, there are much fewer today. The majority of “successful” writers just get by. Wolff thinks that’s going to be the model for music. He looks at the business model issues, and points out that the folks who run the music industry aren’t exactly known for their smarts. He describes them as “thugs” with street smarts – but not necessarily the intelligence to realize what’s actually happening to their industry. That’s as good an explanation as any I’ve read as to how they can be so blind to not realize the opportunity they may have already missed. He also mentions that, in reality, the music industry has always been about technology. They’ve never really been selling music. They’ve been selling CDs. Part of the reason the music industry rebounded over the past decade was that everyone had to replace all their old records and tapes with CDs. It was the technology. And, now, along comes this new technology – and the music industry doesn’t own it – and doesn’t know what to do.

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Comments on “Facing The Music”

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Peter Townsend (user link) says:

Rock is dead. Long Live Rock!

Rock (music) has died so many times already, it’s passe to even mention. It seems to me that the thugs in the music industry are doing a fine job of killing the p2p services that matter, and regulating the piracy to an “acceptable” level. The record industry is down for a number of obvious reasons (economy, et al), as well as the online piracy to a certain degree. However, the author hit on the main reason music is taking such a hit lately and missed what should have been his main point: The limited number of channels of mass distribution to break new acts/genres. The last two massive break outs in music (Britney’s teen pop wave- the 3rd or 4th such teen pop wave dating back to Rick Nelson at least, and Nirvana) were adopted as that teen generation’s “in-thing” and sold massive amounts of product for those acts and their imatators.
In short, as long as there are teenagers, there will be a music/culture market for music, movies, games and other mall product. The Internet will not kill music/movies/games. It will add an additional channel to monetize those products. Didn’t we figure this out already?

Mike Roberts says:

Re: Rock is dead. Long Live Rock!

Dear Pete interested to hear your views on regeneration, however would you not agree that this may be this is just the tip of the iceburg and like all art forms our chooen point of reference)ie music serves as a indicater as to what is actually affecting all our lives in a very real sense, I am currently sitting in my local libary which has now become an open office at a free access computer terminal,a sign of a unrecognised revolution in our homes much bigger than Britney of Nivanna will ever be, no insult to those concerned, however since when has it been fun or essentail to hang out in your local library or gasing at a computer screen for hours on end, so I surgest to you that it is our job as artists to surf this tidal wave, take the piss,use it,swim not drown ! Cheers mate Mike

Ian Elliott says:

Re: Rock is dead. Long Live Rock!

What about music that matters? What about Rock-N-Roll? It seems to me that today’s music has been flooded with so much bullshit! For example, looks, fashion, money, sex, political views, shocking lyrics, etc. People fail to remember that music is about the sound. I hope that one day I will write a song that will live forever. Not because of the way I look, or because my views are accepted by the mainstream, but because the sound is all too beautiful to ignore.

Not that it matters, but I’m in a band called Gnome Attic. We’re just starting out(we’re five months in the making). I’d like to hear what you think. We have a couple of real rough cuts of some of our songs. Check out http://www.gnomeattic.com.

“I thank the lord there’s people out there like you.”
–Elton John

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