Cross post with The Lefsetz Letter.
COMMENTARY: I've believed for some time that we are entering an era where there will be far fewer super-stars and far more mid-level artists. Already I see more artists who define success as the ability to make a living making music their way and who can have long term careers selling 500-5000 tickets and 20,000-200,000 copies of a release.
Except for those greedy assholes among us who got into the music business to get laid and fly in a private jet; how can that be a bad thing?
We live in a digital era where recording music, distributing it, and even marketing it (via net stations and web sites, on satellite radio, and even via cell phones) has never been cheaper and easier. Wired Magazine's Chris Anderson coined the term "The Long Tail" to describe a future where "continued sales of niche content over an extended period of time can rival the short-term spikes of a major artist like Britney Spears or Mariah Carey."
This future will require a drastically different business plan for most of our industry that borrows from online retailers like Amazon and Netflix. In the digital age with infinite shelf life and no physical media to produce, a song or album can be available indefinitely, creating long-term renewable revenue streams. And in an era where staying connected with your fans is just an email or mouse click away why shouldn't the best artists - those that actually have something to offer song after song and year after year - be able to sustain a long term career?
And why shouldn't that kind of long-term thinking be considered an integral part of any music company's plan for growth and profitability. Technology has allowed the democratization of the music and instead of complaining we all need to embrace it. - Bruce Houghton For Hypebot