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Christian Jung

The True Reason For The Current Breakdown Of The Music Industry: Don’t Mess With Art!



The underlying reason for the 'crash' of the record industry in the digital age is that everyone thought that we were selling the medium rather than the experience.


What do you think lead to The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age?

Shortsighted greed.

The Daily Grind



The destruction of the music industry in today's age was not caused by one such event, but by a plethora of incidents that, as society evolved through the years, collectively catalyzed the industry via means of a "domino effect". As any pluralist like myself would agree, there are far too many reasons for the demise of the recording industry by traditional standards, some more apparent than others, nonetheless still playing a supporting role. here are a few of my thoughts:

1) Control of content ( i.e, music, copyrights) by record labels prior to digital technology was akin to behaviors vested by dictators. The general public (both music appreciators and fans) were treated as inferiors, customers with no logic, and were basically "spoon fed", for lack of better words, what music was "popular", with the principal objective in the eyes of the "big boys in suits" being profit from the commercialization of music.

The labels and their affiliates controlled most of what was being distributed out into the masses, including the the most dominant mediums of mass broadcast, TV and radio.

1.1) - Markets changed from singles to albums, with the idea harbored by record labels being that albums would contain, on average, 2-3 singles, and the rest filler. No other option given to "consumers" but to buy a whole album, resentfully, for the enjoyment of 1 or 2 songs.

When folk are deprived of their rights and liberties, especially if it involves their own hard earned money, there will always be a few rebels, and record labels never paid any attention to history. It happens in politics and social issues, and it too so can happen when trying to commercialize music. It's all related, in some way. What's that quote? "History not learned, tends to repeat itself"

2) - Record labels attempted to maintain control all through the 2nd half of the 20th century, up until digital technology, the Internet most importantly, finally became the silver bullet of the old model of recording business.

Internet allows for anyone, ANYONE, to publish anything, including music. With so many people online today, and millions more each year, it's astonishing to see how much content is uploaded for people to see online, and it's still the only medium with little to almost no regulation. Ergo, many musicians have been able to place their music online, for the masses to see.

3) digital technology and the internet have become key factors for why commercialization of music has become very difficult business today. The market trend is transitioning now from having record labels mass promoting music via TV and Radio, to narrow casting via genre niches and internet. Even more so, today's society is becoming more and more accustomed to seeing music be illegally pirated and downloaded online via p2p and file sharing sites, and thus less records being sold each year. Trends and music purchasing analysis even show that music consumption is moving back into a singles market, not essentially because of the record labels decision, but due in part to digital distributors and Interwebz,. Ain't that a surprise...?

You observe how music appreciators and fans went from enjoying artists and groups within the same limited genres distributed in the past, to the younger audience listening to everything from rock to electronica, to a fusion of funk and experimental, and some even broadening their horizons with music native to some countries of the world.

Music can't be viewed as a product by record labels, but as an art form. Still, the majors can't seem to grasp this concept, and will probably hold this conviction till it's final collapse.

I can go on and on, but I gotta get back to work. That's my two cents.

Kyle Bylin

Chrystian and www.google.com/accounts, you'll have to leave your email addresses in case I want to contact you about the book. Contest ends tonight.


its all written here! http://www.jayscarmusic.com/?p=10

Kyle Bylin

Jay, looking forward to reading part 2.



Thank you for your note. Certainly: chrystil@usc.edu


The overriding problem of course is that not enough people are buying music anymore and of those that are, many of them are shifting lots of their spending away from the high street retailers to online CD stores and to digital download stores. The harsh fact is that no high street music retailer has become a leading digital download store. Some have done better than others, but measure against the success of Apple’s iTunes Music Store, all have failed. They’re not helped by the fact that most digital download stores are an artifact of iPod sales. So selling in MP3 will help them (i.e. being able to sell to iPod owners), but they’ll still be hindered by their biggest problem: integration. No high street retailer has bitten the bullet and fully integrated their digital offerings with in store retail. The level of integration required should be so complete that it seriously threatens near term in store retail sales. Which is of course why it hasn’t happened yet. But if they don’t pursue such strategies soon, they’ll lose that revenue to other outlets rather than to their digital divisions. Meanwhile Amazon is setting the standard for integration. They could still go further, and they should, but they’re much further along this road than most of their bricks and mortar peers.

CD sales are in terminal decline. It’ll be a long prolonged death, so there’s still plenty of business in it, but succession and transition strategies need to be built around that basic tenet. The fact that music retailers are now media retailers (i.e. they sell DVDs, games, electronics etc) is indicative of the realization of where the future is. But aggressive digital strategies are key to retailers can slowing the music revenue share decline and turn it into channel shift rather than revenue loss.

Even though HMV’s revamped digital strategy isn’t as bold as it should be (yet anyway) another announcement shows their ambition: they’ve launched a joint venture that gives them a portfolio of live music venues. This is HMV trying to safeguard their future in the post-CD music business. Such a move isn’t available nor appropriate for all media retailers, but the basic assumption of ‘diversify or die’ is.

Yannick, the GeneralEclectic

I had never thought about it that way that the customers of the labels are the retailers, not the music buyers.

With iTunes dominating the market share in music retail at the moment, the labels are in the unfortunate situation of catering to an aspiring monopolist. iTunes might eat up the labels sooner or later if they don't help their initial customers, the retailers, to get their own customers back, the music buyers.

Would a highstreet iPod filling station that also carries CDs be a solution? No, because that would still have to come into being on permission of the software company with the biggest market share in music. And they surely would protect their market share.

The mistake of Apple of having tried to turn music lovers, who usually are pretty social people, into nerds who hang around in front of a screen at home to get the hottest new sounds, on the other hand, surely is an opportunity for the labels and retailers to get back market share, because being together and actually talking with other music lovers isn't what the internet can provide.

Is it an anachronism to talk on a blog about getting people away from hanging around on the internet? I don't think so.

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