Looking Back On 2010? Brian Hazard: More People Bought AND Stole My Music Than Ever Before

image from dygz78ls5cy51.cloudfront.net As we end the year, Hypebot asked some our favorite thinkers, writers, and friends to answer two questions – one looking forward and the other back.  Here Brian Hazard of Color Theory and Passive Promotion answers.

Hypebot: What do you see as the most important business and consumer trends that will shape the music industry in 2011?

Brian Hazard: The US launch of Spotify, and competing services from Apple and Google, will catalyze the inevitable shift from music ownership to rental.

As anyone with a Netflix subscription will tell you, streaming is the future. I've been enjoying MOG on my iPhone for months, and I'm convinced that once people experience carrying the entire history of recorded music in their pocket, they won't want to go back to buying songs at 99 cents a pop. 

Hypebot: Since this is ultimately all about music,  what were your top musical moment(s) of 2010?

Brian Hazard: Looking back over the year, I see two overarching highlights:

  1. More people bought my music than ever before. I was pleasantly surprised by both the number of pre-orders for my eighth full-length CD, and the enthusiasm for a personalized $99 CD-R I experimented with.
  2. More people stole my music than ever before. My new album appeared on several popular download sites, and Google Alerts lets me know about a handful of new download links every day. 

    Regardless of whether illegal downloading helps or hurts sales (my guess is the former), the important thing is that more people than ever are hearing my music.

    That's all that will matter when the music subscription model takes hold.


Brian Hazard of Color Theory and Passive Promotion

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting interview! I’m a fan of Color Theory. I follow both Color Theory and Brian on Ping and own several Color Theory albums. Everyone should check him out. My favorite song right now is “We’re Not Getting Any Younger.”
    My personal opinion is that music streaming is great for discovery (and will become greater as time goes on), but for most passionate music fans, I think there’s always going to be something special about owning (in some form) what they love.
    Same with movies. I currently use Netflix Instant Play to watch older stuff I missed out on (and the occasional new release since there’s not much to choose from in that regard), but when I see a movie I love on Blu-Ray, I usually pick it up. I guess there’s something about owning a big digital movie collection that is now unappealing to me. At one point, I was interested in that, but soon realized how much of a pain backing everything up was. Availability was an issue too. Maybe as harddrives and online backup services become more affordable, it won’t be so bad, but there’s still something about having my movie collection displayed, tangibly on shelves, that makes it the way to go for me.
    As for music, I personally try to buy my absolute favorite albums on vinyl, if I find they’re available in that format and aren’t too expensive. I just started doing this though, so I only have about 13 vinyls so far, but I love all of the albums dearly and they’ve all stood the test of time in my life. The rest of my music collection is digital files.
    It’ll be interesting where the future leads the music and movie industries.

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