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