Techdirt publisher Mike Masnick took the stage in Cannes today offering an optimistic view of the music industry. âThe industry is amazing right nowâ¦ we have more content than ever before, more access than ever before, and more opportnity than ever before. "And this is a good thing,â he said. The challenge is very much a marketing challenge," Masnick told the Midem audience. âIt can be met by being more open, more human and most of all, more awesome.â
His talk was based on a research report being released today: The Sky Is Rising â a survey of the global entertainment industry today. âActually we should be celebrating what is happening, because things are actually amazing.â Music, games, books, film and video.
âWe found that for the entire past decade, the industry has been growing. The story of doom and gloom is not actually true. Things have been getting better and better and better.â 66% growth across the entertainment industry since 2006, he said. âPeople are spending money. The sky is not falling, the sky was never falling.â
Masnick talked about the difference between the ârecord industryâ and the âmusic industryâ â lots of revenues from things other than record sales. And he noted that there has been an explosion in the amount of music being made.
âFor consumers it is a time of abundance â more content, more choices â more ways to experience music than ever beforeâ¦ For musicians, easier to create, record, distribute and promote. But the challenge is there is much more competitionâ¦ The challenge is a marketing challengeâ¦ to capture those consumers in a much more highly competitive market.â
In the report, Masnick says he has looked at a number of artists making this work. He talked about comedian Louis CK, who recently released a live performance, through his own website. It was DRM-free, and cost just $5. âHe was incredibly open and transparent and human in the way he handled it,â said Masnick.
That included writing a letter to people who might be tempted to pirate the video, explaining his perspective â that heâd like to make more of these videos, if he could afford to do it.
âHe trusted that if he acted human, they would act human in return,â said Masnick. âWithin 12 days he had made over $1m.â He then explained what he was doing with the money â some distributed to charities, more going back to his staff, and some for himself.
âNone of this works if what you are doing is not awesome,â warned Masnick. If Louis CK wasnât a funny comedian, if a musician isnât making great music, none of this works.
The report is being made available at www.techdirt.com/skyisrising