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Shaking up the music music business

Posted Mar 03, 2008 at 10:01 AM by Legs
I think the time will come when the music industry as we know it will cease to exist. Cd singles are already on their way out, and soon mp3's will replace cd's just as cd's have replaced vinyl, or not?

There are at least two types of music listeners. One who just listen to music as some background noise while doing other things. Working behind a computer, traveling or working around the house. For them mp3's are good enough, and in fact very convenient. The other really listens to the music, takes the time and let all else be. There is also more of a bond between the artist and the fans. The way the music business goes will mean that more artists will sell their music directly to their fans through their internet sites. Besides the Beatles I am also a major fan of Barclay James Harvest, and when I found out about a few special songs I didn't have, I asked the webmaster of their official site if their was a way to get these songs again. The webmaster spoke to one of the band members who agreed to make a special cd-r avaiable for those who didn't have the songs. Another example is Magne F, member of A-ha, and another favourite band of mine.
He didn't want to go through the usuall problems artists have when they want to release new material, but instead opted to contact his fans directly.
Members of his mailing list got an e.mail about his latest album. The album, a special 10' picture disc with cd and artwork was later made avaiable as free mp3 downloads through his website.

Excerpt from Side line article
Magne Furuholmen (A-ha)released and sold 300 copies of a special 10" vinyl picture disc with hand-painted original sleeves, accompanied by a CD containing all the songs, a poster and a documentary charting the creation of the artwork. The package sold at 100 Euros a piece. Afterwards, all songs were made available on-line for free via MySpace. Hats off to a bold approach which effectively encouraged each serious fan to also become a kind of personal investor."
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FPSHOT's Avatar
I am not so sure about "cease to exist". However, with that you mean the 'music industry as we know it'.

Which industry is that?

I wanna do some thinking about this issue, but to start a dialogue I wanna add some initial thoughts for consideration of the bloggers here.

1. Do we talk CD here or every way music can be released?

2. How about the promo matarial which 'the industry' uses to promote music especially of those artists who need promo, like new ones which we would never look for on i-Tunes because we do not know they are there. I think of the press but even more the radio and tv business world wide. Radio DJ's get many many CD-singles every week and can have a visual look at the artist(s) from a cover foto which gives a 1st impression.

3. Imagine a release party for the so long awaited new album by artist X.. name Madonna later this year. As usual many are invited to this party which brings in promo for the record company because 'people meet people'. Ok what next, will a secretary play a mp3 file from a laptop for all the 369 guests who will have the "first listen"?

4. How about all the DJ's in the world who work with vinyl often, like the famous Dutch DJ's like Tiesto who play every weekend for thousands of people at huuge parties and events.

5. Years ago LP's were hardly released. Nowadays many albums are released in LP format and as you well know Legs, there are many collectors of the old precious vinyl and even consider moving back to LP in stead of CD, something with with the releases of the first CD's was considered to be most unlikely.

6. How about those who do not even have a computer at home. They do exist !!!

7. How about the industry which produce CD players and LP players etc. You know Legs that recently a large CD manufactury company in Dutchland .. the ones who priduce CD's like the ones we use to put d/l material on... shut down, so it is a threat indeed, but will that industry strike back in any way?

that's it for now :)
Posted Mar 05, 2008 at 04:35 AM by FPSHOT FPSHOT is offline
Updated Mar 05, 2008 at 04:39 AM by FPSHOT
As far as CD singles are concerned, they might be on their way out in Europe and I don't think they ever really took off to any significant degree in the US, but in Japan they represent a viable and essential marketing tool. In Japan, it is practically unheard of for a popular artist to release an album without having first released at least one single, and usually two or three singles over the course of a few months leading up to the album release. The CD singles not only serve as important promotional material for the albums, but are also marketed in a way that supports their own viability. In most cases these CD singles will sport B-side songs that are unique to them, and some artists also like to include backing track or karaoke versions of the A-side.
Posted Mar 05, 2008 at 12:59 PM by digdad digdad is offline
FPSHOT's Avatar
Hey Legs, where is the early morning blog :P

EMI etc, yeah I understand digdag says.. somewhere in this world a 'material' release will show up and devoted fans will find them so it's all a big circle. It may fade away a bit for the public who prefer downloads only.. and then a bit later will be somewhat older and will wanna have a material Paul album in their hands again to show their friends whilst sitting on a terrace discussing music?

"All" is temporary but it's not always a global issue.
Posted Mar 05, 2008 at 10:15 PM by FPSHOT FPSHOT is offline
Legs's Avatar
If you were reading my previous post, which now has been deleted, ignore it.

I see where the confusion comes from, I was trying to discuss two things, when I should have concentrated on one thing namely the relationship between the artist and the record company. Like Paul moving to Star bucks because of his frustration EMI handles things, and an artist like Magne Furuholmen taking matters into his own hands.

Ofcourse mp3's have become more populair, and there are less sales of cd's. But record companies will survive when they adopt the new formats, along side old formats like vinyl and cd's for fans who still want a real product in their hands.
Indeed vinyl remains populair,I know I buy lots of vinyl, that's why I said, or not, behind my remark of cd's having replaced vinyl.
Posted Mar 05, 2008 at 10:16 PM by Legs Legs is offline
Updated Mar 05, 2008 at 10:21 PM by Legs
hibgal's Avatar

Slower than molasses

I'm slow as usual so after 2 years or so on the forum I discover the blogs! And, naturally, I can't help but comment too.

First, I must take issue with this statement: "There are at least two types of music listeners. One who just listen to music as some background noise while doing other things. For them mp3's are good enough, and in fact very convenient. The other really listens to the music, takes the time and let all else be." Listening to music while doing other things does NOT automatically reduce it to background noise where quality doesn't matter! I'm a hybrid myself. Sometimes I listen to music while doing other things, particularly repetitious chores that take no brain power, but at other times I like to just sit down and listen while the world slides away. At no time do I like poor quality recordings and it will quickly annoy to the point of turning it off and switching to something else.

Personally I believe it's more a matter of how sensitive your hearing is than when you listen. I prefer the natural sound of the vinyl but it's not always practical and consider CDs an acceptable alternative. While vinyls are fairly consistent, sound quality varies a lot between CDs so it's hard to generalize. I think it's a format that has not got the respect it deserves from the record companies. Mp3s are my least favorite but better than nothing. If listening in a noisy environment, say a car, the sound quality of the recording is of course rather immaterial.

Having got that off my chest, I turn to the other aspect of this blog entry, the music industry.

I think the music industry as a whole needs to be shaken up. It's not the format the music is distributed in these days that's the problem, it's the business model itself. Take downloads for instance. If the big guys had been less concerned with not losing a dime and more interested in serving the buying public, they would've solved the problem with illegal downloads years ago. As one who has tried - and failed bigtime - to download legally, I can only say that when you make legal downloads a pain in the you-know-what, then people WILL turn to alternate sources. Now people are conditioned to Torrent downloads etc. If the record companies had been more interested in a proper symbiosis with their artists, rather than to milk whatever they could out of them, they would've their unswerving support in this time of need. You reap what you sow, it's as simple as that.
Posted May 22, 2009 at 05:49 PM by hibgal hibgal is offline
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