Having worked around musicians and DJs, there is a definite attitude musicians have towards the music labels… and over the past few years, it hasn’t gotten any better.
The thing is, when you’re antiquated you have two choices – innovate or ride it out to the end. The music industry opted for the latter and it has made all the difference in the world.
I suppose it’s to be expected. These labels are not made up of passionate musicians who had business savvy and did it for the love of music. The music labels that make the industry are corporations with their passion and duty devoted to money. They are the BPs and GEs of the music space – they file a 10K, report to shareholders and look at artists for ROI.
So…when the internet came along, instead of embracing the new, they opted to sue.
Napster caught them off guard and instead of looking at Napster as music lovers sharing tracks and their love of music…they looked at them as common day thieves, stealing their product off the shelves.
And why not?
The music industry was built on organizing these artists, marketing them and distributing TANGIBLE products for a profit.
They look at music as a product, a TANGIBLE item. It is was packaged in a case, wrapped in plastic and even had a bar code. You can could hold it, feel it and profit from it.
We the music lovers look at music as love, heartache, sorrow and every emotion evoked with the sound of a voice, a guitar, a beat…it is INTANGIBLE to us. We connect with the artist through the song – we fall in love, say goodbye and dance our first dance as a married couple to music. It DEFINES us and our memories in so many ways.
The internet allowed us to share music and our passions in ways we had never dreamed of. We were sharing our libraries, our most intimate moments with each other via music….
You already know the outcome of the music label’s war against the internet. Their penchant for slapping lawsuits against music lovers, shutting down peer to peer companies and locking down everything digital did something else…it locked out those lovers of music.
The people who built their mansions were now looked upon as the enemy…and it tore apart the industry.
When you are no longer worried about taking care of the customer…
When you are not worried about fulfilling a need of man…
When you no longer care about the quality of your product…
YOU ARE AS GOOD AS DEAD.
For now, the labels will continue to worry about getting other pieces of the artist – percentages of merchandise sales, ticket sales and any type of ventures into other industries…such as consumer electronics.
Thom Yorke may not be correct about his prediction of the music industry collapse within months, but he is correct in seeing a major change taking place.
Whatever the outcome, as Rolling Stone points out…the industry brought it upon itself.
Technorati Tags: rolling stone, thank you to record execs, music industry, thom yorke, thom yorke music, thom yorke labels, music labels, artists, dj, djs, music industry collapse, icanhasinternets, music, emotion, musicians, record labels