Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Dilemma

We are living in interesting times in the music business. The industry is in flux and is really no longer about creating music. Even though the business side of this industry has always been a bit seedy, there has always been a certain standard of quality at all levels. Well that has changed. It used to be that some of the smartest and brightest creative people could always find opportunity in the music industry, but no more. In the last ten years or so, the smartest people are going into tech and banking careers. It seems that our industry is no longer as profitable. Here in lies the dilemma for those of us still in this game. We now have to face the fact that the days of becoming a millionaire rock star are pretty much over. This is not pessimism, it is fact. Let me explain. Back when people where actually buying Cd's, there was a lot of money to be generated because there was an almost five hundred percent mark up, if not more, on Cd's. So as long as people where buying millions of Cd's, there was the potential to make billions on sales of, not only Cd's, but concert tickets and merchandise as well. MTV, BET and VH1 used to be music video channels that helped market and keep certain music and artists in our faces 24/7. Now that we have itunes and so many other download sites, Cd's have gone the way on the vinyl record and people no longer buy full length records. It's more about the single download so the industry can't really mark up the price the way they used to so the entire profit structure has changed from the top to the bottom. I'm not saying that we should give up. I'm just saying that as we move forward, we need to do so being well informed about where we and this industry stand. We have to think like business people. We have to find inventive ways to get our music and performances in front of people. This is even harder now because with the Internet people's attention spans are even shorter and they are just bombarded every second with CRAP. The first step is quality. Be sure to create quality art and it may take time but when people find quality, they share it. The public can no longer be bought. They have too many choices. My advice is that we rethink the way we approach doing business in this game. The old models are no longer applicable. It's a new landscape with no creative limits. There is still art to be shared and money to be made. Enjoy the journey.

The Truth
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