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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 & The Music Business

In spite of the difficulties posed by illegal downloading (limewire) and similar non-profitable uses of one's music on websites (youtube), it's an exciting time to be involved in music because the possibilities are endless. However, I must add that I'm on the edge of my seat for something big (and by "big" I mead lucrative) to happen soon!

So, what is that next thing that will revolutionize the music business? Where is this all going in 2010? Before answering that, think about what has happened in the last decade or so. Back in 1997, I vividly remember a computer savvy friend of mine telling me about something called an mp3 and WinAmp, and how it was going to change music. I tried it out but didn't quite grasp the power (probably because I was didn't have a great computer at the time). Personally, I never used Napster, but it is undeniable that's where the mp3 got its big break. Fast forward a bit around 1999 and 2000: I bought a mini-disc player and recorded a lot of my CDs into the player (among other personal musical ideas with a tiny microphone), but I never bought any mini-disc releases even though I saw a few of them in a Tower Records store in London.

Then, something very significant happen to me in 2001. I bought a Mac iBook (with iTunes OS 9) and an iPod for my girlfriend. With the advent of iTunes and the steady surge of Apple's popularity, I think music lovers started building their mp3 collections and forgot about their CD collections. I think that's when I started collecting mp3s and converting all my CDs, especially since I was moving around a lot at the time and didn't want to carry all my CDs everywhere.

I must add that I've been simultaneously buying vinyl since I can remember. It all started with my Dad's records (Beatles, Kinks, Rolling Stones). I eventually started ordering LPs and EPs mainly from punk rock labels like Dischord Records and Lookout Records, and once I bought my first sampler in 1998, I started digging my way through unwanted vinyl at local thrift stores to make beats. Currently, I prefer to buy the vinyl version of a new release because I get the large artwork, and the records now usually come with a digital release as well. The problem is that I'm much more selective due to the cumbersome nature of vinyl. Where does one store it all? But I'm kind of having the same problem with mp3s, too. Since 2001, my mp3 collection has grown and grown, so much in fact, that I keep having to buy hard drives to back them up, which leads me to believe where the next movement in music may go.

I'm inclined to believe that the "next big thing" in 2010 will be websites that store one's mp3s on remote servers. I'm thinking it will be in the spirit of lala.com but with more benefits, e.g., one can always listen to the web songs online from any source, and for a subscription fee, it would allow one to download a certain number of mp3s per week, in order to burn CDs or onto mp3 players for one's car; or perhaps one wouldn't even need to "download" the mp3s in order to make CDs but instead, it would be able to burn it directly from the server; or what if the server communicated directly with the mp3 player so that space was never eaten up on one's computer?

These websites would also pay the artists for spins on their sites in addition to sales made of mp3s. Other links should also be included on artists' pages, leading fans to band merchandise [like vinyl] and concert tickets.

I'm sure there will be many things in 2010 that will change the business, hopefully for the better. Whatever it may be, I hope that it will provide that what is best for the consumer and the artist.

Check out the articles below for more reading on this subject:

Napster Accuses Someone of Devaluing Music
By David Neal -- Former filesharing free-for-all Napster is warning that free music sites are detrimental to artists and labels and detract from the real value of music. And no, your eyes are not deceiving you.

Apple App Store Has Lost $450 Million To Piracy
By Garrett W. McIntyre with Phil MacDonald -- Bernstein analyst, Toni Sacconaghi, estimated that Apple's revenue from the App Store is between $60 million and $110 million per quarter. However, behind all this success lies an insidious force that has plagued the music, software, and movie industry for decades. Developers of iPhone applications have reported alarming piracy rates for their software...

Vevo Overtakes MySpace Music in U.S. Web Traffic
By Mark Hefflinger -- Vevo, the new music video portal joint venture between Universal Music, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Music and Abu Dhabi Media Company, surpassed MySpace Music in Web traffic during December.

Everywhere-Access Key to Paid Music Models
After a decade of declining revenues, the US recorded music industry is more determined than ever to reverse its sagging fortunes and return to the luster of the 1990s. ... "While the first generation of US digital music services was predominantly download-based, the next iteration is likely to be based around subscription models," said Paul Verna.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Have you ever givin any thought to working on these ideas yourself? It sounds like you've really givin those thoughts some serious consideration, It does after all take only one idea to change the world, in your case the world of music. I'm a fan of online music steaming, but they still lack something. I think it would be great for someone actually IN the music business to work on something. I think you'd be great at it, especially since your so passionate about it. Keep us posted friend! :)

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