Another great chart from Statista.com. If you want to know more about how to leverage this trend as an upcoming indepedent artist check out my new booklet here.
This is just my small view, but I feel it is important to say that I am not anti major label. Not in the slightest. Having worked in a major and with majors for many years I can safely say that I have only ever met passionate music obsessives working in major labels who work extremely long hours. I know this is the same for the major indies.
I don't believe that vilifying the major labels will lead to any good outcome. The stance that some people in the majors have taken over copyright infringement due to the Digital Revolution isn't actually "wrong." To be fair - they are entitled to enforce the law. However, I do think that the same people don't fully appreciate the new global trends and behaviours that come with disruptive technological changes and it is up to us to attempt to educate others in a non-emotive logical manner. No one knows how copyright will develop, however we should accept that it is currently unworkable.
There is enough pressure on the music industry without the people inside it trying to win their own arguments.
We will never create a better music business if we continue in-fighting.
How many times have we heard the idea that music consumers or fans should be persuaded to always buy music? That by campaigning, shutting down P2P sites and making an example of a few people illegal downloaders will become more sympathetic to our music industry plight and start buying music like they did in the glory days. There was a time when people would queue all night to buy the latest hot release in music. It is a sign of the time however that this no longer happens for music online or offline, but guess what? It happens for Apple. Think on that one.....
P2P is being taken over by streaming as the playback method of choice and until we can stream from our mobile devices the only downloads we will be using are the ones we want to carry with us. I for one (and I'm sure I'm not alone here) have way to much data on my computers. I want to declutter. We are increasingly mobile, the world is getting smaller so it makes sense that we want to travel light.
Now, don't get me wrong I don't think that music should be given away for free but I do think that we should be giving the fans what they want. If someone doesn't want to buy something they just wont buy it. Full stop. There is no amount of persuasion, cajoling, convincing, imploring or nagging that will make them do it. That's what some of us like to call terrible sales technique. Fans are smart and educated and have abundant choice. They will go to their preferred service for music and if that doesn't satisfy they will click off and on to somewhere else. It's a bit like having a high street with music retailers all selling the same thing and half of them giving their stuff away for free. You can't compete on price here and I guarantee that appealing to their better nature isn't going to work because they have no sympathy for the fact that the music business is losing revenue. Changing people is impossible, all they will do is resist you. If you want to see change, you must be the change. Create a new and different industry that contributes.
You cannot control music fans and consumers. They are people. Trying to change their behaviour is like trying to cup ants in your hands. The ants will just crawl all around you.
Find out more about my book "The Fan Experience" here
And more about me at www.leenasowambur.com
“It's a small world, but we all run in big circles.” Sasha Azevedo
In the early 18th century Great Britain was still agrarian. This meant that in England, a traveler from the North arriving in the South would find themselves in largely foreign territory. There were even time differences in durations of minutes between some counties. The Victorians however had a need for speed and with that the railway and the steam train arrived. The steam train made the Victorians limitless by comparison. Where they were local they were now national. Communication was stimulated as was connection. This is turn affected music with Victorians travelling from villages to towns to experience live music hall entertainment. Similarly it would also seem that our need for connection via the Internet has stimulated the live music sector today. There have been numerous reports to suggest that the sharing experience of music via the Internet has developed our live music appetites.
Is it a case of swings and roundabouts? Perhaps. In the Victorian era another technology was born. It enabled us to talk to each other across vast distances, it used code, new types of crime emerged from it, romances blossomed in chat rooms, businesses practices were flipped on their head and whilst the some sought to control the this brave new medium others predicted utopia and an evolved global consciousness. We are of course talking about the introduction of the telegraph. But doesn't it sound remarkably like our Internet? The point that I want you to remember is that there is no original thought. Everything has been created and everything we experience today is simply an improvement on that original wheel.
So is streaming music is old news? Well yes, it used to be called the "wireless" or as we now call it "radio". When radio arrived it was boycotted by the recorded music industry, after all who would buy records they could listen to the wireless for free? As it turned out the recorded music industry greatly benefited from the radio with the introduction of licences. Copyright as we now understand it was established. Radio gave music a wider reach, and a wider reach meant an expanding audience, and an expanding audience meant supersonic record sales. We had entered The Golden Age.
Beyond radio our next disruptive technology was TV. Radio lovers bemoaned the loss of the radio star. We know, however, that video didn't kill the radio star in fact video created another type of star and another type of experience with megastars such as Michael Jackson pushing the envelope of the medium with the multimillion dollar "Thriller". So now we have YouTube stars. Internet stars with billions of views on YouTube, reams of comments and millions of friends and followers. Internet stardom is a decisive factor in any artist obtaining a record deal or for a record label securing radio and TV airplay.
Let’s not forget the sheet music industry. The sheet music industry boycotted the recorded format. The argument was this, why would anyone buy sheet music if they could simply buy the record and listen to it. Nevertheless, the recorded format took over regardless. Today, people all over the world obtain tracks and make them their own. They put their own take on the original composition. We have mash ups, remixes, fan made video and presentations. Not unlike music fans back in the sheet music era who took their copy home and improvised with it to the delight of their audiences at home.
So what's next? Well our forthcoming technology in music is cloud storage. Cloud storage means that we can share out data and then access that data anywhere globally. Like water or electricity. This means that our music can be streamed from anywhere to well … anywhere. It might give us total mobility. A world without wires. A world where there is nothing to tie us down and we can be on the move with the information we need to share at the tap of our fingertips.
So, there have been a few technologies that have made progressively made the world smaller. The Internet is not the first and it won’t be the last.
Sometimes we need to reference from the past in order to learn and move on. There no problem that we have that hasn't been already solved on some level. So sometimes looking at the stories of the past can teach us about the future as we can see patterns and trends and attempt to plot a loose trajectory. No one can predict the future, but it is wise to plan for the best and prepare for the worst and consider every scenario possible and perhaps even make some future recommendations.
I am just finishing the final chapter of the first draft of my first book. This chapter may in fact in the first chapter of the book... who knows! It is a chapter that I am finding quite fascinating to write. The working title for the chapter is "Revolutions" and it revolves around the invention of technology and it's affect on the music business.
This is what Mark Twain has to say about the Gutenberg Printing Press many many years later after it's invention circa 1450:-
"What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage, ... for the bad that his colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored." American writer Mark Twain (1835−1910)
The most fascinating aspect for me so far is the Gutenberg Printing Press, movable type and it's parallels with the internet.
This is the second part of the interview with Trevor Fisher interviewing me for his forthcoming book "The Popstars Handbook." Check out his blog about the "Outlaw" archetype here:-
You can find out more about Trevor Fisher at the homepage below:-
Listen to the audio and my thoughts on artist branding and social media at the player below.
I re-planned a little! This is the first "level" on the shared nature of music in the form of "Mindy Map" (Mind Map)
Just a few of the photos will update later!
Ok so here are the final maps - though I think I might need to do more this process threw up a tonne of questions!