Does anyone who is not in the music business care about the fate of the music business? There’s been an enormous amount of hand-wringing within the industry not only about the purported Death of the CD (is a format that sells 500 million units a year dead?) but a dread that the music business as they’ve always known it is not long for the world.
As Lefsetz says: The dropoff in sales is more due to lack of enthusiasm for today’s top artists than any diminution of people’s need for music. The marketplace is extremely fragmented today and I think in a way that’s healthy. What kind of music do you like? It’s out there if you care to look for it.
Marketing guy Seth Godin provides a checklist for those brave enough to want to continue in the music biz, including this bullet point:
5. A frightened consumer is not a happy consumer.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but here goes: suing people is like going to war. If you’re going to go to war with tens of thousands of your customers every year, don’t be surprised if they start treating you like the enemy.
The RIAA and the major labels are still fighting a war that actually ended a long time ago.
Artists have been figuring out how to bypass the major label structure and reach their fans directly. That can only be healthy for the “music business” (a term that is becoming more mutable by the second).