When An Industry Ends What Happens Next?

In March, iTunes reported a negative growth in new music submitted for the first time in history.  Apple Admits That Fewer Artists Are Releasing Music on iTunes…

In June, elitedaily.com reported “How One Generation Was Single-Handedly Able To Kill The Music Industry.

In 2000, no one I knew could have imagined smartphones, or iPads, or nearly ubiquitous wi-fi and broadband technologies, sufficiently powerful and cheap enough to allow for unfettered streaming of audio and video content.  NO ONE could have imagined YouTube, or the impact it would have on how we discover new music.

We used to talk a lot about bringing down the industry.  We used to talk a lot about how everyone who wanted to should be able to do music.  Today, you can make a recording for almost nothing.  Today, you can buy an instrument for the cost of the software to power it.  Today all you need is an iPhone.


Today the industry as we knew it has become something else – and it feels weird for a lot of us.

How many cds have you purchased this year?  How many singles or albums have you downloaded (and paid for)?  How many small local shows have you attended this year?  How many Colorado acts have you seen live, or purchased recordings from?

If music is free to consume, how do we cover the cost of getting it to the consumer?

That’s a hard question to answer.



Author: goat

I've been on the air in Northern Colorado since 1978. The Colorado Playlist is broadcast on 30 FM frequencies in the state. I am also a musician, talent buyer and business consultant. Email me at coloradoplaylist@gmail.com

5 thoughts on “When An Industry Ends What Happens Next?”

  1. Hi Goat, How’s Life?  Could you please send me your mailing address so that I can forward you a copy of our new release “Ecce Mono” by Monkey Paw Finger.  Thanks!   David Vacek Vaceks@comcast.net 970-218-2438

  2. Changing paradigm. Labels used to spend $20K recording an album and $200K making a video to promote it. The artists toured once every 5 years or so and lived off of the album sales. This paradigm was not only stupid, but was also very brief: the 20th century. Prior to the 20th century, one could make a living writing music or performing it. That paradigm has returned. Labels need to understand that the new paradigm involves recording an album for $20K and then giving that away to promote the tour and corresponding tour merch. Whether musicians and labels like it or not, this is the new paradigm.

  3. “If music is free to consume, how do we cover the cost of getting it to the consumer? That’s a hard question to answer.”

    It’s a simple question to answer. You sell concert tickets, tee shirts and vinyl records. Distribution of the actual music? Digital download with no additional cost on top of recording. I’m really sorry that so many very well compensated musicians are married to the idea of going in to the studio and expressing themselves once and then selling it over and over again as their main source of income, but unfortunately, big name musicians will now have to do what working musicians do: work for a living.

    Meanwhile, as the industry fat cats try and figure out where their next private jet is coming from (their definition of the statement “the music industry is dying”), artists like Derek Smith (aka Pretty Lights) have already answered the question. He gives away all of his music free via digital download, sells vinyl records and puts on a great show. He’s making millions of dollars a year. Seems like the music industry is doing fine, just a lot of people haven’t figured it out.

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