Monday, January 26, 2009

Industry Hot Topics

"It's interesting to be in a business where there's no issue about creating demand for your product. The issue is finding a way to get paid for it." -Howard Singer from Warner Music

The music business is constantly in flux, it is never static. Here are some hot topics going on right now that deserve both attention and discussion. I'd love to hear YOUR opinion.

-RIAA announced this week they will no longer pursue people for illegal downloading, hot on the heels of iTunes introducing DRM (Digital Rights Management) free downloads. As you may or may not know, the RIAA has been harassing people for illegal downloads since the days of Napster, and has created a very much divided schism among the music community. On one hand -- illegal downloading is stealing copyrighted work and gives no compensation to the people that made it happen, but it is getting the artist's name out there. I would much rather download a song illegally to make sure I like it and then buy it later, or support the artist at a live show, than buy an album and hate more than half of the songs. By harassing the music fans itself (even though they are the culprits), it creates this negative forcefulness in the direction of the people who support you.

-Facebook's new music service (which I'm sure is an attempted direct competition to MySpace, YouTube and maybe even iTunes) has been stalled for its expected soon launch, because Warner Music has held out. Warner was the only of the four music label giants to refuse the deal. You may recall that Warner is also the sole major label group who had all of their property pulled from YouTube.

-How relevant do you think "smartphones" like iPhone and Blackberry in terms of music listening and music buying? Do you think most music will be accessed this way eventually? An online application shop for buying music for Blackberry phones is set to be available this March. I was always so hesitant to buy into the whole "ringtone"/"mobile music" phenom, but it's obvious it's not going away, and is one of the most reliable revenue streams for new music, especially for pop and urban top 40 music.

-In several of my classes at college, we discussed the possible shift toward streaming music rather than "owning" a physical copy of a song, or even a download. Do you think sites like my beloved Last.FM, Imeem, Pandora, etc. will begin to be more popular than the almighty iTunes? If so, how long do you think this will take to happen? In my own humble opinion, I do feel like owning a physical copy is pretty essential, which is why it hurts me as an audiophile to see the death of the CD, but I know that not everybody who appreciates music has to have a booklet with production notes to enjoy a song. The more I frequent Last.Fm, the more I begin to appreciate its usefulness, however, I will always dislike the fact that it takes more work to find the song you're looking for and play it, rather than just have it in your music player and press play...

-Many musicians and celebrities are taking advantage of fans' interest in direct access with the website Twitter. Do you Twitter? Do you think this is a good way to get closer to your favorite musicians?

1 comment:

Tiffany Taeyeon said...

GREAT ARTICLE! I love industry stuff and keep meaning to do more on my blog.

Check out my best unreleased music for this week and tell me what u think...

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