NEWS.COM -- An interesting piece on where the music industry went wrong, how it needs to reshape itself and how artists should respond. Interesting, but I think it puts too much back on the artist to be entrepreneur and artist. More...
I wonder if broadcast television holds a useful parallel. They say that The Cosby Show was one of the last times that America all watched television together. There's actually one later show and I can't remember which one it was, know that it was embarrassing to all of us humans. But up until that point, there was a general consciousness and pulse and you could bet that if there was something on the night before, there was a very good chance that nearly everyone saw the same thing. But as cable became available and grew and started offering watchable alternatives, the audience fragmented. But there were fewer eyes for each thing. And it became much harder to find quality, harder to get your product into people's minds.
And now radio/music's heading down the same path. We don't just have the three AM stations in town to listen to, we have CDs, satellite radio, HD Radio, lots of regular radio stations, iTunes / Napster / Wal*Mart / Rhapsody, LaunchCast and so on and so on. How's an artist to get noticed and gain a following? It's gotta be even harder, since you can't say "Tune in every Thursday at 8 pm to hear a new song from me."
To be sure, the bigger artists backed by the studios will continue to thrive, but as choice becomes more ingrained, the masses will be less and less receptive to the same regurgitated and force-fed tripe that the studios put all their weight behind.