Nobody Will Save The Music Industry Because It’s Dead

February 20, 2018

The last couple of days, I have been watching countless of hours of TEDx Talks on YouTube about the Music Industry.

The first ones date from 2011 and we are already talking about saving the Music Industry. How we can change the game, what will be its future and how we can overcome it.

The truth is that none of the speakers had an actual solution. They had answers, mainly by pushing how “amazing” their business is but at the end of the day, that was a very short term proposition that would never bring anything new to the table.

The speakers were all professionals in the Music Business, they all had nice backgrounds, worked with a lot of nice people, labels and majors… All having different ways of speaking, some were really confident, others were pretty awkward to watch and hear (the microphone always transcribing perfectly the sounds of mouth and saliva). That was a whole panel of very interesting people with nothing to say.

At some point, somebody even had Time Travel as a solution to the question “How to save the Music Industry?”.

Just to tell you how desperate the ecosystem seems to be about the situation.

Granted, the “Time Travel” choice of words was mainly some clickbait because the purpose was a 360 degrees camera that you could use in festivals like Woodstock so you can watch everything with a VR headset, but is that the solution? No.

I have been working with Universal, Bad Boy Records and Sony BMG on the artist side as a performer and later on as Advisor and Social Media Marketing Strategist. I have seen it all, the nice and the (very) ugly.

The Industry is dead.

It’s dead but there’s hope.

Why is it dead?

The Music Industry has fallen because we are not selling Music anymore. Music has never been sold by musicians, Music has always been sold by businessmen.

In fact, people don’t realize that it is because someone decided to sell vinyls that musicians comprehended they could put their music on it and then make money.

People don’t realize that it is because at some point, we had a radio manufacturer who wanted to sell his invention that musicians decided to air on it.

People still don’t realize that it is because someone wanted to make money with an app that musicians rushed to put their art on Spotify.

The problem here is that we sold vinyls, we sold tapes, we sold radios, we sold walkmans, we sold CDs, we sold mp3 players…

But now, we are not even selling a CD player built in your laptop. Radios and music players in cars have been replaced by tablets and mini computers for you to log in with your Sirius Xm account.

Therefore, if music is not selling, the Music Industry is dead.

What’s the future, then?

Everybody wants to save the Music Industry because they are not seeing the long term game. They are not seeing the fact that you will not save the Music Industry, you will save the Businessmen of the Music Industry.

You will save the majors that sign an artist by owning 89% of their revenues.

You will save the guy that decided to inject millions of dollars in an app that will make you consume music a certain way.

Musicians can’t save the Music Industry.

But they can save themselves.

A solution?

Absolutely. If Artists, Singers, Musicians, Producers and Beat Makers decided to accept that it is dead and that they will not make money out of their music, then they will crush it and earn 100 times more than what they were expecting.

Self branding, my friends. That’s the way.

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  • Reply
    Raj Savi
    April 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    You are pretty much spot on but the issue is that so much of us dream about the complete package which can only be given to us by the big label machine. Everybody wants that fame, they want to be on TV or be as big as Metallica or Adele or other big selling acts with a lot of exposure. With self branding, you may or may not get the fame portion of being a musician. My theory is that people just don’t care about music that much anymore because back int he day in the 80s and 90s, music was your identity and people spent a whole lot of time worshiping rock stars and music because you only had movies and music for entertainment for the most part. Today technology is the new rock star. The buzz surrounding the new release of an Iphone is bigger than any music release. 20-30 years ago music received that type of buzz and excitement. So I think the excitement and anticipation for new music is gone among younger people. The typical rocker today is over 40 (the youngest being the 90s kids). Even if kids today feel some excitement, it is gone 5 minutes or a few days later because technology keeps supplying them with new stimulus in a pleasure-reward instant gratification system. So essentially I think music is dying because there is less demand for new music. Today instead of worshiping rock stars like people like 20-30 years ago, everybody is worried about how to become famous themselves. People today can be their own rock star with an entourage on social media. If anything the new rock stars are technology and also the entrepreneur. I would almost say the entrepreneur is the new rock star. That’s who people worship today.

    • Reply
      April 10, 2018 at 5:11 pm

      Good point, Raj! Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate you taking the time to develop your comment as well!

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