Where did the music industry go so wrong?

Apple Store“Wasn’t it all so gloriously simple back when people listened to top 40 radio and obediently paid $20 for discs at record store chains? Labels set the deal terms for artists; managers handled the “biz”; the touring circuits were maintained by well-mannered warlords that politely divvied up the venues; and everyone had their place in the pond,” Patrick Faucher writes for CNET News.

“So where did it all go wrong with the music business? Somehow, the pond became stagnant over time, mucked up with greed, laziness, contempt and excess. People got bored with music. Then, someone threw a rock into the middle of it called “The Internet” and nothing will ever be the same. Today, anyone can hum a tune, mix it with a rhythm track and some samples on their Mac at home, put it up on MySpace, and end up with a publishing deal from Moby who will then sell it to the next Superbowl sponsor,” Faucher writes.

Faucher writes, “The labels–or their successors–need to get down to sea level, pick up an oar, and help row with the artist into this new ocean of opportunity.”

Interesting full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bev M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Piper Jaffray: ‘less than a 25% chance’ music labels will heed Apple CEO Jobs’ call to drop DRM – February 07, 2007
Apple inks deal with big four labels: iTunes Music Store prices stay at 99-cents per song – May 01, 2006
Record labels look to raise iTunes wholesale prices, music industry fears Apple’s market domination – March 04, 2005


  1. Mudflapper-
    are you saying you’re not gay? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”surprised” style=”border:0;” />

    Anyhow, the ABBA reference was a joke.
    those dam melodies get in my head and won’t go away…until I hear a BeeGees tune!

    And when I discern the difference between entertainer and musician, it is not a slam at entertainers.

    Many musicians can attest to a fact, one that I call ‘The Curse’, and that is there is always, ALWAYS, a tune going through your head, and one way to ‘exorcise this demon’ is to play music. Whether for money, fame, or pure enjoyment depends on the individual.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find a BeeGees cd…

  2. With regard to the current situation, the music industry went wrong by choosing denial as a strategy in the early to mid 1990’s.
    The internet? A fad. Hard drives? Way to small to ever hold a meaningful amount of music. Digital music? Make a file formats exclusive to each label (I do have to give them some credit here in that there was an abandoned effort at cooperation on this first) with draconian DRM. MP3’s? No one will ever listen to those. Denial fed by the fact that, as many have pointed out, they were satisfied with their archaic system that allowed them to get rich off the backs of artists and fuck the majority of them right up the zune output orifice. This totally explains their mindset with regard to DRM.

    If these stupid ludites had embraced the idea, cooperated, and backed off the short term greed (wanting to sell a few songs at an inflated price vs selling a lot of songs at a price that consumers will jump at), they could have had their own successful version of iTunes. Of course, we all know that even in the face of iTunes, they want to fuck it up, so they never would have done this.

  3. Where did the music industry go wrong? Easy question with an easy answer, DRM and greed! When they get so greedy they sue your dead grandmother who never used a computer in her life, that’s simply WRONG!!!

  4. “The labels–or their successors–need to get down to sea level, pick up an oar, and help row with the artist into this new ocean of opportunity.”

    Ya, if they can get their heads out of their asses long enough to see that the boat has already left the dock.

  5. C

    My Ric never sounded like that (all passive, though). Had a (screaming) fast neck on it…..
    Too bad a friend I loaned it to pawned it for crank.
    Talk about screaming fast.
    I was screaming
    He was running…

  6. I guess I swim in very different circles. I don’t see music dying as an art form in any way shape or form. The Internet has opened up the floodgates of people who, for one reason or another, couldn’t get past the barriers to entry set up by the old music business. That means there’s room again for the weekend musicians, the garage bands, and so forth, and that in turn propels the revitalization of the local music scene. In my state, local music is fairly big and it always has been as long as I’ve been alive.

    See that’s the great thing about technology — it makes room at the table for the professional, the talented, and the semi-talented, instead of merely reserving a chair for the virtuouso.

    The answer, as always, is deregulation. Make low-power FM legal. Allow pirate radio stations. Reduce the number of laws and then pounce on anyone who violates them.

  7. Man, that Agnetha Fältskog is hot! And ABBA was a great band. I bet they paid more tax than most bands will ever make. Almost as creative but with a smaller market is the Spanish group La Oreja de Van Gogh. Great artists don’t need much industry support, especially nowadays.

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