Music industry watch
Thoughts on the music industry
I apologize for the light blogging as of late -- between traveling 6 weeks off and on and thinking about the music industry, I haven't felt like blogging recently. This is finally coming to a close as I think about the music industry and reflect on changes that have occurred in the last few years.
The excellent Future of Music Conference this year made me pause and think about the music industry as a whole. Mitch Bainwol's (RIAA) performance on the State of the Union panel nudged me closer shifting my overall views on the music industry. Mitch's claims that Gary Shapiro's (from the CES) valid points were nothing more than rhetoric and his claims that he wishes to solve the problems of the music industry on amicable terms (at the same time as the RIAA launches another volley of lawsuits) were downright insulting to the audience and other panel members. I think Hillary Rosen was a saint compared to this guy -- if this is the face the music industry is putting forward, then I'm convinced the music industry is moving backward, not forward.
Also, nothing much has changed on the legislative front: The RIAA has not been able to get new laws in their favor passed, which is good news. The copyright reformers are doing a great job of keeping the RIAA and Co at bay, but have been unable to affect any change themselves. I don't think that much of anything on the legislative front is going to change over the next 5 years. Yes, we'll continue to squabble over what the Grokster decision means and how to reform section 115 of the copyright act, but no real forward progress can be expected.
The absolutely asinine moves by the recording industry of late would've normally given me a lot to blog about recently: Mac users should just buy regular CD players, Record industry releases malware that deletes your P2P software, Jobs Resists Music Industry Pressure and on.... But really, I'm over it. The only thing the industry has done in the last few years is to license their catalog to iTunes and the likes -- for too much money and now they want more. This whole thing is starting to sound like a broken record, repeating over and over again. It started with piano player rolls back in the day, went on to FM radio, audio cassettes, the video recorder until we reach the modern age with P2P -- each time the industry wants to stamp out new technology.
So, unless the RIAA/MPAA make some really serious gaffes, I won't be talking about them here. I can waste my time on better things. However, I will continue to talk about the music industry. The new music industry, not the old dying one. Ever since I joined EMusic back in 1999, I've been talking about how we need a parallel universe music industry. A new music industry that gets the digital age and is not afraid of it. The good news is that its starting to happen -- the first signs are becoming clear and I expect things to pick up quite a bit in the next few years.
Stay tuned for my next post, where I give you some more insights on the Future of Music Conference and what I think the new music industry will look like.
Posted by Mayhem at September 22, 2005 12:50 PM