By Jeff Price
The world of needing third parties to track how many times a song is played on analog AM/FM radio and analog television is just about over.
The world of having gatekeepers deciding who gets let in, is gone.
It’s over. It changed, it’s a new game. The traditional music industry is on its last breath. Soon it will be completely and utterly dead. It’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”
And yet, the old music industry seems not to care. Universal and Sony are about to spend four billion dollars to buy EMI, a catalog of music and songs that loses value each and every day. Performing rights organizations like ASCAP are using their own songwriters’ money to sue, litigate and lobby to assure that their members get less so they can make more.
Is this really what it has all come down to with the old industry: Screw them all, I’m going to milk as much out of this at the expense of the artists, the consumers, and the songwriters before we go down?
They could have taken that same four billion dollars and used it to innovate, invest, change business models and educate. They could have used it to accelerate ideas and strategies that the world has never seen. They could test new models, see what works, push the failures to the side and move forward.
But they chose not to build the future of this industry. Instead, as they fly their private planes to their islands (bought off of the music created by the artist), they choose to milk the last few dollars out of what was leaving behind a smoldering pile of ruin.
The good news is, they can’t stop what’s coming. No amount of lawsuits, consolidation or lobbying can stop progress. For the first time we will have generations of artists and musicians that will not be required to give up their copyrights and control to have access. The only thing stopping success will now be the music itself, as it should be.