There are two major old media industries that are slowly and inextricably headed toward either radical change or demise. The first – the newspaper industry – is the one that seems to destined to be the poster child of old media heading into that long good-bye first, but I think far more deserving of this first place is the entertainment industry. More specifically the music industry. Not the musicians themselves but rather the the bloodsuckers that feed off of them.
Even in this day and age there is still a place in our electronic world for newspapers; whether they be online, offline or a mixture of both. They as a whole still provide a service that has value even though they are having a hard time trying to figure out how to monetize that value. The music industry on the other hand serves no purpose anymore as the musicians now have all the tools and the world, through the Internet, as their marketplace in order to provide for themselves.
In this new world we are seeing over and over again how the entertainment industry is doing everything it possibly can to hinder innovation. When it comes to the music industry though they are making a fine art of killing our future. Whether it be though their trade organization – the RIAA – or through outright strangling of any new technology the music industry has been relentless in its drive to maintain it’s money machine.
As Michael Arrington pointed out in a post about online streaming music sites having to lie about how well they are doing in order to make sure the music industry doesn’t blackmail them for even more money.
Online streaming music startups are in one very sorry place. On demand streaming rates range from .4 cents to 1 cent per stream – this is what the startups pay to the labels every time they play a song for a user. Add bandwidth and storage costs on top of that, which aren’t trivial for services that want to stream music quickly on demand. The result is hundreds of millions of dollars flowing from venture funds to startups to labels. Little of it makes its way to artists, and advertising revenues only cover a tiny portion of the fees.
The labels don’t care if the startups make money, lose money or go out of business. All they want is to make enough money to extend the ultimate surrender date as long as possible.
In contrast we have the newspaper industry that actually provides a true service to society facing down the double barreled shotgun of extinction. Even if it does survive the threat of extinction by morphing into some new and more interesting it seems to me that the music industry is far more deserving of quick extinction.
It would be no loss to the musicians even though they might have to adapt fast to the new marketplace – their marketplace. It would be no loss to those of us who love music and who are far more inclined to pay for music when we know for sure it is going to the musicians.
So how about music industry – just die already would you and let us get on with trying to figure out how to keep newspapers alive – or at least help with their change.
Hey, like this post? Why not share it with a buddy?Tweet