Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beginning Of The End?

Once upon a time, I predicted that the record label industry may become obsolete:
This will also drastically change the way that the music industry markets it's material, possibly even making the industry obsolete. The costs associated with producing an album have been reduced drastically over recent years as computer technology places homegrown studios very near the quality of proffessional studios. Additionally, MP3 players are driving consumers to care more about single songs as opposed to full length albums. This change could push artists to release songs more regularly to maximize name recognition as opposed to spending a year or more producing an album with ten or more songs on it. This model can give artists near real time feedback on their product allowing them to react to what consumers want, this makes each venture less risky and maximizes the ability to experiment with their style.
We are approaching this reality very quickly:

Essex rock band Koopa could become the first unsigned group to land a UK top 40 hit thanks to new chart rules.

Their download-only single Blag, Steal & Borrow is on course to enter Sunday's top 40, early sales figures suggest.
If (well, when really) someone finally breaks the Top 40 (and then the Top 10) without the overhead of dealing with a record label little lightbulbs will go off over every artists head. You can make a lot more money when someone else isn't skimming off your profits.

That isn't to say that labels won't have a place - but I think that they will become more like management companies instead of leaches. I think that lovers of music and artists both would be much happier with that arrangement than the current system of labels getting decide what gets produced and what gets played and who becomes famous.

Hopefully, it will also end up with a bit better music at the end of the day as well.

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