Much is being said these days about the huge changes in the record industry. Future business and marketing models have been endlessly discussed. Music piracy, the drop in CD sales and the bloated overhead of an industrybuilt on an international hit-driven model. The industry sustained itself for years getting consumers to replace their LP collections with CDs rather than focusing on developing innovative music.
What I’m not hearing about is the lack of compelling new music coming from the major labels. Even if the record business is able to adapt its practices, it is an industry based on imitation, not innovation. Without compelling music the most brilliant business models will still have nothing to sell.
There is a huge amount of great music popping up everywhere. The challenge is to filter and refine talent in a world where technology has made creative expression easy and accessible.
The enduring successes in the music industry have not been driven by ‘what was a hit last week’, but by recognizing and developing real artistry over the long haul. I hope that the upheavals in the record industry will lead to a reevaluation of what music means to us in the first place. Let’s not lose site of the prize in all this commotion.