WHAT ISSUES NEED TO BE CONFRONTED?
Here, in no particular order, are what I believe to be the Top 10 issues shaping Music 2.0. How they develop will determine what the music industry looks in 5 or 10 years. Ignore them at you peril.
- THE DEATH OF THE ALBUM - Individual track downloads are killing the album market and the revenue that it once created. Can the album be saved? Should artists release in 1 to 3 track clusters?
- MUSIC TAXES - Is "taxing" music at the device and/or ISP level the answer? Or are these taxes unfair and further erode consumer trust?
- MUSIC AS A SERVICE - We used to call music "product". Did the pendulum swing to far in that direction? Or is music a service - subscriptions, "Comes With Music", optional ISP licensing?
- MOBILE - Will more and more music be bought an enjoyed via mobile devices? How does that effect the music?
- NEW REVENUE SOURCES - From YouTube to imeem and We7 to Nokia, revenue is being generated everywhere. Who will be sending big checks to labels in 5 years and how will that revenue be distributed?
- NO ONE BUSINESS MODEL - It used to be that record labels made money selling records and bands made money live. Is the future more varied: NIN, Radiohead, 360 deals, and partnerships with brands?
- 1000 TRUE FANS - Whether you need a thousand, 10,000 or even 100,000 true fans, how do you find, service and monetize a fan base?
- THE RISE OF THE MUSICAL MIDDLE CLASS - Do fractured media and short attention spans mean the superstar is dead? What new companies will rise to service and profit from a growing middle class of musicians with fewer fans but longer careers?
- THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF MUSIC DISCOVERY - Once DJ's told us what to like. Now our friends do or we discover it ourselves and share the news. How does that change how music is marketed?
- THE POWER OF LIVE - Is performing more important than ever? You can't copy it and it's a great place to build community and sell stuff. Or is that a music 1.0 notion and Twitter the new barstool?
Is there a number 11?