Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The future of the Music Industry.......

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
- Jim Morrison as quoted from "The End"

The end has begun. Radiohead draws the first blood and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) follows. The long standing dominance of the music industry has fallen. Their rigidity has cost them, and oh so dearly!! Ouch! There was always a cold war going on between the artist and the music industry, but few have chose to revolt and fewer have been successful.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.
- Hunter S. Thompson

When Radiohead chose to break free from their music company and sell music independently, it did create a few tremors here and there. But the big blow came when they decided to allow the fans to pay whatever they wished! Ok not whatever, the highest you can pay is $205.61 as reported by a Limewire employee. This has freed the music artists. Given new hope. The record companies has always been rigid and stringent when it came to the internet revolution of music. The recently victory of RIAA against a P2P user by muscling their way through is an example of how the music industry is winning the battles and losing the war. The war they began in the first place! The didn't embrace the technology and use it, they went against it. How many times in history have we seen the fall of great empires because they refused to change with the times?

Not so long a go I had read an article in RAVE (Indian Music Magazine) from this guy in Chumbawumba about how the music industry should embrace P2P and use it to their advantage rather than playing Tom & Jerry. The counter-article in that issue was from a hard nosed executive representing the Indian Music Industry (IMI), who was adamant on the users paying up for everythin that they think is a crime. So there you have it. You first harass your artists, who provide you content to sell. Then you harass the people who might buy that content content. And then you stupidly assume nothings gonna go wrong against you. Wow! Talk about wishful thinking.

The recent break away of Radiohead has changed the Music business overnight. Radiohead's new album has gone on sale today on their website, without any blood-sucking company in the middle. Fans can pay anything below $205.61 for the album. Two days before In Rainbows goes on sale, Trent Reznor announces his departure from the music industry.

Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the
following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally
free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have
been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the
business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very
different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a
direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.
Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
Exciting times, indeed.
- Trent Reznor, 08th October, 2007.

Since the announcement of Radiohead, the record industry is thrown in a frenzy. The popularity and anticipation was building up like mad. Record companies are now desperately scrambling about try to get Radiohead to sign a record deal. Yes, they trying to sell physical CD's of the same music which users can pay ANYTHING for on the internet much before the phsical CDs hit the market. Which is somewhere after X'mas. Now talk about being stuck up. Although they have been home to EMI, HMV reported that they have the album for pre-order, which is later proved to be bogus. Parlophone too had certain claims. All this shows the desperation they have to sign a deal, which is the same scenario a new recording artist goes through! What goes around, comes around baby! A leaked email from the new EMI boss Guy Hand talks about how they have been thick and refused to embrace the the Digital Revolution. He says "the industry has stuck its head in the sand" and that Radiohead's decision is a "wakeup call". If you look at recent music history, I wouldn't hesitate to put their name alongside legends The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan. Even the Beatles have succumbed to music industry dirty play during the Phil Spector days, but not Radiohead. However the revolution began with Sir Paul McCartney going to Starbucks for music distribution. And was carried forward by Prince who gave his CD's away for free.

In the future there will be no CD's, DVD's. The physical forms of music will become a complete niche. The masses will be owning softcopies of music. With technologies like IPTV coming in, fans are not only going to use internet to buy music, they're going to buy it directly by plugging their iPods to their television sets. They'll buy music from a kiosk in a mall by connecting their iPods to their servers. Starbucks is selling music now, so is Wal-Mart. They're all selling music without going through any Record Company. Anyone with a platform will sell music, without the help of a music industry. Rise in Indie music supports the idea to have a business plan like this to sell music. Unless the music industry plans to make major changes, I see them going down to ashes. Music Industry has long been complaining about the pirates declining record sales, what they didn't see is the rising music interest. I judge the need for music on the sales of an iPod or an iPhone. As long as music players are selling, there will always content needed to be put on that. The iPods sales are rising while the records sales are falling. I don't see a fall in music market? They didn't see this. Hence the fall.

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
In a...desperate land

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end
- Jim Morrison as quoted "The End".

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