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(Japan Times)   Question: Who's killing music? Short answer: Sony. Long answer: Sony, and a lingering inability of the industry as a whole to adapt to technological changes that have fatally undermined their outdated business model   (japantimes.co.jp) divider line 130
    More: Fail, Sony, technological change, online music, SoftBank, S.m.e., mobile network operators  
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4165 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 31 Jan 2013 at 10:32 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-31 09:51:47 AM  
from what I understand, if you work in the music industry the ONLY thing you are permitted to blame for your troubles is 'file trading'.  you can't talk about anything else.
 
2013-01-31 10:03:49 AM  

Weaver95: from what I understand, if you work in the music industry the ONLY thing you are permitted to blame for your troubles is 'file trading'.  you can't talk about anything else.


I remember reading an article some months back where a reporter had compared the losses the RIAA said they had from file sharing to what sales actually were over the years. He determined the only way it could work was that something like 80% of their losses were in pirated ringtones
 
2013-01-31 10:09:39 AM  

ArkAngel: Weaver95: from what I understand, if you work in the music industry the ONLY thing you are permitted to blame for your troubles is 'file trading'.  you can't talk about anything else.

I remember reading an article some months back where a reporter had compared the losses the RIAA said they had from file sharing to what sales actually were over the years. He determined the only way it could work was that something like 80% of their losses were in pirated ringtones


I think at this point only the authoritarian idiots and paid lobbyists are the only ones who believe file trading is 'killing the music industry'.  And the lobbyists only believe what they're paid to believe.  the music industry WILL change.  they can cry, kick and scream about it all they want but...if they want to survive, then they WILL adapt to online sales of music and let go of their distribution monopoly.
 
2013-01-31 10:13:51 AM  
If you believe the figures people like the RIAA and MPAA quote then if they managed to eliminate all illegal downloading the economy of the US would triple overnight. They claim they lose more sales of a title than there are people on Earth.
 
2013-01-31 10:33:57 AM  

Flint Ironstag: If you believe the figures people like the RIAA and MPAA quote then if they managed to eliminate all illegal downloading the economy of the US would triple overnight. They claim they lose more sales of a title than there are people on Earth.


Like I said, nobody actually believes the music industry figures on file trading except idiots and people who are paid to believe those lies.  the industry insiders know they are eventually going to have to change their distribution model...they just don't like it.  And hey, I can't blame 'em.  if I had enjoyed a crushing monopoly for decades I'd hate to go back to a level playing field again too.
 
2013-01-31 10:38:18 AM  
Heard an interesting interview with an expert in the field who said that the record execs are old. Most of them genuinely believe that CDs will come back if they throttle downloading enough. They have no interest in changing their strategy to adapt to new technology, because that requires gambling, and they're too close to their pensions. I'm sure there are people in the industry who'd like to develop new models, but the execs won't listen, and they'd just be risking their own careers if they tried it, so instead they just complain and lobby for stiffer fines.
 
2013-01-31 10:38:57 AM  
I really don't understand the inability to make the switch.  You would think the simple fact that the cost of distribution dropping to $0 would be an easy sell.

"So I give a file to Amazon/Apple/insert service here and in turn they distribute it for me?   Well that has to suck less than paying CD manufacturers, cover artists, printers, jewel case makers, and shipping costs to get a physical copy to a store"

Seems like a complete no brainer.
 
2013-01-31 10:40:32 AM  
Nobody is killing music. Music is fine. The business model under which lots of people in the music industry could get very rich, however, is dead.
 
2013-01-31 10:41:49 AM  
<sigh>

Let's go over this again:

1.  Music isn't dying.  Music is doing just fine, thank you.
2.  Artists are doing just fine, too.
3.  Music industry leeches are still trying to keep the tide back with a spoon....
 
2013-01-31 10:43:08 AM  
Your teen/pre-teen daughter's buying habits are killing music. Fathers, please quit trying to buy a child's love with bad music. You're only renting it, and you'll only feel dirty and stupid afterwards.
 
2013-01-31 10:45:48 AM  

DoBeDoBeDo: I really don't understand the inability to make the switch.  You would think the simple fact that the cost of distribution dropping to $0 would be an easy sell.

"So I give a file to Amazon/Apple/insert service here and in turn they distribute it for me?   Well that has to suck less than paying CD manufacturers, cover artists, printers, jewel case makers, and shipping costs to get a physical copy to a store"

Seems like a complete no brainer.


if I had to guess...i'd say that the roadblock has more to do with 'institutional inertia'.  the music industry has ALWAYS done things a certain way, and by gum that's how they're gonna KEEP doing it!  plus like I said up thread - it's REALLY hard to give up a monopoly.  and the music industry folks had a lock solid death grip on the distribution and marketing of new music.  they had frighting levels of control over when, where and how all aspects of the industry worked...and now that's going to go away.  it's tough to give up that sort of control.  And having to compete in a level playing field!?  that's insult to injury.
 
2013-01-31 10:47:11 AM  

someonelse: Nobody is killing music. Music is fine. The business model under which lots of people in the music industry could get very rich, however, is dead.


It's not dead, but it's not going to be doing well soonish...
 
2013-01-31 10:50:46 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-01-31 10:52:17 AM  
No one's killing music. The industry is becoming decentralized, but independent musicians have no idea how to reach people over the noise of corporate interests promoting lowest common denominator garbage. Good musicians are more plentiful than ever, they're just:
-begging on kickstarter because they can't tell the difference between a record company and a scam artist.
-bugging you at work because they have no idea what kind of music you like
-lighting up vanity bars & clubs no one's heard of and performing to a half dozen people, who are in the other band that's playing tonight
-ignoring you because you're over 30
-telling their mom to like them on facebook
 
2013-01-31 10:55:25 AM  
This is the face of 21st century American business: rather than react to the current state of the market they bribe governements and law enforcement to try to put Humpty Dumpty back together for them.
 
2013-01-31 10:56:54 AM  

theurge14: [i.imgur.com image 400x400]


 "a lingering inability of the industry as a whole to adapt to technological changes that have fatally undermined their outdated business model"
cdn5.movieclips.com
 
2013-01-31 10:58:14 AM  
I thought it was people that buy Ke$ha albums. They're the ones to blame.
 
2013-01-31 11:02:00 AM  

DoBeDoBeDo: I really don't understand the inability to make the switch.  You would think the simple fact that the cost of distribution dropping to $0 would be an easy sell.

"So I give a file to Amazon/Apple/insert service here and in turn they distribute it for me?   Well that has to suck less than paying CD manufacturers, cover artists, printers, jewel case makers, and shipping costs to get a physical copy to a store"


Well, distribution doesn't drop to $0.  Apple charges for digital distribution.  I believe Weird Al said he makes more money from a CD sale than he does from an iTunes sale, thanks to Apple taking a bigger cut.

Also, there's a lot of shadiness involving digital distribution.  Albums show up in places the artist never authorized and so on.  Benn Jordon (the Flashbulb) had an album show up on iTunes that he never allowed, thanks to some shady deal with a digital distribution company.

Like the song goes, "the grabbing hands, grab all they can."
 
2013-01-31 11:04:31 AM  

Weaver95: Like I said, nobody actually believes the music industry figures on file trading except idiots and people who are paid to believe those lies.  the industry insiders know they are eventually going to have to change their distribution model...they just don't like it.  And hey, I can't blame 'em.  if I had enjoyed a crushing monopoly for decades I'd hate to go back to a level playing field again too.


The music industry, the movie industry, and the cable industry.
canadacheeseman.files.wordpress.com
Who are 3 types of businesses that blame piracy for their crappy sales cause of their horrible content.
 
2013-01-31 11:14:21 AM  
I've heard more great new music in the past 3 years than I have in a long, long time.

Imelda May
Jason Isbell
Hayes Carll
Slaid Cleaves
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Alabam Shakes
Shovels & Rope
the Civil Wars
Joe Bonamossa
Tedeschi-Trucks
and the list goes on and on
 
2013-01-31 11:18:06 AM  
As long as there are people who say, "But I like to hold a CD in my hand because I can't hold an MP3", and, "But I like to have the album artwork in my hand", the recording industry isn't going to change. Because the non-tech savvy still vastly outnumber the tech-savvy people in this country.  Sure, that's changing, but there are still vast sums of money to extort from people who are willing to pay $15 for a physical CD medium that costs pennies.

Same with the publishing industry -- ebooks are surging, but a lot of readers still say, "But I like to hold a book in my hands, and I like the smell, and..."
 
2013-01-31 11:21:25 AM  
I listen to a wider variety of better, more interesting music now than I did during the music industry's heyday. Not that I'm putting that era's music down, but there is just so much more out there now to choose from. And what's out there is not nearly as homogeneous as it used to be. Granted, it's much harder for an artist to become obscenely rich, but it's much easier for an artist to release his or her own stuff to a smaller audience. In short, more opportunity for more musicians, but fewer opportunities to get rich quick.
 
2013-01-31 11:23:00 AM  

moothemagiccow: Good musicians are more plentiful than ever, they're just:
-begging on kickstarter because they can't tell the difference between a record company and a scam artist.


There's a difference?
 
2013-01-31 11:29:13 AM  
For the LAST TIME, file sharing isn't killing the music industry.
The archaic distribution model isn't killing the music industry.
shiatTY MUSIC IS KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!
 
2013-01-31 11:30:28 AM  

someonelse: I listen to a wider variety of better, more interesting music now than I did during the music industry's heyday. Not that I'm putting that era's music down, but there is just so much more out there now to choose from. And what's out there is not nearly as homogeneous as it used to be. Granted, it's much harder for an artist to become obscenely rich, but it's much easier for an artist to release his or her own stuff to a smaller audience. In short, more opportunity for more musicians, but fewer opportunities to get rich quick.


I blame Youtube music lessons. It's so easy to learn to play, decently, these days.
 
2013-01-31 11:37:06 AM  
The NY Times did an interesting story on this.  Basically, there is no good way for artists to sell recorded music these days, digitally or physically.  Artists need to make their money at shows.
 
2013-01-31 11:44:26 AM  

EyeballKid: moothemagiccow: Good musicians are more plentiful than ever, they're just:
-begging on kickstarter because they can't tell the difference between a record company and a scam artist.

There's a difference?


Maybe I phrased that wrong
 
2013-01-31 11:48:18 AM  
Subby,

Thanks for not drawing out the word 'Sony' for your long answer.  That shiat got old real quick.

Broken Logic
 
2013-01-31 11:50:27 AM  
The main problem with the music industry is that almost all terrestrial radio is controlled by the soul eating tone deaf 80 year old golf buddies that run Clear Channel and they will only allow "classic" shiat like Foreigner and Journey to get played on the radio and most people have owned those farkin CDs for the last 25 years. I'm not talking about Bieber and rap. That fly by night boy band flavor of the month crap will always sell.  I'm talking about adults 20-60 years old that don't get to hear anything new that they might actually go out and buy. They keep playing farking Freebird and Hot Blooded like it's some revelation and then they wonder why no one buys CDs. They deserve to go down in flames. Screw them- people that truly love music have found a myriad of ways to hear new and amazing stuff for the last 20 years. I probably buy 40-50 CDs every year and it's not farking 30 year old music that I outgrew when I was 20. It's current artists that get NO support whatsoever.
 
2013-01-31 11:50:52 AM  

Xythero: The NY Times did an interesting story on this.  Basically, there is no good way for artists to sell recorded music these days, digitally or physically.  Artists need to make their money at shows.


And listeners still view shows as the magic wand that fixes everything. Artists will make so much money, because they don't have to pay for promotion, or for the club's staff (everyone from door man to sound engineer) or the merch guy, their transport to the club is free, and wherever they're staying that night likes their music so much, they'll provide free beds for the night. Plus, if someone films their concert and puts it on youtube for free, it's great, because it'll promote the record that no one wants to pay for.
 
2013-01-31 11:51:32 AM  

Xythero: The NY Times did an interesting story on this.  Basically, there is no good way for artists to sell recorded music these days, digitally or physically.  Artists need to make their money at shows.


good link. that is crazy to only make a nickel or so for your song sold at 99cents.

But when you sign the deal, you become an employee and your work is their property.

My brother-in-law was in the band Bro-kin and they signed up with some wrestling thing (TNA, I think), he showed me a royalty check...it was for $12 or something. They keep saying more will becoming in the future..it has been about 4 years or so.

But the band broke up because the bassist wussed out and moved to Florida when the big label came to sign them. They said the would find another bassist but the label wasn't interested anymore.

Tough industry.
 
2013-01-31 11:53:32 AM  

Soulcatcher: They keep playing farking Freebird and Hot Blooded like it's some revelation and then they wonder why no one buys CDs.


But people will still tune in, just like people will pay to see cover bands. The radio looks after its own, and listeners will complain that they don't hear music like this anymore, despite the fact that they hear music like this all the time.
 
2013-01-31 11:56:57 AM  

moothemagiccow: Xythero: The NY Times did an interesting story on this.  Basically, there is no good way for artists to sell recorded music these days, digitally or physically.  Artists need to make their money at shows.

And listeners still view shows as the magic wand that fixes everything. Artists will make so much money, because they don't have to pay for promotion, or for the club's staff (everyone from door man to sound engineer) or the merch guy, their transport to the club is free, and wherever they're staying that night likes their music so much, they'll provide free beds for the night. Plus, if someone films their concert and puts it on youtube for free, it's great, because it'll promote the record that no one wants to pay for.


Exactly. I keep hearing that the music industry needs to adapt to a new business model. What new business model? Everyone wants everything for free or next to free.
 
2013-01-31 11:57:10 AM  

Broken Logic: Subby,

Thanks for not drawing out the word 'Sony' for your long answer.  That shiat got old real quick.

Broken Logic


What does a yellow light mean?
 
2013-01-31 12:04:18 PM  

qsblues: For the LAST TIME, file sharing isn't killing the music industry.
The archaic distribution model isn't killing the music industry.
shiatTY MUSIC I DIDN'T GREW UP WITH IS KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!

 
2013-01-31 12:06:59 PM  

moothemagiccow: Soulcatcher: They keep playing farking Freebird and Hot Blooded like it's some revelation and then they wonder why no one buys CDs.

But people will still tune in, just like people will pay to see cover bands. The radio looks after its own, and listeners will complain that they don't hear music like this anymore, despite the fact that they hear music like this all the time.


I just don't understand how people that profess to being true "music lovers" can get frozen in time like most of them seem to do. I've always worked to find new music my entire life and the newer bands that I love most now, I love even more than the bands I worshipped back in the day.
 
2013-01-31 12:12:02 PM  

LewDux: qsblues: For the LAST TIME, file sharing isn't killing the music industry.
The archaic distribution model isn't killing the music industry.
shiatTY MUSIC I DIDN'T GREW UP WITH IS KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!


Oh shut the hell up.  You have no idea WTF kind of music I listen to.
 
2013-01-31 12:17:28 PM  

qsblues: LewDux: qsblues: For the LAST TIME, file sharing isn't killing the music industry.
The archaic distribution model isn't killing the music industry.
shiatTY MUSIC I DIDN'T GREW UP WITH IS KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY!

Oh shut the hell up.  You have no idea WTF kind of music I listen to.


Is it pretty obscure? I probably never heard it
 
2013-01-31 12:18:07 PM  

someonelse: I listen to a wider variety of better, more interesting music now than I did during the music industry's heyday. Not that I'm putting that era's music down, but there is just so much more out there now to choose from. And what's out there is not nearly as homogeneous as it used to be. Granted, it's much harder for an artist to become obscenely rich, but it's much easier for an artist to release his or her own stuff to a smaller audience. In short, more opportunity for more musicians, but fewer opportunities to get rich quick.


Exactly this.  Used to be if you were over 25, there was no new music for you.  The current situation is much, MUCH better.
 
2013-01-31 12:30:44 PM  

Soulcatcher: The main problem with the music industry is that almost all terrestrial radio is controlled by the soul eating tone deaf 80 year old golf buddies that run Clear Channel and they will only allow "classic" shiat like Foreigner and Journey to get played on the radio and most people have owned those farkin CDs for the last 25 years. I'm not talking about Bieber and rap. That fly by night boy band flavor of the month crap will always sell.  I'm talking about adults 20-60 years old that don't get to hear anything new that they might actually go out and buy. They keep playing farking Freebird and Hot Blooded like it's some revelation and then they wonder why no one buys CDs. They deserve to go down in flames. Screw them- people that truly love music have found a myriad of ways to hear new and amazing stuff for the last 20 years. I probably buy 40-50 CDs every year and it's not farking 30 year old music that I outgrew when I was 20. It's current artists that get NO support whatsoever.


The issue there is it's a cycle of:
- X station plays music everyone already heard, people the buying demographic like X station
- Station Y is behind in the ratings to station X, it must be our format.
- Y changes their format to be more like X
- Z station sees these changes, shifts their format to be just a little closer to X and Y
- All the stations except the country and public radio/urban station in your town now play Phil Collins and Journey (Coldplay if they are more "current")

The trend has been happening for ages. It started in smaller increments but we've reached the point where we have essentially 3 catch-all formats (and all the larger niche formats) in music radio:
- AOR (skewing either older or newer to include "oldies" and "Today's top Rock!"
- Top 40 Current
- Top 40 Recurrent (a.k.a. Middle-of-the-road or "the millennium meets last year's Katy Perry")

That said, very little revenue from a radio station is going back into the music industry. Radio is just perpetuating an issue that would exist regardless
 
2013-01-31 12:51:14 PM  
Sony really needs to spin off the music division, as it's massively giving them a bad name.  It seems like evry time I hear some major Sony bash, it's due to that damned music division.

Granted, they generate a lot of profit which is hard to ignore, but still, the damage they do to the brand image is pretty extreme.
 
2013-01-31 12:58:28 PM  
Who's killing music?

People who sing "I'm different, yeah I'm different" (repeat ad nauseum) then switch to "Pull up to the spot with my ceiling missin".

I found myself listening to talk radio the other day because people were on the other stations talking about swimming pools full of liquor and putting 'it' in someone's belly.

Maybe I'm just old.  I just turned 29
 
2013-01-31 01:04:27 PM  
CD's are 20$.

People go to used record shops.

Used record shops only sell shiatty music, because that's all people buy and trade in.

Used record shops go out of business.

CD's now available at only 1 store in any given town.

CD's are 20$.

Stores go out of business.

Artists forced to earn money by playing live.

Ticketmaster puts a "convienience charge" on buying tickets to a local show at the door.

No one goes to see smaller, local bands anymore because it ain't worth 40$ to gamble on.

College kids from Montreal and New York continue to play really awful, precious music on violin and tuba in laundromats. And our culture is enveloped in smug.
 
2013-01-31 01:05:27 PM  

Xythero: moothemagiccow: Xythero: The NY Times did an interesting story on this.  Basically, there is no good way for artists to sell recorded music these days, digitally or physically.  Artists need to make their money at shows.

And listeners still view shows as the magic wand that fixes everything. Artists will make so much money, because they don't have to pay for promotion, or for the club's staff (everyone from door man to sound engineer) or the merch guy, their transport to the club is free, and wherever they're staying that night likes their music so much, they'll provide free beds for the night. Plus, if someone films their concert and puts it on youtube for free, it's great, because it'll promote the record that no one wants to pay for.

Exactly. I keep hearing that the music industry needs to adapt to a new business model. What new business model? Everyone wants everything for free or next to free.


The thing is, the music industry did adapt to a new business model.  Nobody talks about how big of a deal the switch to digital distribution (and particularly digital single distribution) was, but the number one culprit to the demise of the music industry has been the unbundling of music and the rise of the digital single.  Look at this chart:

img.ultimate-guitar.com

As recently as ten years ago, CD sales represented more than 90% of the music industry's revenue.  The average person in 2000 bought almost 4 albums per year and spent about $65 doing so.  The average person today buys about 1 album per year for about $15.  Now, today the average person spends more than they used to on singles, but buying 10 singles per year instead of three albums represents almost a 75% loss in revenue.  The new model has been killing the industry.
 
2013-01-31 01:08:24 PM  
The problem with the music industry changing or record companies going away is that if it does change how does someone like me a guy in his 30's who likes good music find new bands and good music. I mean right now record companies have people out there who find bands and then sign them and promote the shiat out of them. If you take away that won't the music business just be 1000's of indie bands trying to promote themselves. And I don't really have time to scour youtube to find good new bands.  Plus radio is just as corporate as the music business so how is them deciding who to promote any better a situation.
 
2013-01-31 01:10:27 PM  
I respect Joe Walsh, and this is what Joe Walsh has to say.
 
2013-01-31 01:13:49 PM  
I've gotten to the point where I'm hardly aware of commercial releases - not that I'm not listening to brand new music.  And it's not hipster crap either.  Just amateurs like me with an audience measured in tens, not millions.  The music isn't quite as polished, but on the other hand I can ask them "hey, what did you use to make that one sound".  Screw Sony, BMI, iTunes, and all them bastards.
 
2013-01-31 01:16:09 PM  
I buy as much music as I ever did, the difference now is that I can buy a download directly from the artist. I can upload my own music and let people spend as little or as much as they want for it. Surprisingly enough, when offered a free download, I've discovered 1 in 10 people will pay something for it. Which is fine with me, I have a day job. If demand is high enough, for $300 I can have a 100 CDs made which I can sell directly to fans. Better yet, a very small label can have a few hundred made, give me a cut of the money and/or a portion of the physical release to sell myself. I don't even have to play live. The music industry is doing just fine. The difference is the old guys in suits at the top aren't making 99% of the money

/the downside is I don't have lots of money to advertise myself, but since lots of music these days is made for a niche audience it works for most people. The acts that suffer are people looking for that mainstream success
 
2013-01-31 01:19:33 PM  

mechgreg: The problem with the music industry changing or record companies going away is that if it does change how does someone like me a guy in his 30's who likes good music find new bands and good music. I mean right now record companies have people out there who find bands and then sign them and promote the shiat out of them. If you take away that won't the music business just be 1000's of indie bands trying to promote themselves. And I don't really have time to scour youtube to find good new bands.  Plus radio is just as corporate as the music business so how is them deciding who to promote any better a situation.


try starting a pandora station with bands you like, go to youtube and search for bands you like and look at the related videos, read a few music blogs, look at last fm, reverbnation, or bandcamp. you'll find you enjoy picking your own music is a lot more fulfilling than being told by rich old guys who you're supposed to like. I can tell you in the mainstream music business it's not the people with the best music being promoted. It's people who fit into nice packaging that can easily be sold as a commodity.
 
2013-01-31 01:21:38 PM  

rugman11: the rise of the digital single.


Once that option became available, people quit paying for filler because they never really liked it in the first place but had to.
 
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