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The Future of Music: My Personal View


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#1 of 30 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted September 18 2003 - 03:16 AM

I have been thinking a lot recently about where music business may be headed. Recent reviews in audiophile mags raving about the iPod and today's Wall Street Journal story on the retailers getting squeezed have led me to think where the world is headed.

Here is my personal view of the future of music:

1. Niche Heaven - I see many audio segments developing even more specialty niches. I see mass market popular music splitting into many niches of musical tastes, and I see audiophiles having a 2-channel option, and home theater fans maybe having a video based option.

2. More Resolution Please - I think that high resolution in either Super Audio or DVD Audio form is here to stay. Whether one believes it can widen or will be just a loyal laserdisc-like following is hard to gauge and anyway we don't want to discuss any format wars. The idea here is that there are some more vocal, more rabid music fans who DO want to hear their music in the best possible fidelity.

3. MP3 Mass Market Mania - I think the cat was let out of the bag a long time ago so the RIAA should spend its attorney's fees on building a massive iTunes instead of suing 12 year old girls. The consumer convenience of choosing their own songs and carrying them anywhere is too tempting for most of America, even if they have to pay. Downloads are not going away and the idiots running the music companies should "face the music" as soon as possible.

4. iPod of the Future - In the future, one will be able to pay more for better fidelity. iPods will have tremendous storage space and be able to handle hirez music from both SACD and DVDA. Record labels will charge more, of course, but many will pay for the extra fidelity as remasterings improve sonics and gear gets better chip decoding. This may still be limited to just a portion of one's collection and the rest is at 128 or 256k, but the labels may still profit from the premium charged.

5. Local Artists Thrive - More portable audio will allow local artists to have a cheaper path to sales by leveraging the web. I am concerned that there may be a period of time where the specialty retailers cut back severely on independent but high quality jazz and classical and only focus on big sellers due to the profit margin squeeze. I hope it does not happen.

6. Specialty Retailers Consolidate - I think more and more specialty record stores will struggle. Many have too much debt (from acquisitions and bad management) and the squeeze on profit margins will hurt them. The only winners will be the Best Buys and Circuit Citys that have better margins on electronic items; they will keep music as a big draw for foot traffic however.

7. Audio and Computer Convergence - High end companies will prosper by remaining small and serving the audiophile and home theater niches. The big change, however, will be that computer copmanies like Dell and others will enter the market and start offering additional devices like iPod-like playback and new "media storage" boxes. Consumer electronics copmanies will have a disadvantage in keeping up since it is about digital storage. Maybe some alliances between audio and computer firms will result.

Well, that's my take. What do you think? What do you see happening differently and why?
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#2 of 30 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 18 2003 - 05:06 AM

Quote:
1. Niche Heaven - I see many audio segments developing even more specialty niches. I see mass market popular music splitting into many niches of musical tastes, and I see audiophiles having a 2-channel option, and home theater fans maybe having a video based option.


I like your vision, and I hope you're right Lee. I don't have a lot of confidence right now in Niche Heaven though. The largest purchasing demographic is still going to be the 15-24 year olds, and the investment dollars by the music industry as a whole is still going to be marjoritively directed toward this demographic.

The eventual acceptance of technology will indicate a shift in the distrubition methods of music, but not necessarily a shift in the music industry business model...Which is currently hell bent on selling 20 million units by finding the next big thing that will sell 10 million, and 2 clones that will sell 5 each...Rather than seeking to sell 20 million units via musical diversity where 10 diverse artists combined might yield the same sales level.

It's this business model IMO that is the music industries biggest problem. It invests big money in the next big thing, and then quickly clones that big thing at lower investment and capitalizes on it until it dies. It's the quickest, easiest path to maximum profit until they can't find the next big thing..Which I think is where the industry is now.

The music industry will have to both accept the iPod distribution model and the idea that with the iPod model, they can make more money embracing a business model built around diversity in music.

The RIAA will have to accept this, and then move other segments within the music industry to get on the same page. MTV will have to support the change, and radio will have to as well. As much as people like to think MTV and radio are diverse today because they're less segregated and "multi-format", they're really quite the opposite with an incredibly short and homogenous playlist for each individual genre.

I hope the iPod model will lead the music industry in this direction, but with the RIAA largely representing and leading it I don't see this happening...Not until the RIAA wakes up and accepts the notion that file sharing isn't the only significant cause of sales decline.
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#3 of 30 OFFLINE   TheLongshot

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Posted September 18 2003 - 05:13 AM

Now, my turn:

1. Going back to small, speciallized labels: The problem with the big label system is that if you are a niche artist, they probably aren't going to be serving you the way they should. I'm seeing this a lot already.

2. Artists doing it on their own: Following the Marillion example, I can see second tier artists who have a rabid fan base deciding to do things on their own. Some by choice, some by necessity.

3. Hi Rez continues to be a niche product: Lee says that Hi Rez audio is here to stay. I personally think that, unless the industry shoves it down our throats for DRM reasons, it will be a niche product at best. While there are some that do care about the quality, most don't. They are quite happy with CDs.

4. Portable audio being further developed: I do think that we will see improvement with what I call "Portable audio", which is stuff like MP3s. Improved storage capabilities and compression, with probably DRM will still push things.

5. The death of radio: What I mean by this is radio as the primary promotional tool for music. Radio will still exist for people to listen to their favorite genres, but not nearly as much for finding new music. I see this moving more towards internet and satelite radio, which can offer more variety than OTA radio can.

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#4 of 30 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted September 18 2003 - 07:04 AM

Quote:
the investment dollars by the music industry as a whole is still going to be marjoritively directed toward this demographic


I agree with this as well, but I do see the music labels supporting the genres of jazz and classical which are definitely niches these days. These are arguably two areas (which I feel are essential of course) where the economics of the profits are not favorable at all.

Quote:
It's this business model IMO that is the music industries biggest problem. It invests big money in the next big thing, and then quickly clones that big thing at lower investment and capitalizes on it until it dies. It's the quickest, easiest path to maximum profit until they can't find the next big thing..Which I think is where the industry is now.


I completely agree-in prior threads I have proposed the better business model would be to create independent producers that act with smaller staff like Music Venture Capitalists. I want to promote equity based contracts for artists (an actual claim on record cash flow or profits is owned by the artist) and nimbler, more diverse A&R people who can cater to local markets. No doubt stopping the insanity of $150 million recording contracts is key. After all, when was the last time you bought a Robbie Williams CD?

Quote:
Artists doing it on their own: Following the Marillion example, I can see second tier artists who have a rabid fan base deciding to do things on their own.


Good point and I agree-I tried to capture this concept in my #5.

Quote:
Hi Rez continues to be a niche product: Lee says that Hi Rez audio is here to stay.


I wanted to avoid the controversial subject of how "wide" hirez goes, but you can have niches which stay around for a while. SUVs may be one example...

Quote:
I see this moving more towards internet and satelite radio, which can offer more variety than OTA radio can.


I think this holds great promise because you are giving the consumer what they want - no commercials and you get stable monthly cash flows so the provider wins also. I also think the different niches will allow more diverse and talented artists to build followings, not just Britney.
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#5 of 30 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted September 18 2003 - 07:20 AM

IMO, the music biz is caught in a stalemate that they brought on themselves by bullying the market. They're working on new copyguards for discs. They haven't seen the light IMO. They seem bound and determined to create the status quo that they want, damn customers wants and desires!

SACD and DVD-A are floundering and the emergence of either as anything more than a "toy" format seems uncertain, not proabable.

The next phase will proably be to try to replace the CD format with contra-CD's (copy-guarded). The public will reject them, of course. I don't see how any format can replace CD presently as much as the suits wish it could be done. We all want an "open" format like CD is because it suits the way folks manipulate their music, record, burn, rip, ect...

One of my questions is at what point will the industry refuse to sell "open" CD's?

How long till the industry starts pushing for players with NO ANALOG OUTPUTS??? Think about it, that would be the way to take control here in the DMCA age.

I think that the big 5's music business is going to go into a long slow decline that they cannot or won't stop. They want to rule the market with an iron hand not a handshake and a smile like other industries do.

The music biz has turned so many customers into enemies. As long as the R.I.A.A. exists, many potential customers will walk away from new disc sales and buy used or download.

Hi-rez is not going to be the biz's savior IMO. They've identified a small percentage of the market that will buy vinyl, SACD, and DVD-A and are willing to pay more to get something better. That small percentage of the market are predominately middle-aged IMO. That's why they won't do day and date release of pop muzik. The young people they crave wouldn't buy into the better format thang, anyway, not at the prices that the suits desire IMO.

I think that the best that we can hope for is that indie labels rise and that the big five gradually sink into oblivion. I'd say we're stuck in a stalemate, for now. Fingerpointing is fun isn't it!

My fundamental premise is that music is worth about 20% of what the big five sez that it is. Universal's price reduction pledge just isn't nearly enough. Old music, sometimes 30 or more years old, should be really cheap, even if it is the Beatles, Elvis, Zappa, or whoever! New music has some justification for costing a little more.

My crystal ball sees file trading, disc swapping, home recording, and continued resistence to high, fixed prices....
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#6 of 30 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted September 18 2003 - 07:42 AM

Quote:
One of my questions is at what point will the industry refuse to sell "open" CD's?


My opinion is that they will try to make open CDs more competitive price wise and they are not likely to be phased out anytime soon. They represent too much profit.

Quote:
How long till the industry starts pushing for players with NO ANALOG OUTPUTS??? Think about it, that would be the way to take control here in the DMCA age.


I don't see this happening because more record companies do not control the audio companies and there will always be replacement sales so audio mfg. firms will continue to produce them. The PR backlash would be a tidal wave as well.

Quote:
They want to rule the market with an iron hand not a handshake and a smile like other industries do.


I can't disagree with that, but power is shifting to the file sharing generation - "Generation Download" Posted Image Sooner or later they will be forced to wake up and smell the coffee.

Quote:
That small percentage of the market are predominately middle-aged IMO. That's why they won't do day and date release of pop muzik.


If you read David Kawakami's comments in Stereophile, he stated that Sony believes that they can improve hirez share by upgrading MP3 buyers to hirez as they age. There are some "day and date" releases happening in pop music as well. John Mayer's Heavier Things was going to be but hit production snags and got pushed back a week. There are some other examples that escape me right now.

My point is that the labels do not expect to get younger people into Super Audio but they think they have a shot at older people who may spend more for their 2 channel or HT systems. Again, we may not see hirez replace redbook or MP3, but we may just see a high quality niche. After all, LP is like that now. So many people went out and bought a turntable the past four years that issuing LPs has become a very profitable business for both small audiophile labels and the Big 5.

Quote:
I think that the best that we can hope for is that indie labels rise and that the big five gradually sink into oblivion.


Maybe that can happen faster if the independent's craft record deals that allow a musician to have a claim on his work product and its profits. Posted Image

Quote:
Universal's price reduction pledge just isn't nearly enough.


The size of the cut is such that many retailers are hurting - see today's Wall Street Journal. But they also need to create a download service for the majority of their songs in addition to doing this.
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#7 of 30 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 18 2003 - 05:16 PM

Quote:
I agree with this as well, but I do see the music labels supporting the genres of jazz and classical which are definitely niches these days. These are arguably two areas (which I feel are essential of course) where the economics of the profits are not favorable at all.

Agreed. What bothers me about this is that I don't quite understand why the industry seems to give so little play to the 25-40 demographic? The disposable dollars are a lot lower for this group than the 15-24 year olds, but they're still purchasing plenty of music. A solid half of this demographic grew up without MTV, and almost all grew up with a greater diversity in music than there is today regardless of genre.

The industries failure to invest in, develop and promote music that would appeal to this demographic seems self-limiting and short sighted to me. Especially if you consider that this is the group of people who will soon be financing the next generation of 15-24 year olds.

It would be wise to keep these folks interested in new music and not allow them to reach the conclusion that all new music is crap.

Quote:
I completely agree-in prior threads I have proposed the better business model would be to create independent producers that act with smaller staff like Music Venture Capitalists. I want to promote equity based contracts for artists (an actual claim on record cash flow or profits is owned by the artist) and nimbler, more diverse A&R people who can cater to local markets. No doubt stopping the insanity of $150 million recording contracts is key. After all, when was the last time you bought a Robbie Williams CD?


I like this idea. It wouldn't hurt to throw music video in along with the wild recording contracts. Music videos are an effective and valid promotional tool, but they lose some value when their costs become as extreme as they now are. Increasing the budget on a new artist by 3 or 4 million dollars to do a couple of videos places the new artist in a do or die situation based on the success of the debut record. If record companies view million dollar videos as an absolute necessity, they're far less likely to allow a new artist two albums to develop a following.
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#8 of 30 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted September 19 2003 - 12:23 AM

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It would be wise to keep these folks interested in new music and not allow them to reach the conclusion that all new music is crap.

If anyone here on this forum really, truly, honestly believes that all new music "is crap", they need to get their ears cleaned out or their brain checked as quite clearly all new music isn't crap - just the pap on the radio & MTV, which doesn't come close to covering all new music.

Aren't broad sweeping generalisations fun?
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#9 of 30 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted September 19 2003 - 02:55 AM

Brian, I think the "new music is crap" thang recurs because the labels push and promote the crap so hard. Finding out about the better music is not always easy. I think it is fair to say that the most heavily promoted music is crappier than ever...Posted Image Finding the tallented musicans was much easier in the past.
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#10 of 30 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted September 19 2003 - 03:00 AM

True, Rachael, but you get my point? There is good music out there, and lots of it.
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#11 of 30 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted September 19 2003 - 04:14 AM

Absolutely Brian! It's just harder than ever to find out about it though. I put up a review of the latest Friends Of Dean Martinez album a few months ago and the response was very small. The best rock album that I've heard this year is the Derek Trucks Band and it's not at all well known. Derek Trucks should be a star! ...or atleast well-known. There are more good artists than ever but finding them is like looking for Waldo... Posted Image
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#12 of 30 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 19 2003 - 04:31 AM

Quote:
If anyone here on this forum really, truly, honestly believes that all new music "is crap", they need to get their ears cleaned out or their brain checked as quite clearly all new music isn't crap - just the pap on the radio & MTV, which doesn't come close to covering all new music.


Brian, I agree with you and was not suggesting all new music is crap. But there are plenty of people out there who do feel that way, and my point was that I think it's a mistake for the music indusrty to allow this to happen.

Of course it's not true. There is tons of good new music out there, it's just harder to find. The music industry spends 90% of its resources marketing and promoting Top 10, MTV and mainstream radio, and 10% of its resources promoting and marketing everything else. Fictional numbers, but you get the point.

The business model the music industry follows today is one that attempts to get everything it can out of the 15-24 demographic, while coming fairly close to saying the hell with everyone else.

It's a stupid business practice. It comes close to ignoring tens of millions of people, many of whom would like some new music and pay for it but don't have the time in their lives to go out and search for it. This new music that is already out there needs to be marketed and promoted so that it's more accessible.

I'm a perfect example. I'm 38 and my 700+ CD collection has music in it from 1955 to 2003. I buy new, I buy old. Jazz, rock, alternative, classic rock, metal, british ska, an occassional rap CD here or there and so on.

But with a couple of kids, a mortgage, a 40 hour/week job and a 2 hour/day commute, I don't have a helluva lot of time to go looking for new music. And while I don't have nearly as many disposable dollars to spend on anything compared to when I was 22, I am willing to spend money on music.

My disposable dollars however, as well as those of tens of millions of people in my age demographic are up for grabs.

But hey, if the music industry is going to practically ignore me and my demographic by making that good new music out there difficult to find, then fuck em'...I'll just spend the bulk of my disposable dollars on DVD's and books instead.
Carl

#13 of 30 OFFLINE   Anthony Stephan

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Posted September 19 2003 - 05:11 AM

Carl,
I think your last point about the post Baby-Boomers being ignored is right on. Wal-Mart and K-Mart have done some extensive research and found that people like yourself are too busy looking for a good deal on diapers to be wrapped up in music. I really think that more attention has to be paid to that thirty-something, forty-something demo who loves music but can't find what they love.

The best way that this demo has found good music is TV and word of mouth. How do you think Norah Jones sold her millions? Radio got on the band wagon very late. It was word of mouth. Then when she hit TV, it was all over. That album sold to a 30+ audience. As did the soundtrack to "Oh Brother". What a lousy record. Yet, people schoozing at cocktail parties told eachother it was a must have. OR the Talk-show host they listen to gave it a good review. They sure as hell didn't here it on the radio.

Here's the delema...radio. Radio sucks. Anyone disagree?
Radio designed for the older demos plays oldies or watered down homoginized pablum that puts people to sleep.

I wish I had the answer as to how to reach people who are worried about paying bills and raising their kids and get them to buy music, because I'd get rich quick.

The other problem with the industry and the teen-pop trash is that THAT IS where they make money. You can't invest in jazz, classic or those quirky left-of-center artists if you don't have the cash. How do you make the cash? You sell lots of Britney Spears.

The same label that puts out Britney Spears, puts out Buddy Guy. Sales on Buddy Guy albums don't keep the lights on, know what I mean?

#14 of 30 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted September 19 2003 - 08:03 AM

Quote:
Here's the delema...radio. Radio sucks. Anyone disagree?


No but what I have heard of Satellite Radio kicks butt!

Posted Image
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#15 of 30 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted September 19 2003 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
The other problem with the industry and the teen-pop trash is that THAT IS where they make money. You can't invest in jazz, classic or those quirky left-of-center artists if you don't have the cash. How do you make the cash? You sell lots of Britney Spears.

Thanks Anthony. Yeah, you're right. Britney and the other stuff on MTV is where the money is made. That demographic is and will always be the one with the most dollars to spend. But it's not the only demographic with money to spend, and the music industry needs to wake up and understand this.

Wal-Mart plows a lot of money into researching demographics. It's how they became a monster, and why Wal-Mart knows what to stock, how to price that stock and where.

What's funny in a pathetic way is that many other industries already market very successfully to my demographic. Like the auto-makers. When my father was 40, the auto makers tried to put people in that demographic into a wood paneled station wagon (gasp!) or a 4-door sedan that was big, boring and slow.

Today, the auto makers are trying to put people my age in an SUV (an example of brilliant marketing a 4 door sedan with 240 hp that is big enough to fit a family, but still fun to drive. The auto makers understand that while we may pushing 40, we're not quite ready for the big ol' Buick.

So many industries get this, and market effectively to all demographics.

But the music industry? The only stuff they've actively marketed to me this year is the latest edition of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and Led Zeps' How the West Was Won...As if somehow 30 year old Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin tunes are the only thing I could possibly be interested in, and the only thing I've been listening to since 1973.

And yes, radio sucks! Playing the same 10-15 songs over and over and over again, all day, every day for 3 months is absolutely numbing. Playing 50 Cent's In Da Club 20 times a day when The Roots and Outkast actually exist is stupidity. Turning on Classic Rock Radio and hearing Stairway to Heaven for the 18,567th time would probably give me a seizure...Which is why I don't listen to classic rock radio anymore. And the multi-format stations? Playing the 5 or 6 worst, most commercial cookie cutter examples of every popular music genre doesn't exactly inpsire me to go out and seek the music I might actually like.
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#16 of 30 OFFLINE   gregD

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Posted September 19 2003 - 10:21 AM

If music matters to you at all:

Hit the clubs and concert halls... I know, easier said than done -- but it seems more than ever, this is how artists will make the bulk of their income as time goes on... besides, live music is in a class by itself.

Patronize the artists' websites... the majors will always work for the Britney's; no sense in waiting for them to produce actual music... go to the source.

Radio... ClearChannel is truly the devil itself... where possible, find and listen to local college stations... many are streamed online now, in addition to many other specialty online stations... this is where new and eclectic music can be found -- commercial-free in many cases!

Delivery system... I'd like to see hi-res hang on somehow, but redbook CDs have come a long way; if that's as good as it ever got, we could be a lot worse off... if it all gets dumbed down to MP3 as the world becomes more crowded and costly (it could happen), I'd find a way to live with it (new upsampling technology?) as long as I can access quality content.

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#17 of 30 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted September 19 2003 - 01:04 PM

Quote:
2. Artists doing it on their own: Following the Marillion example, I can see second tier artists who have a rabid fan base deciding to do things on their own. Some by choice, some by necessity.

I think this is one solid format, but it only works for established acts. No first timer will be able to drum up capital for their recordings by paid preorders. It will still take either label backing or independent financing to get the albums made in the majority of cases.

I think Hi-rez stads a far better chance of survival within a multichannel market. When you think about it, why hasn't multichannel hit the car audio market yet? This is a perfect place for surround, with fixed listening positions. There is a mint to be made in hardware and software for the car. Why is this not being pushed harder?

IMO download crowd is going to have to mature, and realize that they can't have everything for free if they expect new music to be anything more than filler. It takes years of dedicated work, and a lot of money to produce high quality product, and that can't happen withut a solid financial support from the audience. Of course, it would be better to be buying direct from the source, where your $13 actually paid the artist, rather than them receiving $1 or less, if they ever see it at all.

The problem with services like itunes is that they are restricted to label bands, or those who sign up for something like The Orchard, which is a pay service with a history of ripping off its artists. There needs to be an easier, more direct way for bands to market their wares in an itunes world.

#18 of 30 OFFLINE   Steve Crowley

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Posted September 19 2003 - 03:38 PM

I think one of the reasons the music 5 caters to the 15-24 crowd is money. I myself have bought 5 CD's this past year and only 1 was from a major label. It was o brother soundtrack and I thought it brought bluegrass back into the mainstream that had been lost for a few years. I am 45 and listen to Pacifica KPFT 90.1 here in H-town almost exclusively. Public supported and great music to boot. Every one is right that Clear Channel is satan, what trash they put out.

As far as Hi rez goes it will take awhile for it to catch on but I think it will be here to stay. I would rather buy a concert DVD and listen to it in full blown PCM 24/96 than buy the same CD with only audio on it. Look at the price difference of concert DVD as compared to CD. Not much. DVD has a better value and you can use the analog outputs and burn straight to a CD for the car. Thats what I do as I think many others do as well. Like your opinions on that one.

As a musician I can see why there should be more indie labels offering contracts for local bands as this would lower the cost of CD and give the artist more cache in his pocket. I play in the local theater group for free and of course would like to get money for my efforts but the after parties more than make up for that. Just not really excited about joining a union. We have a lot of prog here and when they play they usually have CD's for sale. $10. Local band in Houston is Stride and they are fantastic.

Until the music industry gets there act together then the pirating of music will not stop. Maybe they should stop releasing CD's and go back to vinyl. Copy protecting CD's will not work as there is always a hack to get around that. If they keep putting out unintelligable lyrics with bass heavy riffs I guess that indie is where its at.
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#19 of 30 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted September 20 2003 - 01:23 AM

Quote:
When you think about it, why hasn't multichannel hit the car audio market yet? This is a perfect place for surround, with fixed listening positions. There is a mint to be made in hardware and software for the car. Why is this not being pushed harder?


They actually are beginning to come to market...there are a few DVDA auto players in the market like the Pioneer in the Acura TL. Harman Kardon (the audio conglomerate, not just the brand) is working on Super Audio for the car and will have products out in a year.

Quote:
The problem with services like itunes is that they are restricted to label bands, or those who sign up for something like The Orchard, which is a pay service with a history of ripping off its artists. There needs to be an easier, more direct way for bands to market their wares in an itunes world.


iTunes is set up this way but they or others don't have to be.
Viewing: Sony KDSXBR150, Sony Bluray S570, ATT Uverse
Listening: Sony SCD777ES, Benchmark DAC1Pre, VPI/Modwright SWP9SE/Lyra Argo, Audio Research Ref3/VT100, Maggie 1.7s

 


#20 of 30 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

Marc Colella

    Screenwriter

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Posted September 20 2003 - 04:14 AM

The way I see it happening:

1. The music industry will continue to suffer - It'll only get worse before it gets better. There's so much competition for your entertainment dollar - that even more people will be spending their money on DVDs, internet, home theatre and computer/console games.

2. The big 5 labels will eventually split up into smaller labels with their own special niches of music. The labels will realize that putting 99% of their marketing effors ant budgets to a select few artits and trying to "hit a home run" with them is costing them more money than it's making them. With the creation of smaller labels and the breakdown (to an extent) of the big 5 labels, we'll start to see more development and patience towards new artists.

3. MP3 (and other digital formats) will be the dominant audio format. Portable MP3 players will take a major chunk away from the Portable CD/cassette market. Almost all DVD players will be compatable with MP3.

4. The death of the CD player. It's been happening for a few years now, and will continue. Standalone CD players will be eliminated from the general market and will only be geared towards the audiophile in their niche markets. DVD players will be the standard player for everything (DVD, CD, DVD-A, MP3) in the home. More MP3 players in the car.

5. Hi-Rez audio will survive as a small niche product. Almost all DVD players will have DVD-A compatability but it won't spark many to move towards the format. SACD compatability will be offered in less players and will be geared more towards the audiophile market.

6. Radio (as we know it) will continue to die off. More talk radio will be available, and less music stations will be around. MP3 will seriously diminish the amount of radio people listen to in the car.

7. CD will continue to be the main audio format, but will see lose a decent amount of market share to digital music (MP3).

8. DVD Music will gain a sizable share of the market. The music industry will realize and accept the fact that people need to be visually stimulated and not just aurally. More and more CDs will include a seperate DVD disc with either music videos and/or concert footage from the artist.
Concert DVDs will double (at least) in sales.

9. More independance for artists. With the internet and digital media, the artists will be less dependant on the music labels and can promote their music themselves. The middle-men in the industry will feel the pinch causing massive restructuring from the big 5 labels.


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