Friday, August 07, 2009

The Eutectic Point...

The MTV and Mercury Music awards are now both shortlisted, so it is that time of year again. I imagine that many in the major labels are wringing their hands although it is likely that they will score some successes in 2009 even if the personal cost might have been high for music industry executives in terms of bonuses.

'real world' --- aka 'the rest of us' --- because we've known exactly that for ages and were not paid a penny for our wisdom.
I'm happy living with my thought that that the industry is, finally, undergoing some kind of corporate cognitive therapy, resulting in a very slow transformation in terms of both self-awareness and of the changing situation. The issue is that depite (maybe even because of) the riches the-gravy-train that recorded-music history granted them for almost fifty years the magic has finally worn so thin as to have as-wide-an-appeal as a dried-out-tea-bag, awaiting its second-coming, in a student house.
It took, however, the better part of a decade for the industry to wake-up to, let alone make attempts at full engagement with, the new reality. My experience is that students learn such things much faster and probably because they simply have to.

The four major labels are certainly not out of the woods yet but at least they are trying. The real issue is that the decades of sycophantic hegemony are over; it is now a long-established industry under attack from more directions than merely those posed by the rise of illegal downloading alone. That is, however, a phenomenon that both they and the High Street music stores handled catastrophically: a case of corporate self-denial, in the face of a blindingly-obvious rapid change in circumstances, if ever there were one.
Many of the new threats are, and have every reason to remain, valid as they are quite legal and that too is largely a massive failure on the part of the existing players in the market. It is hard to say for sure but, had things been done differently and I'm not talking Draconian measures here, I can't help but think that the 'big-four' might not be in the situation in which they now find themselves.

Good luck independent labels - you are amongst the forces of the future!

No comments: