La la laaaaaa Music Time!


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In a short film we, as a class, watched former big name in music Moby talk about the state of the music industry.  It was a short video about three minutes long.  Although short, Moby made some good points about the state of the music industry.

  1. The musicians of today are becoming more and more self-reliant.
  2. Record companies won’t be around in 5 years.
  3. The record companies are to blame.

These points each have a great deal of validity to them.  Musicians today are becoming more self-reliant, because musicians are being able to record and publish their works.  Technology today allows musicians to lay down some tracks that are made with good to great quality sound at a minimal price; although definitely not always the greatest of quality in terms of how good the product is.  The exposure may not come right away from posting your stuff online on media sharing hosts, but maybe it can lead you to a major record label if that is your goal.

He made the claim that record companies will not be around in five years.  I personally would like to add “as we currently know them” to the end of that phrase.  Music will still be here, and record companies will still be here.  But when you add what I suggested it becomes very valid.  If you cannot adapt to change, you are going to fall behind and for those record companies that refuse to adapt to change, they will probably crumble.

The record companies are to blame.  This claim is much in fact true.  They settled for mediocrity with fill in tracks and continuing to charge more and more money, when their production costs were going down.  This was very self-destructive because it definitely helped lead to the popularity of Napster and other free music services.


The second video, How to Save the Music Industry, we watched is about 25 minutes and was directed by Max Tolkoff.  It also made some valid points, although it was corny at times.

  1. The Music Industry was work hard.
  2. It must provide Quality Music.
  3. Radio was the filter, then MTV was, and now there is no filter.
  4. Music must be portable, interactive, and available on demand.
  5. It needs to be more exciting and engaging.

I completely agree with this point.  I believe that if record companies work hard, and figure out to adapt to change they will be fine.  If not at least, you know you went down swinging, which is something I choose to live by.  If you know something is going to be hard, and you could possibly fail, I find it easier to live with myself if I gave it my all.

Record companies must release quality music.  This is very evident with basically releasing a couple good songs on a CD, with a bunch of basically fill-in tracks.  I really like getting a CD that I can pop into my car’s CD player and be able to not have to skip songs because they aren’t very good.  (Shameless promotion of a CD I purchased that fits that description, is “Outlaws Like Me” by Justin Moore.)

Radio was once the filter and then it became the likes of MTV.  But now there is not filter, well there is but not one that the record companies have much say in.  I agree with this, because record companies were able to say hey here are the songs we want played and they were released as singles.  This is where people heard the music.  Nowadays music can be found in countless fashions.  This leads to the next point.

The music industry must make their product portable, interactive, and engaging.  Right now it is becoming more and more portable.  A very recent example of this is, the release of the iCloud, where if you purchase music on one device it syncs up with all your other devices.  Services like Pandora are interactive, but don’t really have much to do with the record companies.  The original form of making music engaging was the radio, and this can be renewed by releasing better music that people want to call in to hear.

The music industry must be more exciting and engaging.  The engaging part I think has to do more with each individual artist, I believe with the likes of Twitter and other social networking sites.  But the part about being exciting is like not sitting back and settling for just being OK.  In order to be great, you need to take some chances and be innovative.