The music industry was transformed by the migration to digital music Now it’s been turned on its head again . . .
This second wave of disruption is to expected and a pattern we often see following a major change in an industry where the first wave of disruptors take large risks and must work hard to shift behaviour, corporate mindsets and often regulation, too. The effort comes with huge rewards, as it did for Apple, but sets the scene for the next generation to swoop in, learn from mistakes and really define the market.
In the case of music, the message is clear: people want it to f low like water and services like Spotify give you access to the entire catalogue of almost every song ever recorded, for a low monthly subscription.
This makes it harder than ever for artists to make money from digital music – but it doesn’t change the fundamentals of an industry in which the only way to make real money has always been from live shows. Sure, you could make a lot of money from a gold record in the US market but you’d make far more than that from a month on the road.
On that note, the Nielsen report also showed a spike in vinyl record sales that are up 40% compared to the first half of last year. Perhaps there’s still a place for that prized artefact containing a pristine recording of your favourite music. Magic, as always, happens in niches.