Dis­rup­tors

The mu­sic in­dus­try was trans­formed by the mi­gra­tion to dig­i­tal mu­sic Now it’s been turned on its head again . . .

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY -

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.

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