Music Sales, Dinosaurs, and Future Music Business Archaeology

by Matt @ Kurb on October 4, 2009

I’m doing great, I know what’s going on. What’s going on is whoever’s left standing in 18 months will probably be doing sweet.

Need online music marketing? We do everything cheap. Everything. Cheap – Websites, Design, Email management, Social Media, Video, Advertising, Content Management, brand development.

Man just checking out the sales on the Bob Lefsetz blog – my god, the figures are really starting to tell you something – to look at how many albums these acts have sold you got to wonder if they’re making any money at all when you consider the kind of traditional brute force marketing and ill considered online policy  they continue to employ.

Latest Album Sales Figures

Bob Lefsetz doing his regular round up of figures from the US albums charts.

We are definitely moving to another stage, it’s post meteorite and the big lizards are dying. That’s some good news in terms of the music business food chain. When the big dinosaurs are unable to snap up the music market like they have in the past there’ll be a lot more to go round for the little guys.

You see when your dinosaur model is built around having huge corporate jaws with which to bite into the market – you can’t survive because big markets are dying out and those powerful jaws cant do much against more fractured markets that run scurrying now around your feet.

The executives cant eat. They can’t survive.Their lunches will fall from the very tall tables into the mouths of characters like me, anteaters, creatures that are so streamlined and designed for thorough online music business extraction. We will move forward through this era and gain pace, because we are specialized for a new environment, built to adapt.

New prototypes that have found limited success will flourish, but sooner or later, new music business will have to develop the teeth to hold it’s own.

Yes, that’s what I said, anteaters with teeth, you feel me?

Without getting too far out on a limb with this metaphor, what I’m saying is only those music businesses that are incredibly streamlined for profit will survive, and they may very well dine at the expense of big labels confronting significant markets the big labels can no longer address by sheer ubiquity.

New models will evolve to address the business, the markets that will still exist. The big labels won’t retreat peacefully, but they may have no choice when more efficent models challenge them, because they’re pushed out by smaller, leaner operators who are able to use technology to do what it took whole staffs with huge budgets to do before because the marketing is sensitive and so available and accessible to their sprawling target.

Because a small passionate group can create an authentic impact, it only takes the right triangulation of propositions and value to suddenly hit the sweet spot where the money can be made.

Just like evolution, a range of mutations and chance successes will lead to models that become more established.

Is it more about business and particularly business models than it is music?

I might have to talk about this more actually, because we know what will happen sooner or later but what are we going through now and where can artists benefit?

You see, it may not be about who’s breaking the big acts.

The big labels built a business model around bold moves with huge stars. But now the music business will become so streamlined it’s about getting the product off the street and delivering in such a way that people – whatever market, size or shape you go after – will pay for it.

And just like real life grown up business . . . scaling that mofo.

When the labels are gone what will replace them? to a certain extent there’s already a conception that last centuries music was “better”. The labels will still own and profit from the “golden era” of music. But new music will belong to those who can strike fast and still bite with sharp teeth.

Those who are clever enough to provide the kind of impact that we grew up with in the music industry, by whatever means, will evolve into the position labels are in now.

Perhaps never as powerful ever again, but similarly, they will have a model that is refined until it works, and they will milk it until it doesn’t and another paradigm shift turns the music industry upside down but this is the thing, times move quickly now.

This could be within 10 years, a whole other shift we never imagined. Boggle boggle.


What about the Kanye thing? Bob also mentioned this in relation to Jay-Z’s album release and the very plausible hint of conspiracy. I guess I was gratified at least someone else was bringing it up.

But what does it matter whether it was staged or not, this is the entertainment business. That’s the very point I’ve been making that these artists are pushing the idea that they are true entertainers in every sense of the word an true spectacle remains alive for the captive worldwide audience.

I don’t see the point in indulging in conspiracies, just take note of how the music business has shifted and begun to amalgamate into a larger multimedia industry that will be delivered over the net.

The idea that you’re just a musician and not a brand, and not a character, is not going to get you that far, because it kind of is the 21st century and thats really where we’re at.

If you want to sell your music for a $1 a pop on the corner than sure, but I tend to believe that as a musician what you’re really trying to do is inspire people. Once you do that who cares about your dollar song?

You’re a star!!!

So what’s working in music marketing today? I guess I know what’s working but most of the artists I encounter aren’t ready for the commitment.

Who’s even got $10,000 for a well executed internet campaign?

You see in the old days, if by some miracle you made the cut, a lot of money and resources would fall behind you. Now that label no longer wants to do that and soon it wont exist.

Who will create the leverage to take you forward? Where’s the investment coming from?

Are you a good investment? Is music a good investment? No!!

Crazy, volatile market where the value of the commodity has shot through the floor!

That’s why without the big investment, when my clients are turning up with only $50 p/eweek to manage their online campaigns, we’re building however we can towards apoint where we can make your artistry into a profitable enterprise, based on a very progressive approach.

I don’t see how you’re going to do anything remarkable if you try and pretend the music business hasn’t completely changed now – because I just said it – there’s no money to play with any more. If you want to build the dream, then you’re going to have to pay for it yourself.

Maybe with me at your back for seriously a year or two, you give yourself a chance. If you think you can give me $500 and think it’s going to be significant than you are really unaware of just how much power was in the clout of multinational record label with billions of dollars in turnover.

We can help you toward refining the combination of deft internet marketing and compelling propositions that allows you to create a realistic music business from your artistry.

You never got snapped up by the dinosaur labels,so you’ve got to learn to earn and survive long enough that the dust from the meteor hit has settled.

I’m doing great, I know what’s going on. What’s going on is whoever’s left standing in 18 months will probably be doing sweet.

Need Music marketing and Mangement? At the moment you can still get in for US$200 p/month – that’s comprehensive music marketing and music business management – website, design, email management, video, content management, advertising . . .


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