Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Music Publishing > Music Recording

The Digital Music Weblog has a good analysis of a USA Today article describing the new trends and economics of the music business. Apparently:

  1. The recording industry, dependent on album sales, is hurting (duh)
  2. The publishing industry, which makes money when songs are reused in games, TV, movies, commercials, etc., is doing really well (interesting)
  3. Publishers still aren't happy, going after lyrics and tabs sites that "rip" content.
No one will argue that the music industry is changing, and no one seems to agree how it will change. Grant Robertson says,
It's becoming clear that performance rights, touring and merchandise sales are the driving sector within the business. We're heading towards a model where it's less likely that touring will drive record sales, and instead the Internet can drive your band's touring success.
I think that music will become a collective, social experience. The content itself will be valuable, and consumers, films, and TV shows will always buy music (unless they're paid for product-placing music - I'm not really sure who pays who here). If a band can only make singles, people will only buy the singles. If a band can make an album (like Sgt. Peppers), people will buy the album.

The most valuable part of music, however, will become the performance. Especially now, when many music fans are sick of lip-syncing, well-marketed personalities, the true musicians will put on amazing shows that bring people together in a real-life setting. This experience is what makes people shell out over $100 for U2 tickets - and to see their favorite MySpace band in action.

I'm also struck by the fact that publishers want money for lyrics that are simply printed in their album covers. They should be distributed digitally alongside iTunes purchases!

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