- Fix Ticketmaster — Just what business are we talking about here? Generally, if you're talking the "music business", you're talking about selling music. If you're in the venue business, you're using the alcohol business, using the band to attract an audience. Just like the business of newpapers and magazines isn't the text, but using the text to sell the readers to the advertisers. Just like talking about Shell and BP has little to do with the auto bailout, fixing Ticketmaster, while in general a good idea, will do nothing to fix Warner and Capitol, etc.
On the other hand, if we're talking about the big rooms, the concert halls and the stadiums with blue mats on the basketball boards, they can only do it if there are big acts to fill them, and you need to have small venues pushing small acts that grow to be big acts, or else the system dies when the last big fish dies.
- Shift The Focus From CDs To Vinyl — CDs might suck ("They’re easily scratched, ugly and make album artwork so small that it’s difficult to see without a magnifying glass ..."), but consider this. There were singles, individual good songs. The 50s were all about singles. The 60s only started to not be about singles toward the end. It was the 80s when the rock single died, and even then, it kinda didn't. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the video, the "single" even when no single was released. Same with "Rockin' in the Free World". We wanted singles, but we couldn't buy singles. Then came MP3s, and iTunes and such. We have singles again. Vinyl sales are constant to DJs and audiophile geeks. CD sales are slipping. With downloads, you have good-enough music quality wherever you want, without having to build a Hi-Fi shrine to music in your living room. That's a dog.
- Make Better Music — If only it were that easy. On the one hand, you think you're going to make "better" music than the Allmans, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Bach? (Depending on what you're going for.) On the other hand, you could make the best music possible and if nobody hears it, it goes nowhere. Radio is dead, and it's dead by self-inflicted wounds. Until you work out how people know about your music, making it "better" is futile.
- Make the iTunes Store More User-Friendly — Amazon MP3 is plenty user-friendly to me.
- Look to the Past for Perspective — It just might be that the era of recorded popular music, call it from the Bristol Sessions to Napster, has been what economists would call a bubble, and it's just done burst.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Gibson's Five Ideas That Will Not Work
Jonah of Gibson's Lifestyle website has five ideas to Save the Music Industry. I for one am entirely unconvinced by them.