Things Every Songwriter Should Know
  ...from the Pros Who've Done it.

What Happened, Why, and Where the Music Business is Going Part II

Written by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter

In my last blog, we took a brief trip through the fifties and sixties and the events that drastically changed the music business for songwriters, publishers, artists and record companies.  The main villain in this scenario was corporate thinking.  Doing away with the single record, only signing singer/songwriters, and the cost associated with recording albums before you knew if you had something or not, changed the business in a way that we would have to pay for later.

Corporate thinking and its consequences

Corporate thinking continued to zig when they should have zagged.  Radio lost its freedom and individuality, and became an advertising medium owned by a precious few corporations. The tight play lists did very little to break new artists, independent radio personalities disappeared and the most popular stations adopted the oldies but goodies format which was good for the oldies but not good for new product.

Greed will get you every time

The CD came out and offered a quality of sound that far surpassed vinyl and tape. Digital came at a price however, and as good as it was, it was also expensive and the sound was a little cold. As the consumer and the business itself embraced the CD, the sound quality improved, but for some reason or other, the price stayed the same.  With every other product, greater volume in sales usually results in the price coming down. This was not the case with the CD and once again it was corporate thinking at the major record companies who made that decision.

Since $16 was a lot of money for a kid to spend on an album each week, and kids were in the habit of wanting more than one album, they found a way to steal the albums. The new digital world made it easy and the record companies, instead of dropping the price, thought they could contain the problem legally. They finally realized that the cat was out of the bag and there was very little they could do about it. They finally did drop the price but by then it was too late, and convincing kids to pay for something they could get for free was not going to be easy.

The music business in transition

The rest is history, iTunes helped, but the business in general continued to suffer and here we are today – in bad shape, in transition, and nobody is 100% sure of exactly where it’s going.

To sum it all up, corporate thinking is not always a bad thing, it can be very powerful and positive, especially when it comes to developing and marketing products.  When it comes to the arts you have to be careful. The term music business says it all, it’s a delicate partnership between creative entities and business entities.  If either partner gets too powerful, it doesn’t work.

Where do we go from here?

I’m not that involved in the music business these days and what’s even worse, I’m getting old, but my guess is probably as good as anyone’s so for what it’s worth, here’s what I think is going to happen:

The new home of the record business is on the Internet. On this level playing field, independent record companies will be able to compete with major record companies. Boutique and specialty labels will also play an important role. We will take more chances and dare to be different. The cost of making records will normalize and the concept of the single record will be reborn. The cost of manufacturing will disappear since everything will be downloaded and companies like Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Emusic.com, Napster, Rhapsody, MP3Mix.com will provide interesting alternatives.

Exactly how this will end up? I don’t know, but it will certainly be better than what we have now. Better for the creative community as well as the record and publishing companies. Let’s hope I’m right!

If anyone has anything to add on this subject, your comments will be welcome.

Did this post help you in any way? If so, please share it with one other person who could use it. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Be sure to check out our Top 5 articles and our Top 3 videos from the right panel on our blog homepage.

If you haven’t already, check out:

The 5 Ways to Connect to Inspiration – click here
How do you Know When you’ve Written a Great Song? – click here
The story of how I got my first hit – click here

Be sure to subscribe to weekly article updates and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free.

82 Responses to “What Happened, Why, and Where the Music Business is Going Part II”

  1. Johnney says:

    Spot on once again Barry. I agree that corporatism has stymied the creative side of music. I get so disappointed when I hear some of todays’ artists perform live as compared to their recordings. I know technology has its’ place and can be a good thing (i.e. better sound quality as you mentioned) but I don’t care for it disguising a mediocre or sometimes down right bad singer as a superstar (especially when they are barely out of diapers) personally I don’t think record sales should be such a prominent factor in deciding things such as entertainer of the year. Records and merchandising should be be manufactured, not singers and/or songwrtiters for that matter.
    Ahh, how I long for the days of old, when the truth in music was all we were sold.
    When singers, songwriters, and musicians to be, could count on their talents to carry their dreams.

    Thanks for your wonderful insights and honesty, I really appreciate it.
    JLP

  2. Good article. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep it up!

  3. Ch-n says:

    the music industry will always be run by large corporation! Yes, the web is the future, but so is money. whatever, new ideas these kids come up with, corporation are just going to use there money and influence to buy them out. Just look at youtube, myspace and IMDB to get an idea of what i’m speakin about.

    • admin says:

      Some of what you say is true but it’s still a partnership between business and the creative. One can’t live without the other.

      Best,

      Barry

      • DJ Bydgoszcz says:

        DJ TORUŃ to mieszcząca się w naszym regionie zajmująca się obsługę imprez wzakresie woj KujPom ,prowadzenia imprezokolicznościowych, a takżegrania W Toruniufunkcjonujemy już od kilkudziesięciu lat.oprawa muzyczna wesela Inowrocław w ramach obsługipodmiotów gospodarczych specjalizuje się w organizowaniuimprez oraz tworzeniu ścieżek audiowg wytycznych dla przedsiębiorstwa. W tym zakresieDJToruń może pochwalić się wieloma sukcesami. Ponieważ naszymi kontrahentami są zarówno osoby prywatne jakrównież duże i małe spółki spólki. Ponieważ, po mimo wielokrotnych wyjaśnień na różnych forach internetowych w dalszym ciągu pojawiają się pytania dotyczące utworów kupowanych za pośrednictwem Beatporu i innych portali informuję, że Stanowisko ZPAV wypowiedziane na spotkaniu w czerwcu 2010 w klubie Alfa w Warszawie, a następnie w klubie Remont w Warszawie w Listopadzie2010 r i potwierdzone na spotkaniu DJ Union z OZZ w dniu 10 marca 2011r w siedzibie ZAiKS mówi, że utwory zakupione na Beatport z wydrukowanym dokumentem potwierdzającym zakup są plikami legalnymi. Do ich odtwarzania nie jest potrzebna DJ Licencja o ile nie ma zastrzeżenia o zakazie wykonania kopii. Należy za każdym razem sprawdzić czy w regulaminie danego portalu jest zastrzeżenie dotyczące wykonania dodatkowej kopii tzn czy utwór musi pozostać na Dysku na który został zapisany podczas “ściągania” czy ewentualnie może zostać wykonania kopia np na CDR. Musicie odróżnić czy dany portal udostępnia utwory “tylko do użytku domowego” – wówczas pod żadnym pozorem nie wolno go odtwarzać publicznie nawet posiadając DJ Licencję. Jeżeli jest standardowe zastrzeżenie jak na każdej płycie ” kopiowanie, publiczne odtwarzanie bez zezwolenia. – wówczas takie nagranie może być odtwarzane pod warunkiem opłacania przez organizatora imprezy ( np klub) tantiem za publiczne odtwarzanie (standardowe mowy z ZAiKS, ZPAV, STOART i SAWP) . Jak wcześniej zostało to napisane DJ Licencja nie jest potrzebna.

      • Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a great website.

      • It’s amazing in support of me to have a web page, which is beneficial in support of my knowledge. thanks admint2015wiqp…

      • Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your
        site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.

        I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent idea ironsteelcenter

      • jewellery says:

        I obtained that diamond necklace as being a surprise via our ally. That is amongst the most carefully selected presents We have actually received. This is guiding this necklace around your neck generally is close to along with beloved to be able to the heart every time I wear it!

      • Hey there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

      • I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my website :).

  4. This is the absolute most simple and effective setup for any
    producer coming into music production. Even
    if you have in no way played or held an instrument before,
    it doesn’t make a bit of difference.

  5. dirtyrem says:

    You can definitely see your skills in the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

    • Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve bear in mind your stuff
      prior to and you are just extremely fantastic. I really like what
      you have acquired right here, certainly like
      what you’re stating and the way in which you are
      saying it. You make it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it smart.
      I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is actually a wonderful site.
      gudangbesibaja.com

  6. Excellent put up, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!|What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to give a contribution & help different customers like its aided me. Great job.

  7. dirtyrem says:

    of course like your web-site however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to inform the truth then again I will certainly come again again.

  8. Fantastic get the job done! This can be the sort of information that are meant to possibly be contributed over the goal. A sense of shame to the find motors for the time being definitely not location that submit higher! Seriously in excess of plus consult with my personal site. Cheers Equals)

  9. I’m looking into getting a double decker bus for my tiny? house. I’d love to see some ideas for that :-).

  10. how can he go to the dentist if he has a vent not? a mouth

    • more says:

      I simply want to say I am just very new to blogs and actually liked your web blog. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You really come with exceptional posts. Thanks a bunch for revealing your blog site.

      • Rod Boccella says:

        En algunas zonas dentro del casco urbano de Madrid se cobrara Parquing, por la imposibilidad de aparcar en la calle. Si necesita de nuestros servicios profesionales a domicilio, para cualquier averia en sus electrodomésticos instalación eléctrica, rellene el siguiente cuestionaroio y le atenderemos a la mayor brevedad posible. Por favor indiquenos en el espacio de comentarios la MARCA, MODELO, y AVERIA SINTOMA que nota al aparato, tipo de instalación que necesita. Real Decreto 1801/2003 , de 26 de diciembre, sobre seguridad general de los productos (legislación consolidada).

    • Buenas tardes , excelente informacion gratitud total

    • Jayrick says:

      An fascinating discussion is value remark. I feel that you need to write extra on this subject, it won’t be a taboo topic but typically people are not sufficient to speak on such subjects. To the subsequent. Cheers:visit our website: http://www.jericbox.com

    • kupie dom says:

      I’d need to test with you gipelris here. Which isn’t something I often do! I enjoy reading a publish that can make folks think. Also, thanks for allowing me to remark!

    • It is certainly laid-back hoodies, along with I favor my own collared shirts to comprehend design compared to this. I do believe it may glimpse much better about the directly and also tall stick-figures around.

    • Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and excellent style and design.

  11. How do i record from my Alesis Micron to my computer with a midi to usb cable?

  12. I am in the process of getting information on starting a professional karaoke business. I would like to know what program that is commonly used and if those programs have the songs on them already, or if I need to find a separate source to download thousands of popular songs?.

  13. I’m not positive where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or working out more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  14. Edgar says:

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog
    posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I
    at last stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i’m glad to show that
    I’ve a very good uncanny feeling I found out just
    what I needed. I so much for sure will make certain to don?t overlook this website
    and give it a look regularly.

  15. Jorge says:

    Hi, I would like to subscribe for this blog to get most up-to-date
    updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

  16. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add too my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this
    for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience
    with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  17. I’m very happy that I stumbled throughout your website in my search for info regarding this.

  18. I¡¦m now not certain where you’re getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time finding out much more or working out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

  19. Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site unintentionally, and I am shocked why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

  20. お二人とも足もとは“33(サーティースリー)”をチョイス。
    銈ゃ儷銉撱偩銉炽儐銈儯銉炽儑銈c儛銉冦偘 http://www.soulwriting.co.za/fgefnto/548028_y7d67sqf-il-bisonte.html

  21. GLS 100 3JF/5JFには卓越した耐久性を持つ「CORDURA(コーデュラ)(R)」※ナイロン製のバンド、GLS 100 1JF/7JFには耐久性と装着感を兼ね備えた合成皮革のバンドを、それぞれに採用。
    鑷虎杌?銈偪銉偘 http://www.albanbedonmacias.com/dhdtwrf/City-cycle-072117_EING82usk.html

  22. ※使用機器に適合できるか、十分ご注意下さい。
    銉夈儍銉氥儷銈儯銉炽偓銉?m6 http://www.bhairavtextiles.com/dhfaiuj/Doppelganger-bike-074092_EING99xrs.html

  23. その新人選手CloudCheckrは、AWSに欠けているリソース分析/費用分析/セキュリティ分析のためのツールを提供し、最近200万ドルの資金を調達するとともに、そのフリーミアムサービスの一般公開にこぎ着けた。
    銈儯銉庛兂銉囥兗銉?銈儹銈广儛銈ゃ偗 銈偆銉冦偗5 http://theservom.com/dhbkpar/Cannondale-bike-080605_EING99sbt.html

  24. ハンドボールシューズ スカイハンドJAPAN−S −ハンドボールシューズ(インドア用)− 品名:スカイハンドJAPAN S 品番:THH515 カラー 2300:レッドパールホワイト5093:ネイビーブルーシルバー サイズ:23.0〜29.0cm アッパー素材:本体人工皮革製 補強人工皮革製 アウターソール:ゴム底 インナーソール:取り替え式 プロフィール名品スカイハンドSPのフォルムを受け継いだローカットモデル。
    銉偆銈儙 銉兗銉夈儛銈ゃ偗 ctr http://www.modulodeinjecaolondrina.com/dhmyubs/louis-garneau-bike-272322_EING85fpe.html

  25. 【スポーツカジュアルウェア】NIKE(ナイキ)ウィメンズ DRI FIT UV レオパード ニットフーディ ジャケットパンツ上下セット556135 675SET【750】
    銈点偆銉愩兗銉娿儞 avic-vh0099 http://www.cazarituristi.ro/dhevagk/daohang2-803590_EING55ntx.html

  26. Con el número 3 de este ranking llega el brasileño D. Luiz
    que nos deslumbra con su melena leónica y rizada.
    - cuya licencia fue concedida en favor de Paso dos Coloque una almohadilla de pelo
    en el centro de la parte trasera de la cabeza (justo encima de la cola
    de caballo) y asegurarlo con horquillas.

  27. Awesome job, I believe many people will go along with your article.

  28. Todos estos elementos del on page son parte fundamental de una web y es muy importante
    que se hallen optimizados, en tanto que los buscadores como Google les otorgan suma importancia a
    la hora de indexar los sitios.

  29. This is the right site for anyone who really wants to understand this topic. You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that’s been written about for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!|

  30. I think the admin of this website is really working hard for his web site,
    because here every material is quality based stuff.
    pusatbesibaja.com

  31. dbcert.co.uk says:

    That is absolutely laid-back hoodies, as well as I favor my personal collared tops with more design than this particular. I’m sure it might look better about the directly as well as high stick-figures around.

  32. Las Vegas says:

    Banner ads typically include graphics and text which entice Internet
    users to click on the advertisement. Without enough traffic, you
    will never have enough customers and this means you won’t be making enough money.

    For clients, you can target neighborhoods, communities or
    even companies.

  33. las vegas says:

    The following are the benefits that you have to be aware of the
    most. A lot of people have small business ideas that they often fail to put into practice
    either because they lack the money to make an investment or because the fear to lose everything.
    Two: Increase in income – When you are able to increase your traffic to the business,
    you will easily be able to also increase your income.

  34. www.Yelp.com says:

    Then send the postcard to all of the addresses in your area, and
    try to draw customers in. Make the process pain-free with debt collection software for a small business that automates this tedious process and adds to your company’s bottom
    line. Selling the same things, to the same market, in the same way.

  35. Tax law about businesses in the USA is ever changing.

    If, on the other hand, you are not successful in paying your loans
    back, you are going to develop “bad credit. Always choose a new account, and look for a specialized bank whenever possible.

  36. Kellee says:

    Starting a small business with no money may sound impossible but
    there are ways to kick off a very profitable business without ever spending a single
    dime of your own money. With good habit and savings, you
    can be assured of having enough to start your own business.
    Selling the same things, to the same market, in the same way.

  37. Exceptionally individual pleasant website. Huge information readily available on few clicks on

  38. You have probably the greatest web-sites

  39. I love reading your site. Thank you so much!

  40. If you’re educated (or seeking an education) you will probably find a ton of opportunity in a small town. With good
    habit and savings, you can be assured of having enough to start
    your own business. A customer is injured while using a product you
    sold and files a claim for indemnity.

  41. Julian says:

    Starting a small business with no money may sound impossible but there are ways to kick off a very
    profitable business without ever spending a single dime of your own money.
    Make the process pain-free with debt collection software for a
    small business that automates this tedious process and adds to your company’s bottom
    line. Before you do this, examine the publication online to ensure that its website is user friendly.

  42. The equipment itself is not really particularly expensive these times, so leasing can cost considerably more in the medium-to-long term.
    Platforms: Android, Blackberry, i – Phone, i – Pad, Windows Phone.
    Clients do not look no matter whether you’ve a small or big budgeted communication service.

  43. Whitney says:

    Banner ads typically include graphics and text which entice Internet users to click on the advertisement.
    Platforms: Android, Blackberry, i – Phone, i – Pad, Windows
    Phone. Before you do this, examine the publication online
    to ensure that its website is user friendly.

  44. Tax law about businesses in the USA is ever changing. With good habit
    and savings, you can be assured of having enough to start your own business.
    Always choose a new account, and look for a specialized bank whenever possible.

  45. Starting a small business with no money may sound impossible
    but there are ways to kick off a very profitable business without ever spending a single
    dime of your own money. Platforms: Android, Blackberry, i – Phone, i – Pad, Windows Phone.
    A customer is injured while using a product you sold and files a claim for
    indemnity.

  46. The equipment itself is not really particularly expensive
    these times, so leasing can cost considerably more in the medium-to-long term.
    Make the process pain-free with debt collection software for a small business that
    automates this tedious process and adds to your company’s bottom line.

    Typically, this works well if we are involved in a solid networking and we reciprocate,
    by referring clients to those other businesses.

  47. meeting room says:

    Then send the postcard to all of the addresses in your area,
    and try to draw customers in. Further, amount of loan must be
    need-based, subject to ceiling of Rs 25,000 per borrower for purchase of machinery or equipment etc,
    and meeting working capital requirement of
    one operating cycle. A customer is injured while using a product you sold
    and files a claim for indemnity.

  48. Then send the postcard to all of the addresses in your area,
    and try to draw customers in. With good habit and savings,
    you can be assured of having enough to start your own business.
    Selling the same things, to the same market, in the same way.

  49. Look into their years of experience in managing small
    business accounts so that you can get professional advice on various financial matters.
    Make the process pain-free with debt collection software for a small
    business that automates this tedious process and adds to your company’s bottom line.
    Clients do not look no matter whether you’ve a small or big budgeted communication service.

Leave a Reply