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June 25, 2009

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As I stated over on FB good thought provoking read. Isn't there some truth in the fact in the post-industrial rapid distribution society that we live in today that technology has diminished the real costs of most products and the inexpensive availability rewards the sonof-a-b that wants to be the meanest and push hardest in the context of arcane contractual arrangements and guerrilla take no prisoners marketing? The distribution of music is so mechanized and efficient at this point no matter what the arcane legalities are many persons that were required in the industry at one time are simply no longer necessary, families or not.

Its a reality that is at the root of many of our economic problems as we have watched the ascent of the money lenders in our political milieu. The challenge for artists and producers is to evolve new profitable distribution methods based on performance and financial appreciation independent of inflexible obsolete record corporations. The days of the one session jack-pot are over.

Yes and no. The labels or some entity are need for those artists who seek national or international recognition before they are on social security. :) It takes millions to launch an artist and certainly some degree of expertise in promotion, publicity, distribution, etc. Most artists (not all) have neither the time nor the inclination to lay their creative endeavors aside while they also try to learn and handle all the business needs of their careers. On the other hand, at least with established artists, entities other than record labels are doing deals with artists to market and distribute their recordings. So far I have not seen any such deals for an unknown artist. And yes -- it is indeed a new world with new technology and the traditional recording industry has been very slow to adapt -- thus creating opportunity for new and more insightful entrepreneurs. I meant to make that comment on my blog but I guess I got in a hurry to do some real work! Ha ha.

Great post Steve. I'll just add one thing that I think you were alluding to in your addendum.

The injustice is not that people have lost jobs because the technological landscape has changed. The injustice is that people have lost their jobs because the products that they used to sell are now being stolen. Lost jobs due to technology changes are entirely healthy (albeit still difficult for the one losing his or her job). Lots of companies have come and gone because their product became obsolete due to new technology. The new technology then creates jobs, those jobs are filled by displaced workers, and the beat goes on... However, on the contrary, I don't know of any companies (other than in music) who have gone under because people figured out a way to steal the company's product without detection. That, unfortunately, is what has happened to music.

Thanks for your input Brent. Well said.

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