Saturday, September 4, 2010

Music Distribution

Myles was lamenting the slow, unrelenting demise of the the traditional record store. Don't hold you breath on this trend reversing. The record store will disappear before CDs do, though, because sites like Amazon can still afford to sell them for a while longer. The CD won't disappear entirely, but it will cease to be the primary means of music distribution in the twenty first century.

CDs (or vinyl records, even) will become a item in the special packages created for serious fans and collectors. Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails already did this a few years ago with the Ghosts album. Primary distribution for Ghosts was on BitTorrent, uploaded to The Pirate Bay by Reznor himself, but the main web site sold collectors packages, some for hundreds of dollars. The site crashed within minutes of it going live and was soon replaced with an apology from Reznor that redirected fans to The Pirate Bay! It was so cool!

The whole business of making music, from production to marketing to distribution, is changing. As this article explains, any musician that expects to get rich make music is seriously deluded. In the future, even just to get noticed, you will need to be damned good. The days of record company manufactured, disposable, banal boy and girl bands are almost over. And I for one, will be very happy to see them disappear.

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