Ok, you heard it first here... My prediction is that the Music Industry (as we know it) will be dead in 5 years.
Applications like GarageBand will be the nail in the coffin for the music industry. Big Labels and Big artists will eventually fall by the way side to a MUCH more diverse (and I think more interesting) home grown market. MP3 and P2P was the first clue that the Music industry was in trouble... Home grown, quality music will finnish it off.
We are just starting to see home grown music communities spring up. Eventually you will see MSN and Yahoo start to create dedicated home grown music portals (actually maybe not these guys... probably someone smaller and smarter and faster) become the focal point for sharing music. Actually based on the success of ITMS, I would say that it might look something like that. I hope Apple is watching what they have released and are prepared for it as well as it will certain impact ITMS.
The Analogy I use for this is based on observing what Digital Imaging has done to the Photography market. Once leaders like Kodak (At one point they dominated that industry) have been completely desimated by cheap digital imaging solutions.
What will be more interesting is what will happen when Big Music understands that this change is comming and how they change their companies in light of this fact. My guess is that the really smart ones will realize that they no longer produce product that they are in fact marketing machines, and will eventually behave as such.
I look at them now and I see Kodak written all over them.
Garageband makes it easy to use canned clips. Garageband makes it easy to use MIDI. Unfortunately, Garageband does nothing to "turn up the good and turn down the suck"...
Talent is talent. To say that a Garageband single is as good as professional recording session is quite a stretch to say the least. There are other factors at work to consider as well. Distribution. Touring. Merch. Bandwidth. None of which are free.
Although Garageband is a great app, and I would go as far as to say it's a "killer app", don't expect the music industry to fall to it's knees to a glorified karaoke machine.
That's a great quote... however, millions of dollars in advertizing, promotion, production and merchandising does not instantly translate into quality either.
I look at what is "mass" popular today and a lot, I mean A LOT of it sucks... case in point the SuperBowl half time show... tell me taht didn't suck.
I think that an industry that is actively prosecuting selected portions of it's listening base, not watching what is going on around them (MP3's and P2P were just for starters) and is constantly turning out a stream of pretty plastic lip synch'rs is on the verge of collapse.
I welcome the notion that people should be noted for their talent and gifts... and not rewarded for their appearence in a tank top.
I welcome the fact that eventually this "star" mentality will fade away.
I want ugly people who have pipes, that can sing their asses off to entertain me (hey if they're pretty and can sing that's fine by me too). I want new kinds of music... ALL the time, not the same s**t repackaged over and over again.
Call me crazy, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't think that the music industry won't go without a fight, but ultimately I think they will lose.
Well said. cracked music apps have been available and on thousands and thousands of computers of rockstar hopefuls for quite a while now, and it still hasn't created more good music. Just more and more crap.
Perhaps, but then similar things were once said about newspapers and books when the Internet first took hold of consumers around '93 (aside: I can recall even earlier predictions that computers were to give us a paperless office). There's little doubt that the music industry is changing out of sheer necessity, but the success of the iTunes Music Store, along with RIAA's apparently successful litigation war, has me thinking that the industry has a future after all. Let's make a distinction between the industry and record companies. The industry will always thrive because people like to listen to music. Less clear is what will happen to the record companies--the guys who are in the business of marketing and distributing what amount to a cellophane-wrapped plastic case with a disc inside. That their product happens to contain music is almost coincidental.
It might not even take five years before we see the demise of the CD and the business model that measures unit sales based on what we once called an album (i.e., 8-10 songs slapped into what I described earlier as a cellophane-wrapped plastic case with a disc inside).
The trouble with ITMS and legalized digital music is that it makes it very expensive to release a full-length recording (i.e., 8-10 songs) when only half of those might be downloaded enough to turn a profit.
Given this, watch for the re-emergence of the EP (extended play), giving artists the incentive to record less material at once, and the benefit of being able to churn out new products in a fraction of the time that a CD takes. Many acts might skip that step altogether and simply release their material one track at a time, forever occupying the "new release" section of ITMS.
Here's another speculative down-the-road prediction: if ITMS continues to be successful, a lot of acts are going to start wondering why they need a record company at all. Apple (if they can get away with this) may start signing top-billing artists who are at the end of their contract, giving them full artistic control (and a substantially bigger cut of their sales). Marketing and studio time would essentially be out-sourced by the artist, giving them the choice to hire who they want.
As for GarageBand, don't get me wrong...I own a copy of this thing and it's great, but there's simply no way that it is going to render obsolete the irreplaceable sound of a band, a studio, a producer, and that special "sound" you get when a group is clicking. Will we see the day when a GarageBand-arranged song hits the ITMS charts? You bet. More a matter of when than if. But ultimately this is a consumer product rather than a professional tool, just as iMovie can't compare with Final Cut.
Now those are some fare arguements P-G. I would in fact welcome the notion that we could return to the days of the Album, where the Album told a story, and all the songs were meant to be heard together... Tommy or Quadrophenia by the Who, or 2112 by Rush, or Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds...
You couldn't just buy one song from those albums... you needed the whole thing. I would welcome a return to those days, however I don't see it.
Now as for Apple going direct through with some Artists... that is bang on what I am talking about.
Should you short Tower Records? probably
Should you short pressing plant owners? definitely
Should your short music publishers? Nope
Should you short A&R guys? Nope
Should you short recording studios and session musicians? probably
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This is all very interesting. my hope is that tools like GB will help to create an appreciation for really good composition. Taking the print analogy... anyone can do page layup, design and printing at home now - and they/we do. This has had a disastrous effect in some sectors of the printing business - but there is also a greater awareness now of good design, more demand for print and design - and probably more design jobs than ever before.
I think music may follow a similar line. Some folks will definitely suffer (hopefully the meanest entities) and others will thrive (hopefully the creative entities)? But I guess we'll see. Everything is shifting - as usual - the music industry has been constantly redesigning itself over a century or so. Those who oppose the tide of change tend to find themselves in deep water... as they say.
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