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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.

My 2 cents
 

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Applications like GarageBand will be the nail in the coffin for the music industry.
Programs like these will only boost the music industry,
The programs will introduce people that wouldn't normally
produce music to the industry.

Granted that you'll start seeing a glut of music being generated
for the Internet in the near future and possibly a ton of audio
clips being produced for the TV commercial market.

But for the most part...These programs will increase the
computer industry profits by making people upgrade to a
higher prerequisite computer to run the software.

Dave :cool:
 

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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.

-SJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"turn up the good and turn down the suck"...
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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.
 

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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

Based on the Dilbert view of the world + the Homer Simpson one i.e.

Stupidity, greed, horniness + laziness :D
 

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peek-a-boo
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I remember a time when most people I knew only bought 45s. And the album if it was really good. Singles certainly isn't anything new.
 

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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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Honestly I think you're late with that prediction ;)

You see the music industry died in the early 90's in my opinion. Music in the 60s-80s and perhaps earlier was actual music that cultures enjoyed and people danced to and music meant something as a whole. What happened in the early 90's? Rap or what I like to call (Screaming or talking music) entered the industry full force. Then came girl and boy bands which escalated and still is to this day. So what exactly has changed from the early 90's to 2004 in music? Nothing except more music is produced digitally and hardly anyone plays an instrument anymore. Talent is in lip syncing concerts (Britney Spears) and dancing with as little clothes on as possible.

Point is, music is dead these days. Hell, Octoberfest music has more talent then some of these groups out there :D Back in the days you could buy a whole albulm and you would almost like every single song on that albulm. These days you're lucky to find ONE or TWO songs you like on an albulm and the rest is trash. No wonder we have iTMS where you can buy single songs of albulms. Once in a blue moon we might see some talent form out of something, but that has been rare these days.

Let's look at American Idol this year, if they allowed all those people to make records..well...then yeah you could kiss the music industry good bye tomorrow :D

I just don't see or recognize what type of music culture we are in like you could easily tell in the 60s,70s,80s etc.. these days.
 

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Small print on iLife box:

"Talent and expertise not included"

This software is going to empower people to develop their potential (a potential that varies from person to person), but that doesn't mean they'll result in a meaningful or well executed piece of music. God, I have heard CRAP from people wielding industry standard software and a great bank off synths and samplers. I got a nephew who thought it would be easy to get into music, when he had NO previous training and saw no need for any. Naturally, he was into house music ;)

Sorry, house producers! Technique and conceptual grasp is definitely needed for house music.

Anyway, distribution will radically change, and the battle for who on what will roar on as well. Who really knows how it'll turn out??

I frankly haven;t listened to all these Garageband opuses being posted around the web, but I just wonder how much of it is loops (i.e.: mussical snippets CTREATED VIA THE TALENT OF OTHERS), and flat-out bare-knuckled kidi sequencing, demanding the end-user' having some technique, a command of midi sequencing technologies, and OH YEAH... talent?
 

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Heck... all I hope with the release of Garage Band is that some of my favourite artists from the 80's can now record follow up albums to their 1 hit wonders...
 

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Nice thread.

My input?? The industry will keep rolling. I love GB and I have yet to even use it, I simply love what it does and represents. It has basically enabled the consumer to possibly unlock a hidden talent. iLife is doing wonders for the arts - in one swoop.

That's it. ITMS will never replace what a label does for a band. I still say that some of the best artists are not known - and will remain that way. Why? No marketing muscle [read $$]. You can use the net all you want, fact remains that many are still not going to the net for their music info. Do you know what ads cost in mags? national poster campaigns?? there are some artists in Canada that have some profile that I may never hear about. Let alone the world. How do you go looking for a band that you don't even know exists?? Labels will supply that service. I manage a Juno nominated group that most have still never heard of...

GB is also there to unlock the talent, or allow to pre-produce and track. want to get serious? you will need a studio @ some point and the $$ will come into play. Some better h/w than an iBook with GB will also be needed. But the whole setup is possible.

But hey, maybe you wanna go for that lo-fi, gritty sound - unmixed (as bad as that sounds on CD) and all... cool. Wanna get your records distro'ed? cool. Who's going to handle that? ITMS?? Why will they take it when no one knows about the record??

And this notion about good/bad music. What can be said about music that sells?? Do I have bad taste because I bought something that most do not like? I've always stood by this: create it and they will come (as long as they know about it).

Bottom line is that the label will remain - in my eyes. The hi fi h/w and s/w will remain as well. You need studios to mix records. You need labels to promote records (unless bands have the $$ - lots of it. EMI Canada, for indie cats who have their own label and just want a PND - production and distro - ask for about $30K in promo/mrkt budget to spend). There's nothing worse than having hot music that goes nowhere.

PG - love your post. You have some good points, though I have yet to see an indie be able to handle the marketing themselves. Studio - maybe.

Hey - all the power to the indies. Let's all have some fun. ;) Who here will be next to sub a track to ehMac?

H!
 

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My take on this subject is this. Every kid in my neighborhood (a good one) steals music. It is to them what smoking behind the school was to my generation. The industry has made it a badge of honour. We were all rebels at one time or other.
They hate the music industry as it stands today. The industry that attacks their core and future customers. The industry that makes music expensive when it doesn't need to be.
People are educated today. They wonder why a CD costs $15 when the raw cost of production is less than 50 cents. They know that artists make only a dollar and change on the sale of a CD. Thing is, if more of that money actually went to the artist I don't think anyone would complain.
So ,when all is said and done, I think the industry as we know it today will implode. Services like ITMS are only a stop gap measure. I think the future of music will become artist's cooperatives much like what Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno have started. They will grow into the Record companies of the future and will likely do everything the companies do today. They will do it without the bloated executives. They will do it without the incredibly complex and bloated distribution. They will do it better because they will in some form or other have to answer to the artists.
Today, it is not about the music or the artist or the end listener but about profits. I am not typically left of center in my thinking but I do know one thing: Art in any form and Profit are like Oil and water. They don't mix.
Music distribution today(right here, right now) is not be about moving a tangible item through a supply chain but about going to a source and downloading it. The record companies have failed to adjust to the change in the balance of power from them to the artist and the consumer. That in the end will be their undoing. That is, unless they do something pretty dramatic in a big hurry. They can't even get it together enough for iTunes workldwide.
 

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Software like GB and mp3s are really changing the music industry but I don't see a whole industry dying.

As a consumer it's hard to determine what to buy and listen to. We have MuchMusics and radio to narrow the choices, but in a free open market the choice is so broad the average consumer will have no clue or care to do the research. People want simple music to turn their brains off.

Although the indie scene in the future is going to get alot better. Indie artists will have easier access to professional software. You can get ProTools for free now for instances. Reason is another great piece of software that anyone with a internet connection and a knowledge of bittorrent can find it. And of course MP3s are great to distribute.

The industry won't die, I'll just have to go with the times.
 

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Heck... all I hope with the release of Garage Band is that some of my favourite artists from the 80's can now record follow up albums to their 1 hit wonders...
LOL! FINALLY " Spandau Ballet" might juuuuuust come back (but a Google search shows that theyy're STILL doing stuff! :eek: Anybody remember " Johnnie Hates Jazz" from the '80's? Or "The Dream Academy"? :D
 

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The music industry is going to be around for a long, long time.

They are, collectively, a slow and cumbersome beast, but they have seen more changes and technological threats to their industry than anyone, and I mean anyone, and have met every one over more than 100 years. They go with the punches and always rise up again, Phoenix-like.

Radio? Death of music industry. Result: they changed their entire way of doing business, and did it by modifying their stand on copyright, no less. It led to the largest growth period in the industry's history.

Television? Same thing, only now it's 1950. Nobody will listen to the radio anymore (and radio was the cornerstone of the new business model). They made radio music a lifestyle choice; you can't watch TV if you don't stay in the house. But the radio plays on, everywhere. The 45rpm stereo single is introduced (LPs are also introduced, in mono].

Late 60's: the industry changes it's emphais from 45rpm singles to 33rpm stereo LPs which were introduced 5 years earlier.

30 years after it's introduction the music industry made TV it's own delivery mechanism, and created a new generation of younger music buyers, to the extent that prior to 1980 half of their business was with 16-20 year olds; now it's 12 to 16 year old buyers who previously bought essentially nothing. The same 16~20 group still buys the same amount of music as it did before; the younger group just buys twice as much. It drives this new approach by introducing the teen-friendly CD in 1984.

[When you think of music in the last 20 years, do you think first of Sony Music and Universal or do you think of American Express? It was Amex that started MTV].

" ... 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. ..."

Although it may seem like a decent analogy, it's quite different. The film camera market is pretty much the same today as it ever was; cameras have always been divided between the inexpensive Kodaks for mass-market consumers and expensive 35mm cameras for a relatively few adults.

The expensive 35mm market, despite what you might read, is alive and well and sells roughly as much as it ever did. It is a hobby and a passion for most of these users, and it's never going to go away.

The inexpensive consumer market has been transformed by digital imaging, storage and printing. As always, when the Wall-Mart shoppers give up on film, it looks dead to the outsider. Kodak is adapting by embracing the digital model for consumers, and I guarantee they will offer print solutions through a formiddable network of independant partners.

In the USA all they see is Kodak. It's as if General Motors still dominated the auto industry; the blinders are on and working in America.

Worldwide, there are a half-dozen film companies that have always made a very nice living. All of them are making a smooth transition to digital, and making money at it. Whether Kodak can maintain it's strong position is debateable, but there will be an industry shake-out and in a decade only a few major players will remain. The challenge facing Kodak is to be sure to be one of those players left after the dust settles.

Pro users never did use Kodacolor film and drug-store prints. The use Kodachrome and a host of tiny colour print stocks that sell just as much today as 20 years ago.

But it's the content of those Pro photographers that matters; the Music industry still controls the "professional" content and I can assure you are going to make sure it stays that way. In fact, it's already happening.

How? I'm not sure, but things like the ITMS are definitely part of it. But in parting, ponder this:

Surprisingly, even sophisticated digital gurus see the CD as a modern music format. In Music Industry terms, it's already a dinosaur. Without exception the primary format for commercial music delivery lasts 20 to no more than 25 years.

That means CD is due to be replaced starting this summer but not after 2009. And it's the Music Industry that drives the change for consumers, not the other way around. It's not an accident, it's part of the plan, and always has been. They always have and always will embrace a new technology partner (Radio, the Hi-Fi industry with the introduction of Stereo in 1960, the TV with music videos in 1980, and you should now expect them to embrace digital delivery as well. It's the way it's always been done).

The only reason CD is still used is because the Music Industry is still working out what form it's replacement will take. (They never make a technology change without making sure the new technology will serve the Industry masters). Otherwise we'd be seeing it's successor now, and with a big push from the industry ("the big push" is what is missing from SACD and DVD-A, and it's the mp3 revolution that's behind the hesitancy to back the format).

Don't count them out yet. The lawsuits by the RIAA and other tactics are seen by many, who have a short memory, as a knee-jerk reaction to an out-of-control situation. It's not.

It's the opening salvos of a shakeup, but make no mistake; these lawsuits are the building blocks of the next format and the Industry is just making sure it knows what the rules will be for the next 25 years so it can move along with the changes that were going to happen anyway, even if digital delivery hadn't come along.

As for GarageBand and other home-recording technologies, the industry loves it. I mean they are thrilled. They have always used musicians and content creators as a free source of revenue. We pay for the computer, the programs, the insturments, the lessons, we work for "free" in our own time, and when we're good enough to rise above the rest they pluck us out with promises of fame and fortune. No changes there either.

[ February 05, 2004, 09:11 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 
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