Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Music Industry Crisis 30 Years Ago

While many may think that the music industry has only recently begun taking it severely on the the chin, it should be noted that 30 years ago, it was in the midst of a similar crisis. Sales were way down, everyone was panicking, and the industry was pinning their hopes on a shiny metal disc called a "laser video disc" to bring them back to profitability.

Here's a segment from the television show 20/20 from 1980 that sounds so eerily familiar. Take notice to the statement of Joe Smith, then the president of Elektra-Asylum records, a little ways into the video:
"Records, you don't have to buy to hear music. There's sensational equipment out there. There's great FM radio. There's enormous amounts of music out there, without having to buy a record. Counterfeiting, home-taping, and the failure of major artists to deliver records on some kind of regular basis."

Understand that this was before the creation of MTV and the CD, both of which eventually bailed the industry out.

The second half of the video is now being blocked due to a copyright claim from Universal Music. Speculation is that there's something in the report that Universal finds very embarrassing. We'll just have to wait until someone else posts it again.

Regardless, it's well done and interesting to look at everything from a historical perspective.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"there's something in the report that Universal finds very embarrassing"

Probably more like "there's something in the report that Nesmith finds very embarrassing."


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