The quote that set things off was "As things stand now, digital music has failed."
In a recent blog post explaining trying to put the quote into context, Mark explained:
"Digital music is at an impasse. Digital music has failed to reach its three key objectives:
1 – to offset the impact of declining CD sales,
2 – to generate a format replacement cycle and
3 - to compete effectively with piracy.
With music’s first digital decade behind us we’re still trying to define a role for mobile, we’re still waiting for a 99 cents downloads market to emerge outside of iTunes, we’re still waiting for 9.99 subscriptions to break out of a niche, we’re still trying to work out how to make the economics of ad supported add up, we’re still waiting for piracy to decline, we’re still watching recorded music revenues decline and we’ve still got CDs as the bedrock of music sales.
The simple fact is that current music products do not meet consumer demand and the divergence between emerging consumer behavior and legitimate music products is widening at an alarming rate."
Mark's right and he's hit the nail exactly on the head as to one of the reasons why the music industry is in its current state of doldrums.
You can't take a product that sells for $10 to $18 and replace it with one that sells for $.99 and expect the industry to remain healthy. Plus, you can't sell fewer products than you did in the past and expect everyone in the business to remain smiling either.
I'll give you another major factor, one discussed in posts here before - it's the music. Instead of making a judgement as to whether or not music is as good as "the old days," I've got a better way to describe it - it's just stale. There hasn't been a major trend in about 20 years since hip hop hit mainstream, so there's been no new blood to energize the overall music scene. Prior to that, we experienced a new trend every 11 to 13 years from the beginning of recorded music. We're long overdue.
One prediction is electronic music just might be the next trend. Sure, it's been around for a long time and is a huge underground scene right now, but it hasn't broken to mainstream yet. I don't know if a new trend would be enough to breath new life into music sales, but anything new in music that breaks big is bound to be healthy for the entire music scene.
Will it overcome the points the Mark makes? Probably not. But it might stop the bleeding and at least stabilize the industry to a point where we can recover because we have a known reference point of revenue.
Anyone else see a new musical trend on the horizon?
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