Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The 8 Stages Of The Music Business

music money image
If we were to look at the music business from its very beginning, we'd see that there are 8 totally different stages, each one driven by a new technology. Here's an excerpt from my Music 4.0 Internet music guidebook that briefly covers those stages.

Music 0.5: The embryonic stage of the music business predating recorded music, where the product was limited to sheet music and piano rolls, and the song was much more important than the artist.

Music 1.0: The first generation of the music business as we know it today, in which the product was vinyl records, the artist had no direct contact with the record buyer, radio was the primary source of promotion, the record labels were run by record people, and records were bought from retail stores.

Music 1.5: The second generation of the music business, in which the product was primarily CDs, labels were owned and run by large conglomerates, MTV caused the labels to shift from artist development to image development, radio was still the major source of promotion, and CDs were purchased from retail stores.

Music 2.0: The third generation of the music business, which signaled the beginning of digital music and during which piracy ran rampant due to peer-to-peer networks. The industry, however, took little notice, since CD sales were still strong from radio promotion.

Music 2.5: The fourth generation of the music business, in which digital music became monetized thanks to iTunes and, later, others such as Amazon MP3. CD sales plunged, the music industry contracted, and retail stores closed.

Music 3.0: The fifth generation of the music business, in which the artist could communicate, interact, market, and sell directly to the fan. Record labels, radio, and television become somewhat irrelevant, and single songs are purchased more often than albums.

Music 3.5: The sixth generation of the music business where YouTube and other online video platforms become the new radio, and the digital side of the business begins to slowly morph from one of downloads to streaming.

Music 4.0: The generation of the music business that we’re now entering, where streaming becomes the preferred music delivery method for the consumer, which makes it profitable on a wide scale and increases revenue for artists, songwriters, publishers and labels. 

To read additional excerpts from Music 4.0 and my other books, go to the excerpts section of bobbyowsinski.com.


Anonymous said...

Bobby, what would you put the timeline in years for different music eras?

My own estimation would be something like this:

Music 0.5: 1800's - 1910's
Music 1.0: 1920's - 1980
Music 1.5: 1981 - 1996
Music 2.0: 1997 - 2001
Music 2.5: 2002 - 2004
Music 3.0: 2005 - 2008
Music 3.5: 2009 - 2013
Music 4.0: 2014 - present

Bobby Owsinski said...

I think you're pretty much right on, give or take a year or two. A lot of the later eras overlapped.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for streaming to be profitable and increase my revenues!

13k streams and still only $1.50


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