How to Fix the Music Industry

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The music industry is doomed. Like the newspaper industry, car companies, housing, etc. Except none are really doomed, they just need a reboot. The old ways of doing things is doomed.

So what about music? I still buy albums on iTunes but I also buy single songs. The problem with the music industry is that when you like a musician you usually get a new album once every two or three years. In a world that is moving so fast that is a mistake.

If I was an artist I’d abandon albums. I’d release two songs every three months. If an artist wrote twelve songs ever year and a half they’d have enough songs to constantly stay in listeners ear. It would probably also keep artists creative.

So, rather than going on tour for two years and then trying to remember how to make an album they could do micro tours. An artist could tour for a month and then working on songs. Someone who is really prolific could release a song every month or two.

I’m not saying this is a perfect formula. My point is that artists and record labels need to rethink their industry. The best feature of this approach is that you don’t panic when a fan doesn’t buy all twelve songs from an album because they buy one or two at a time and they know they are good. If they aren’t then there is no one else to blame. Not to mention the extra money from ringtones. I’d also make sure all my songs got into video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Not months later, the same day as they are released.

3 COMMENTS

  1. In the 60’s Groups/Artists/Labels use to release 4 to 6 singles a year. 2 Album a year was the average, with many doing a third, and after 2 years, there would be a Greatest Hits with just the hits from that last couple of years.

    Radio would play 40 to 80 different songs each 24 hours, never playing any song more then 10 times in a day. Songs would be heard on Top 40 radio for no more then 12 weeks.

    Michael Jackson and his record company (and all the radio stations who played the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th singles from his albums) deserve part of the blame.

    And then their is the man in the mirror – the listener, who only wants the hits (even if they are hand picked by the industry), and doesnt matter if the person has a talent, just as long as they are a celebrity.

  2. You make the claim that the “old ways of doing things are doomed,” but i think that your suggestions harken back to the 60’s where artists, The Beatles included, released singles.

    The music industry is always lagging behind. panic sets in when the fan doesn’t buy the entire album because the music industry is a greedy machine. Perhaps it needs to look back to the ways it once functioned. Most bands of the 60’s released singles, an album per year and went on mini-tours.

    Releasing singles will, as you claim, will keep the music in the “listeners’ ear,” and the mini-tour may encourage the casual fan to buy a ticket.

    Well done.

  3. Thanks for the compliment. I love music. I don’t want it to be doomed. But it always lags too far behind. It’d be fun to be in the music industry and have a chance to really make an impact on the future of a record label. I think a lot of great things that can be done online and with rethinking how artist are promoted and do business. The problem is suing every advance will just hasten their death.

    This could be the golden years again for record labels, but they worry about being entrenched in old thinking and don’t try to adapt and have fun again–just like the Beatles did.

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