A New Year And New Chances

By Steve Meyer, Inside Music Media™ Contributor
"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin
I can almost hear the rumblings in the hallways of the labels as people get ready for 2007: "It's all the fault of those damn down loaders, file-sharers, and Apple's iTunes and iPods, etc." Of course nothing is further from the truth. In truth, there's a variety of different reasons why the industry is in the condition it is today, (e.g., CD pricing, a wide variety of disposable income entertainment choices, quality vs. quantity, etc.) as well as ways the industry can ensure a brighter future.

The calendar now says 2007, time to "turn the page." Technology is still advancing as I write this and that in short time we'll have cheaper iPods and MP3 players, still cheaper computers for the home, cheaper cell phones that do more, and new toys that will be introduced at CES this week. Within five years we might have plastic and silicone chips that play hours of music and video.(Uh-oh...there goes disc technology).

So as the technology evolves, it makes sense for the industry to face these changes head on and create strategic plans for survival. There will be new ways for the industry to generate profits via a multitude of ancillary revenue streams, but the focus needs to be on creating them now instead of on still trying to fight the losing battle to combat illegal file-sharing/swapping. It doesn't matter anymore whether or not file sharing is morally wrong, illegal, or unethical. It's just not going to go away despite all the lawsuits.

It's a new year. And it's also time for the industry to take the time to discover and develop new artists -- not new records...new artists -- there's a big difference) They are the lifeblood of both the radio and record industries. No matter what format music is played on (CD, MP3 players, computers, etc.) in the future, the opportunities to generate a healthy consumer market exists if new artists are established and the best minds in the industry meet with some of the best minds in technology and new media to ensure these artists will not only be heard, but that the means of distributing their music now and in the future can be profitable.

Steve Meyer is one of the music industry's top professionals and publisher of the new media newsletter DISC & DAT.