A SWOT Analysis of the Music Industry

(My first post can be found here.)

While some parts of the Music Industry are caught in a downward spiral, streaming services along with the new Direct to Fan platform have done well in adapting to the disruptive technologies in our society today.  So where does the Music Industry stand as a whole? In order to answer this question we must do what all businesses do when they need to see where they stand, and that is we conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats,) Analysis for the Music Industry.

 

Links:

Streaming music sales in the US beat CDs for the first time

Adele Is Said to Reject Streaming for ‘25’

Apple to end Beats Music on November 30

That’s Business, Man: Why Jay Z’s Tidal Is a Complete Disaster

Recording Studios Face Uncertain Future

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5 Responses to A SWOT Analysis of the Music Industry

  1. Matthew Flanagan November 20, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    Music is one of the most underrated pleasures that humans enjoy on a day-to-day basis. We take music for granted. Imagine a world without music. I imagine a very dull, colorless world where everybody is miserable. Music makes the most daunting work more fun, and it makes the most fun things even more fun. What if you walked into a store or a theme park and there was no music playing? It wouldn’t be very enjoyable. Just today I walked into a Walgreens and there was no music playing. The first thing I thought when I walked through the door was “where is the music?” It felt so awkward in the store without any music. It is so common that it goes unnoticed. I never notice that there is music playing in a store, until there is no music.
    I think that the streaming industry is the best thing that has ever happened to music. Depending on how much you listen to music, it is much less expensive than actually buying individual songs or albums. Artists get paid royalties and they don’t have to worry about illegal downloads through streaming services because it is a monthly fee charged to a customer, not a file that gets downloaded and can be tampered with. The only upside to having music that can be individually downloaded is that you have the ability to edit a piece of music once it is downloaded. But unless you are a disk jockey or a dance teacher, there is really no need for that. Many of the recording studios are going out of business, but that does not mean that they are gone. If the people in the music industry did not see where the industry was headed, and did not prepare for the future, then it is their own fault for going out of business. The whole point of a SWOT analysis is to find the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business in order to amplify the strengths, exploit the opportunities, eliminate the weaknesses, and prepare for the threats. Clearly the streaming industry is a very hard industry to succeed in because the competition is so huge. People like Spotify, a huge music streaming app, because it is simple and it makes music easy to find. This makes it very hard to compete with their design. It was a shame to hear that beat’s streaming app was failing because when it first came out, I liked it very much. It just want as good as it’s competition. And Jay Z’s streaming app was a failure from the start because it was designed for the artists, not the users. The people who play the music don’t care about the artists and how much the artists make, they just want to listen to good music. No matter how good an artist is or how much I like them, or how long I’ve been a fan, I will not pay $20 per month over $10 per month just because the artists think they deserve more money. Most famous music artists are rich enough. In my opinion, artists are overpaid. I only believe this because many artists are not serious about their profession and just go in the studio for a day and write some catchy easy to remember song that will be a hit for a month and then disappear. The real artists who actually spend day after day in the studio trying to make the best music possible are the ones that deserve their millions.

  2. Daniel Kelly November 24, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    For as much as I appreciate my CD collection, I no longer need it because I pay for a monthly streaming service called Spotify, it gives me more choices and opportunities to explore music. It tailors searches for my interests and even suggests new albums that might pique my newfound love of a certain genre. Simply put, the music service for which I pay about 12 dollars a month gives me unlimited access to almost anything that exists in my musical universe, and also acts as a kind tour guide for me on a music journey. That may sound somewhat hokey, and it is because I just wrote musical journey with a straight face, but it suggests something fundamentally different about Spotify and other services. They could be free for me, as free as anything can be in a world dominated by advertisements. But to a certain extent free but I choose to pay for the service because they give me however much I want for the same price no matter how much or how little I choose to engage with it. No other music service was ever really able to do this, when you go to a store you are expected to buy a whole album even if you only like a song or two, sure that makes me a weird person but everyone does it sometimes. More importantly the price and nature of the old business model is that they stood as a gate keeper to my enjoyment, whereas streaming services are a guide, you pay him a fee every once in a while and he will take you anywhere. Contrast that to if I wanted to go to my local Barnes and noble where I could pay ten dollars for a single album that could be found on Spotify for as much or little as I want, based on how much I use the service and pay.
    Otherwise, and I am not afraid to admit it, I would rather pirate than pay for my media when a CD costs the parent company cents on the dollar and artists can use direct funding methods like Patreon. If I wanted to waste ten dollars or more on a CD collection, I would prefer to buy used and in bulk rather than at a store and since many others would tend to agree with me (as shown by the high levels of music piracy) the only way for the market to compete is by providing what I want. And what I want is on demand streaming services like Spotify, and at reasonable prices because most pirates would love to pay legitimately for the products they love. But either because of personal monetary issues or a generally high price for the goods they desire in bulk, cannot pay for the music legitimately. Which is what gives services like Spotify, Pandora and even Netflix a much better chance to survive in the future. I see the state of the industry as being in need of a serious overhaul and for them to realize that cost should be equal to the goods sold and the cost of the music industry may not sustain the ridiculously high class lifestyles of the musicians. And if musicians are hurt by a lowering of prices and complain that their art would not be worth it, then those artists should honestly stop making music. If it is not made for the love of the craft, and the wealth provided is substantial enough to live comfortably, if not excessively, then it should stop. Also if Kanye West could stop making music, I do not like Yeezy and would never listen

  3. Ryan Hardrove November 25, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    The CD collection I have is no longer a need because I pay for a monthly streaming service called Spotify, it gives me more choices and opportunities to explore music. It tailors searches for my interests and even suggests new albums that might pique my newfound love of a certain genre. Simply put, the music service for which I pay about 12 dollars a month gives me unlimited access to almost anything that exists in my musical universe, and also acts as a kind tour guide for me on a music journey. That may sound somewhat hokey, and it is because I just wrote musical journey with a straight face, but it suggests something fundamentally different about Spotify and other services. It also does not help that for some time there were websites that dealt with legal ways to download music. No other music service was ever really able to do this, when you go to a store you are expected to buy a whole album even if you only like a song or two, sure that makes me a weird person but everyone does it sometimes. More importantly the price and nature of the old business model is that they stood as a gate keeper to my enjoyment, whereas streaming services are a guide, you pay him a fee every once in a while and he will take you anywhere. Contrast that to if I wanted to go to my local Barnes and noble where I could pay ten dollars for a single album that could be found on Spotify for as much or little as I want, based on how much I use the service and pay. Honestly, I would rather pirate than pay for my media when a CD costs the parent company cents on the dollar and artists can use direct funding methods like Patreon. I would prefer to buy used and in bulk rather than at a store and since many others would tend to agree with me (as shown by the high levels of music piracy) the only way for the market to compete is by providing what I want. And what I want is on demand streaming services like Spotify, and at reasonable prices because most pirates would love to pay legitimately for the products they love. But either because of personal monetary issues or a generally high price for the goods they desire in bulk, cannot pay for the music legitimately. Which is what gives services like Spotify, Pandora and even Netflix a much better chance to survive in the future. I see the state of the industry as being in need of a serious overhaul and for them to realize that cost should be equal to the goods sold and the cost of the music industry may not sustain the ridiculously high class lifestyles of the musicians. And if musicians are hurt by a lowering of prices and complain that their art would not be worth it, then those artists should honestly stop making music

  4. Rushil Gandhi November 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    Streaming giants like Spotify are taking over the music industry and overhauling it. This overhaul has been long overdue as we live in an era of digital music that most often times streamed. CDs have become obsolete, though sometimes I purchase one as a memory or to serve as a memento of the time period. Like Daniel Kelly mentions in his comment, Spotify seems to take people on a musical journey and gives them free reign over what they listen to and where they listen to it. Spotify also recommend new and different types of music based on the consumer’s common preferences and library of music. All of this for a nominal monthly fee of around $12. To some this is an annoying and expensive monthly bill for a service that is pointless but to others it is the life blood of their musical world. Daniel brings up a good point in saying that one’s opinion of the monthly fee for Spotify is mostly based on the how much they use the service. For an individual who is a Spotify power user, using it to listen music on a daily basis and sometimes for prolonged periods, the monthly fee would be seen as very cheap or next to nothing. On the other hand, for an individual who rarely listens or interacts with the music industry then the monthly price will be seen as obnoxiously expensive. The old business model for the industry was to sell physical album copies. These often cost the manufacturer cents to make yet sold for around $12 to $13 a copy. These albums also limited the free reign people could have over their musical experience. Often times in the past I have seen individuals buy entire albums just because they like one song from it. This is very inefficient, costly and restrictive in the sense that I did not really allow the individual to create a library of music that they loved very easily. However, services like Spotify and Pandora allow us to do this and at a very nominal price. I am not afraid to say it that if we did not have services like Spotify I would have to resort to pirating my music because creating a playlist from buying individual albums is just inefficient and too expensive. Nevertheless, we have musicians arguing that these streaming services are devaluing their work in the sense that it is being offered at a much cheaper price, relatively speaking, than the worth of their work. It will be interesting to see how this battle pans out over the next few years because streaming giants like Spotify are here to stay.

  5. Andrew Lentini November 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

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