The Music Industry: The State of the Union
November 30, 2015
Sean Reagan, Megan Gordon, Ryan Stetz, & Caroline Strickland
The music industry itself can be likened to a very intricate song. As with any industry, it has various moving parts. If a song melds the sounds of percussion, brass, woodwinds, and strings, then the music industry strives to find the balance between artists, producers, consumers, and content-sharing platforms, whether those be streaming services such as YouTube and SoundCloud or a physical device, such as the iPod. As with any song, a single point in time may find one section overwhelming the others, thus momentarily taking control of the song’s ambiance. Likewise, there is an ebb and flow of power between the industry’s different players. It crescendos in the form of major policy changes and content-sharing disruption. It becomes adagio when the industry settles into a new technology for a while, such as the introduction of radio and vinyl, which dominated the markets without significant challenge for many years. In this, the Music Industry Team’s Final Podcast, we illuminate the song that we feel the industry is playing at present. Most importantly, we forecast how the song is likely to develop.
This podcast is largely focused on Adele’s new album, 25, and her decisions to allow or disallow her music to be played via streaming services. From this conversation, we stem into more general topics that diagnose the music industry at present. We speak about the rights of the artist, the surprisingly positive affects piracy has on competition within the industry, and we make our final remarks (for now) concerning how the industry will proceed and which major players will be driving the change. Will it be the consumer, the record label, the artist, or some new center of influence that will emerge through technology-based disruption? Do you suspect a crescendo will be coming soon? We encourage you to listen and share any thoughts you may have concerning the analysis.
As always, the Music Industry Team hopes you enjoy the thought provoking points that stem from this discussion, and we thank you for your thoughts.