Friday, March 2, 2007

Record Industry, FIGURE IT OUT!

It's really not that difficult, but they aren't getting it. Yes, everyone used to be all about buying CDs because the internet wasn't anywhere where it is today. They used to want and need a physical copy in hand, but earth to the record industry: look around.

Look at what's being marketed and catching on these days. On demand, internet, TV shows like American Idol where the public gets to vote. Right now the public loves concerts and YouTube, not Tower Records.

They say piracy is a HUGE deal, but that's only a small problem. By fighting piracy they are just making the problem worse, the problem that they're failing to recognize that we've all changed and that they need to change if they expect this relationship to work.

Let's compare music with water. Sales of bottled water continue to grow, up 60 percent from 2001 to about $11 billion in revenue last year. Sure, water is essential to life. But you can live without bottled water. You could turn on the tap or stand at a drinking fountain. Sles of bottled water continue to grow because marketing has created a need and filled it the way consumers want.

Those are many things music companies haven't been doing well. The Internet has made distribution easy and yet they fail to accept that fact. Music companies can lower their distribution and manufacturing costs to next to nothing, worry less about order fulfillment or marketing programs for retail-store placement, and focus more on releasing music that people like and keeping the artists happy.

Jobs said the DRM systems are hampering sales because maintaining the systems requires a great deal of investment in technological know-how. His proposal to get rid of DRM is a gutsy one, considering his company has figured out the way to work the current DRM system to its advantage. These new digital retailers that might pop up to sell DRM-free music would be Apple's competitors.

We all realize that the sooner the music business gets healthy as a business, the better, and that we're not trying to be enemies. Figure it out!

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