Archive for the ‘apple’ Tag

Control Your Content – Lesson From the Music Industry

music-value-destruction

Source:  Magna Insights

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel that explored the future of the music business with some great company:

We discussed the dizzying changes in the music landscape over the past 10 years, illustrated by the chart above.  Napster paved the way for the Apple iPod/iTunes ecosystem which forever changed the retail music landscape.  Much of the damage was created because artists and music companies did not react swiftly enough to advances in distribution technologies, platform and evolution in consumer behavior.

So how does an artist or any music business adapt to this new ecosystem with new retailers (Apple, Amazon, etc), new venues (Pandora, Last.fm) and social network evolution (MySpace, iMeem, Facebook?

Fred Cannon said it best at our panel – 1) Add value for your audience 2) Control your content

Many artists are satisfied with leaving distribution up to someone else while working on his or her craft.  This could include signing with a label, working with marketing and promotions firm to create virtual street teams on the web in MySpace or Facebook.  These are great things to do but it must all start with the artist’s brand.

Rohit Bhargava has a great post on the importance of personal branding that summarizes this quite well that works in this context as well since an artist’s music and the personhood of the artist are inextricably linked.  An artist’s brand exists outside of albums, CDs and mp3s.   Successful music businesses (great music is no longer sufficient to have a great career) must be about a relationship with fans independent of social networking sites, retailers and physical venues.

A digital hub/website that is an extension of the artist and brand that is under the control of the artist is essential to surviving the changes in the music landscape.  This website should have the ability to delight fans through delivery of content, first-look at exclusive merchandise and anything that extends the relationship between fan and artist for mutual benefit.