Paradigm Shift

The Paradigm Shift in the Music Business

by Wes on March 13, 2011 · 1 comment

Unless you live under a rock for the last three years, you might have noticed that the music business has been in great turmoil. Profits have been continual declining due to product piracy on the Internet. Who can blame the music listeners, all this free available music on the Internet and easy ways to transfer them back and forth no wonder that all over 80% of music is transferred illegally.

What do you think the major music labels are doing about it, while a few things really. First off they are actively suing people who are illegally transferring music and downloaded illegally. What the music industry is coming to find out, is that the general population is not responding to it the way that they were hoping. While there is an increase in purchases on websites like,, and other major online digital music retailers, there still is not a sustainable amount of income coming in for the labels to meet their bottom lines.

Furthermore there have been interesting changes by major artists that have been under major labels for a long period of time. The most recent release by the band Radiohead, in rainbows, was only available online for purchase on the Radiohead website. The band is no longer affiliated with the record label, and once it is time to purchase the new album, when the user gets to the purchase page there is a box that says for words “it’s up to you?”. Basically what Radiohead is doing is allowing the user to decide how much they want to pay for the album. Most people think of is to be crazy to Radiohead’s sales within the first month were rather large and this proved to be a risky yet smart move for Radiohead.

Other artists like Madonna have recently left the label (Warner Brothers), though she has had a relationship with for over 25 years and just signed on with a major company called live nation which is primarily known for promoting live concerts. — He is trusting her entire musical career to accompany that has never created a record. Pretty crazy, huh?

This is just going to show that major artist with a lot of clout and a lot of respect within the music industry are starting to branch away from traditional music label business model. Obviously this primarily due to the availability to reach large audiences without having to use the major pocketbooks of major labels marketing and distribution.

But don’t think the major labels are going to go away, I think he will be around for a long time, simply because we want new music. Up-and-coming artists and new bands still need the major marketing that major labels can provide for them. So, major labels will have to focus more on new talent and growing talent rather than maintaining high-level talent that no longer have a need for their services. Many other artists like the Eagles, Paul McCartney and prince, are all doing their marketing and distribution through other means.

Thanks to the Internet, the cloud, social networking, and mobile smart phones the music industry as we knew it from 1950 to 2000 will probably never be the same. Hopefully the music industry will spend more time going with the paradigm shift, and focusing on new ways to get great music out to the masses.

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