Seth Godin on the Music Industry (great read)
Marketing Guru Seth Godin has some great morsels to share here
I hope this will be widely read in the music industry as Seth is a very smart guy, all around.
Here are some high-lights that I just want to cut & paste here, since they are pretty much 100% congruent with my views:
"The music business had a spectacular run alongside the baby boomers. Starting with the Beatles and Dylan, they just kept minting money. The co-incidence of expanding purchasing power of teens along with the birth of rock, the invention of the transistor and changing social mores meant a long, long growth curve. As a result, the music business built huge systems. They created top-heavy organizations, dedicated superstores, a loss-leader touring industry, extraordinarily high profit margins, MTV and more. It was a well-greased system, but the key question: why did it deserve to last forever? It didn’t. Yours doesn’t either."
"Copy protection in a digital age is a pipe dream. If the product you make becomes digital, expect that the product you make will be copied...Most items of value derive that value from scarcity. Digital changes that, and you can derive value from ubiquity now. The solution isn’t to somehow try to become obscure, to get your song off the (digital) radio. The solution is to change your business. You used to sell plastic and vinyl. Now, you can sell interactivity and souvenirs." Interactivity can’t be copied.
"Permission is the asset of the future...The ability (not the right, but the privilege) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who want to get them. For ten years, the music business has been steadfastly avoiding this opportunity. The opportunity of digital distribution is this: When you can distribute something digitally, for free, it will spread (if it’s good). If it spreads, you can use it as a vehicle to allow people to come back to you and register, to sign up, to give you permission to interact and to keep them in the loop. Many authors (I’m on that list) have managed to build an entire career around this idea. So have management consultants and yes, insurance salespeople. Not by viewing the spread of digital artifacts as an inconvenient tactic, but as the core of their new businesses."
"Whenever possible, sell subscriptions. Few businesses can successfully sell subscriptions (magazines being the very best example), but when you can, the whole world changes. HBO, for example, is able to spend its money making shows for its viewers rather than working to find viewers for every show. The biggest opportunity for the music business is to combine permission with subscription. The possibilities are endless. And I know it's hard to believe, but the good old days are yet to happen..."
Great stuff, Seth.
Readers: buy his books, They rock.