The music industry is broken for the BoingBoing, the Wired magazine and the MTV tell me so!

Wired Magazine and MTV have made it official via Boing Boing: the music industry as we know it is dead. And considering that almost all music listeners are thieves, the death knell is not a moment too soon.
And how do we know the music industry is dead?:

Madonna’s now being brought to you by a concert promoter that makes most of its money by getting bums in seats. Every time a Madonna song is copied, it increases the market for her concerts. Talk about a 21st Century business model.

2. Many listeners, from big-name-fans on down, are interested in being part of a community, as shown by the success of Radiohead’s In Rainbows, rather than getting mainstreamed by the music industry. (No, Trent T. Rez didn’t do it first). Thom Yorke says:

[traditional release means] does us no good, because we don’t cross over [to other fan bases].

Byrne: So this bypasses [the middlemen] and goes straight to the fans.
Yorke: In a way, yeah. And it was a thrill. We mastered it, and two days later it was on the site being, you know, preordered. That was just a really exciting few weeks to have that direct connection.

Byrne: … What is music, what does music do for people? What do people get from it? What’s it for? That’s the thing that’s being exchanged. Not all the other stuff. The other stuff is the shopping cart that holds some of it.
Yorke: It’s a delivery service.
Byrne: But people will still pay to have that experience. [link added to Online Fandom] You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends. By making a copy and handing it to your friends, you’ve established a relationship. The implication is that they’re now obligated to give you something back.

3. Often the music industry hinders artists, rather than serving as an effective distribution stream. Think about how when artists made it big in TV and movies in the past, they were signed to a label — these days, MySpace is where its at. David Byrne suggests several possible models (see above), preferably structured around retaining copyright in songs, rather than the present quasi work-for-hire model:

Mega pop artists will still need that mighty push and marketing effort for a new release that only traditional record companies can provide. For others, what we now call a record label could be replaced by a small company that funnels income and invoices from the various entities and keeps the accounts in order. A consortium of midlevel artists could make this model work. …

I would personally advise artists to hold on to their publishing rights (well, as much of them as they can). Publishing royalties are how you get paid if someone covers, samples, or licenses your song for a movie or commercial. This, for a songwriter, is your pension plan. (emphasis added).

4. Do I need to remind you that according to the music industry, all of your mixtapes and even your Itunes playlist is illegal? Treating all of your consumers like crooks is not a good strategic plan. As shown by Radiohead and ITunes DRM-free music and (perhaps not as effectively by T.T.R. and Saul Williams), listeners/fans are willing to pay — they mostly want more ways of using what they have purchased. As K says,

At the end of the day, though, it’s the media companies that will need to readjust their thinking about the industry in order for these initiatives to have a life of their own.

And if they don’t readjust — the industry may just die around them.
(No, there is not a grammar error in the title)

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