Here’s a great read on the ongoing change of the music industry and the old and new forces behind it. My brief summary would be: Tech companies drive the devaluation of content over platform, including (but not limited to) devaluation of music as a platform/technology driving content. Ultimately, the idea seems to be to give content away for free in order to increase the number of users, thus driving exposure of content, which in turn will increase the value of ads placed on those platforms. If you look hard enough – this has been already going on for quite some time and is called: Social Media! (where the content is being created, updated by the users, but capitalized on by the platform owners, e.g. Facebook, Google, etc.).
What’s the solution? A Facebook friend, who works as a professional singer, suggests that artists need to remember adding artistic value to the product (music), thus setting it apart from the fast food large corporations feed to the consuming public. The way I understand her approach is to liberate the product from its current monetary value, make it more significant to the consumer than what its current face value may suggest and ultimately and maybe – reconnecting the personal/artistic value to a monetary equivalent later in the process. Her point then is that this may require substantial amounts of time in order to reverse the brainwash that large corporations and their marketing departments have subjected the consumer base to.
The nutshell of all this: Music and its artistic value as well as personal significance to the consumer has to matter FIRST again. The rest… might follow in due time. By due time, we’re talking yet at least an entire generation. It is likely to take at least that long to override the outcomes of traditional music marketing. I’d assume similar processes to be at work for other lines of consumer products.
P.S. I found the original article, which inspired this thread of discussion, via The Digital Guy, Bruce Nazarian.