intellectual property rights, music industry

The widening perception-realtiy gap.

I was just about to tell you about the following press statement by Forrester Research – eloquently titled “Downloads Did Not Cause The Music Slump, But They Can Cure It” – concerning their understanding of the whining record industry’s situation when I went to the kitchen to get some coffee. While waiting for the coffee getting ready, I switched on the tv and witnessed something I was not prepared to see tonight: The real reason for the record industry slump. Bad artists, lack of creative impulses. Short term product/cash flow orientation. Here’s what I am talking about. A semi-rap song which features the chorus of Glenn Madeiros’s 1987 one-hit-wonder “Nothing’s gonna kill my love for you” – sung by a female singer who is not the artist being marketed.

The guy is a former semi-popular soap opera actor. And he has had a hit in 1998 with yet another cover version. All that sounds favourably to the account managers of the banking industry labels havbe become today.

Now I don’t think that starring in a soap opera automatically disqualifies people to call themselves musical artists, as the Kylie experiment clearly demonstrates. But it doesn’t reduce the burden of proof. For Oli P that burden is clearly too much to bear.

But back to the press statement referred to above. It’s announcing yet another study regarding the once famed and now bashed market for digital music. Forrester is basically agreeing with me and the record industry manager Argumention below that things will get better once the industry finally comes to terms with reduced excludability and concentrates on improving the customer value of its product. This is the core of the statement (note: The music bill of rights is a set of features designed to enhance the musical expericence defined by Forrester):

In the next two years, labels will struggle to deliver on the promise of digital music, but their services will fall short because they fail to match the Music Bill of Rights. But by 2005, labels will endorse a standard download contract that supports burning and a greater range of devices. Downloading will start to soar in 2005 as finding content becomes effortless and impulse buys easy. Labels will make content available on equal terms to all distributors, while online retailers become hubs for downloading. By 2007, the new business model will generate $2.1 billion, or 17 percent of the music business. Big hits will spark traffic, as people download music directly to their cell phones, portable players, or PCs.

We’ll see if they will still need semi-singing semi-popular soap opera semi-heros by then.