I am not sure what triggered me to think about the music industry today. When it comes to music technology, I am a late adopter. I got my first iPod in 2009 and it was only because it came with my iPhone. Next was the discovery of music identification apps like Shazam and SoundHound and Internet radio services like Pandora.
Today, how I find, purchase and create my own music experiences has completed changed. That said, I would be remiss if I did not mention that 90% of my day is still listening to a favorite local radio station-WXPN. Now, however, I don't just listen, I actively identify new songs with an app and purchase them right from iTunes within 30 seconds.
Perhaps these experiences provoked a curiosity to find out how music aficionados continually drove major shifts in the music industry-the shifts that fans now enjoy every day-and how executives have had to cope with becoming fan-centric.
In Forrester's 2009 report, Music Product Manifesto: The Product Features That Will Save Recorded Music, they propose six basic consumer music rights:
- The right to great customer experiences first (and business models second).
- The right to unique music experiences.
- The right to share in the creation process.
- The right to share [music].
- The right to fair use of technology.
- The right to be social.
The music industry is over 100-years old. One would think that it would be difficult to change its business culture and practices. Yet, tectonic shifts have occurred in a relatively short time.
Those shifts have allowed fans to get closer to artists, artists to become successful without music labels, and fans to create their own experiences. It makes this marketer wonder if other industries could live up to this type of pressure and-more importantly-what will it take to understand that they are no longer in control.
"As we're now 100 years on from the first commercial album release with recorded music sales plummeting, the time has come for a radical overhaul of the recorded music product range. We believe that future music products will need to adopt a platform-agnostic world view that encompasses powerful and social interactivity to empower consumers to create their own unique experiences."
"...music's institutional disdain for its consumers persists, according to Forrester Research, which today released a $500 report called "Music Product Manifesto: The Product Features That Will Save Recorded Music," by analyst Mark Mulligan. The report lists six "fundamental consumer rights" that the suits should keep in mind. They've been made before, but they bear repeating, because the industry continues to overemphasize the "business" part of the music business."
"The focus, for new and old artists alike, will be more on inking deals for sound recordings, publishing, and merchandise whenever possible, to allow the company to make money for itself and its artists on a variety of fronts even if nobody pays for a single disc or download. Licensing music for these new uses, rather than funding an entire department dedicated to selling music to a shrinking number of consumers alone, could be just what the doctor ordered for the beleaguered company..."
The Hit Music Academy: The Music Product Manifesto
"...A business model is useless without customer buy in. Figure out what your customers want and give it to them - that's the model the industry needs to embrace.
The promotional value and increased fan engagement that can result from allowing your fans to share in the creation process are opportunities that should not be missed."
"The record and music industries have shifted from being artist-centric to revolving around the fan. The focal point of the traditional consumption system used to be the artist; it was up to the fan to do the rest. They had to track the information.
Now, the fan doesn't have to keep track of the radio stations and publications that might happen to feature their favorite artists. They track only the ones that their most interested in. Instead having to visit the various sites of artists, concert promoters, and ticket retailers, fans can subscribe to artists and be notified of their activities as they happen in real-time. The music world centers on them."