The music industry is antiquated. There are software solutions that can replace almost every major cog in the system, yet people have been resistant to embrace modern day technology within the music business. I have some guesses as to why this is true, but ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is that by rejecting technology, the music industry has become bloated. Giants in our music world rely on government intervention to keep their business afloat, and as a result, increasingly less money ends up in the hands of artists. The recent efforts to modernize the industry have solidified its traditional mentality. The starving artist is dying, and their art dies with them.
There is a growing gap between hobbyists and professionals. This is ultimately bad for the music industry. Traditionally, record labels provide artists with the means to make the financial jump into full-time music by offering them debt in exchange for their copyrights. Every contract is different, but it is almost certain that the record label will end up owning the artist’s music by providing this debt. Chris Brown actually just made headlines by becoming the youngest artist to own his own masters at the age of 29 when renegotiating his contract. Are you familiar with any artists younger than that? Yeah, they don’t own their music.
Why do we continue to rely on distributors and publishers to deliver music to fans? The world is more connected today than ever before, yet the laws surrounding music provide a framework for labels, publishers, and distributors to operate within, purely out of precedent.
If you sought to design a music industry from the ground up that was sustainable, profitable for everyone involved, and encouraged artists to create, I dare say that we would have something drastically different than what exists today.
The industry is changing. The world is shrinking. The BassLine platform is coming.