Following up on the post earlier this week about Ian Rogers, it should be mentioned that Ian spoke at the Grammy MusicTech Summit in Seattle this week.
I was unfortunately unable to attend (read: I didn’t get an invitation…maybe next year, HA), but one thing that Ian spoke about that i found particularly poignant was the emerging “middle class” of artists.
The music industry of the past was divided sharply into “big guys” and “little guys,” and working or signing with one of the “big guys” was the only was to see big success with your music. Today, there’s a new category of people who make music and make a good living doing it, and have virtually no connection to the major-label music machine. For some reason, when these folks sell 10,000 albums in a direct-to-fan format, the major labels still look at it and go, “so what?” mainly because the major labels can’t make a profit only selling 10,000 copies.
That’s the problem…for them.
Before I go, I’ll leave you with some things Ian said in his talk:
“I’m really sick of reading everyday that the music industry is falling apart because the top-line revenue of four companies isn’t what it used to be. I really think it’s a myopic way of looking at the music business…The physics of media have changed, and as a result, it’s really ridiculous to think that the winners, or even the definition of success, will remain constant…”
“Any of us [in the music industry], myself included, that are not either the artist or the fan, are just potentially in the way. So it’s on us to provide value. To provide real value. And that’s fine with me. I’m very happy to say, OK, my company has to provide real value. My company is not about lock-in. It’s not about me owning your masters. It’s about me providing value to you, and if I can’t, well, then I should get the hell out of the way.”
“There’s certainly a new middle class of artist who’s growing up, and success means getting paid to make your art, not getting on the cover of Rolling Stone.”
Sounds a lot like what we’ve been talking about here on MS.com. Stay tuned.
here’s the rest of the article on techflash.com