So the music industry is dead, eh? Well, I guess this you’d better pack up your bags then and become a plumber. I hear there’s good money in it and all. Heck even my own family thought picking up a trade wouldn’t be a bad idea. . .and having been a wood framer and house repairer for a number of years in high school, I could probably make the transition quite well. But still. . .
Not Dead Yet
What’s really going on
Look. The music industry isn’t near death anymore than the wealth of other business going through the same sort of growing pains which accompany change, new technology and the move toward creating a lean business model. (I covered this briefly in an old blog entry about the radio industry back in February)
What is happening, I believe, is that a very vocal minority is trumpeting the demise because unfortunately they can’t see what the future holds for them, and they certainly can’t predict where the music industry is really headed. After all, these folks are human. . . and when they haven’t planned for the changes the business is currently experiencing they get worried. . .it’s perfectly natural. But it’s not the end of the world.
Gaining perspective is critical
Recently, I had an email conversation with a former history professor of mine who was always able get students to see beyond the myopic lens of today, by looking at the lessons the past has already taught us. As a result, I thought I would throw a question at him to gain a bit of perspective on all the news I have been hearing about outsourcing and off-shoring in the business press. As the owner of a company that helps other firms outsource their writing needs, I’m pleased, of course, that one aspect of this equation works to my advantage –outsourcing.
Off-shoring, on the other hand, had me sitting on the edge of my seat for a few days, when I learned that our colleagues in India have been stealthfully snagging some good freelance writing gigs for some time now.
Once again, my professor’s perspective was illuminating. Far from this being anything new, it has happened time and time again, going back through industrialization and beyond. Globalization, it seems, has been around since the time of Monty Python’s “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
The main lesson we always seem to miss when our jobs are being threatened, or the world seems to be changing at a pace with which we’re uncomfortable, is the one that is right before our eyes: it’s all happened before. None of this is really new. If we just relax a bit and ask some of the folks who have either gone through it before (aunts, uncles, grandparents) or those who have studied history (professors, writers, researchers), we’ll be able to recognize these changes for what they are; inevitable moves toward the future.
More insight from the music business pros
The same holds true for the music business. It’s not dying, its simply readjusting. . .changing with the times, and getting more lean and more productive as a result. Moses Avalon, author of “Confessions of Record Producer”, covers this topic quite succinctly in his July newsletter. In it he’s got lots of specific data related to how the music industry is actually doing well, and if you check it out, I’m certain you’ll walk away with a better feeling about where the business is headed.
In fact, examples of this sort of thing are everywhere, and this redirection of focus on emerging technologies and business ideas are what drive innovation and the success of individuals, companies and countries forward. Don’t let all this hype ruin your mood, or your passion for the music industry. As I mentioned in my post yesterday about music business degrees, this industry is indeed fickle, but it’s not going to implode any time soon. Turn off your TV and turn on your radio, that’s where your passion started anyway, right?
For a few additional stories worth looking at to calm your fears check out these articles below:
To listen to a story on NPR about the continual prediction of the death of classical music visit, “Classical Music: Not Dead Yet.”
Here’s a great article from 2003 when people were already talking about the demise of the music business. Seems like Shake It Records, is still around four years later. . .hmmm.. . . For more visit, “The Death of the Music Industry”
Technology professors and recruiters are now having to convince their students that there are still engineering jobs and IT jobs out there for them after graduation. For a look at the real story behind the biggest hype jobs around, download the pdf, “Outsourcing? Offshore? Students need to know.” from the Information Systems Education Journal. It’ a good read.
Feel better now? Rock on, Doc.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed in the upper right-hand corner, to never miss a post.
© 2008 – 2009, dockane. All rights reserved.