Kind of. But not really.
I personally think that the music industry is moving towards a subscription based music consumption. The days of buying albums, or even purchasing and downloading albums through Itunes, is coming to an end.
Spotify and sites like it are the future of the industry, and labels need to get on board now or be left behind. They completely missed the music downloading ship. They failed at that and lost big money for it. Its happening again. They are stuck on the old ways. They are used to the golden era where they could sell and album at $10-$15 pay the artist about $4 or less in royalties and make a fortune. That’s not going to fly anymore.
Shawn Fanning and Napster changed the world of music. They offered music digitally and for free. Since then consumers just are willing to pay the big money (even just $10-$15) for an album. Napster lowered the value of music. Its not about music becoming less prominent. That will never happen. Music is going anywhere, but the question of the music industry is how are you going to make money? With consumers not willing to pay much for albums, where is the money going to come from? Right now, an artist’s primary source of revenue is through Performance royalties. That means labels aren’t paying them nearly what they are worth.
That’s where Spotify kicks in. Its great. You pay a small fee for all the music you want. Artists and publishers get their share, probably more than labels will pay them, and we live on.
But labels just won’t relinquish control. The internet has made them almost obsolete. Right now, they only dominate the marketing aspect of the business. Take that away and their done. Ever wonder why all the music you hear is One Direction or Beiber crap? That’s because the labels can afford to dish out huge money on advertisement, whereas indie labels just can’t. They can distribute, but no one knows who they are.
So, in short, I totally prefer buying a physical copy of my music. I refuse to download illegally. I wish we could go back to the days of album purchasing, with more equitable money share between artist and labels, but that won’t happen. So I support Spotify. At least it allows the business to make money. And its execs seem smarter than label execs.
Also, if you want to go into the music business go into Publishing. Its the only evergreen branch of the industry. It isn’t loosing money and its full of promise. Or live performance isn’t bad. Shows shouldn’t stop soon. But concert promotion and booking is pretty much thoroughly controlled by Irving Azoff and LiveNation. But if you can get around them, go for it.