Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bob Lefsetz column on what's wrong with the music industry

A couple of sites recently reprinted an article by veteran music journalist Bob Lefsetz, which explains clearly what's wrong with the music industry these days. IMHO, the article is intelligent, irreverant, and dead on. I can't find a direct link from Lefsetz's site, but here are links to two places it has been posted:

  • scroll down to the heading "WISE WORDS FROM AN INDUSTRY VETEREN."
  • Kurt's Krap, a music blog. Scroll down to the heading, " Greatest. Music column. Ever."

My take on the article and the music industry:

As I see it, the biggest problem with the music industry is huge, merger-created music companies that want to force people to retain the old model. Instead of figuring out how to market their product in the digital world, they want to quash all attempts at change and continue to shove an inferior product, sold in an inferior format, and marketed with phony journalism, down the consumer's throat. They need to completely reinvent their product and their marketing to remain relevant, but so far their attempts have been too little too late.

All of this reminds me of Microsoft when the web first started becoming popular. They were very late to recognize the internet for the revolutionary force it became. But, once Gates figured it out, he turned the company around virtually overnight. Current projects were dropped immediately, and the largest software company in the world ramped up on the information highway in a matter of months. The music companies need to execute a similar turnaround, but I don't think they have the leadership or the corporate culture to make such a change possible.

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