Where we’re trying to get to with the internet music business is projects with long-term futures.
- The labels are still making a living selling CDs, but that business is dwindling fast.
- The internet businesses that are licensing streaming rights are spending out the clock and hoping to cheat death.
- The pay-per-download stores can hang in there for a long time because they have low fixed costs, but eventually their owners will move their capital into businesses with competitive return on investment.
- The filesharing companies are waiting for a legal death blow.
- MP3 bloggers who get big enough to make a living take on real legal risk and enter Dead Man’s Gulch. Those who stay small work for free and eventually quit of exhaustion.
- Services and metadata businesses like Gracenote can keep going indefinitely, but can’t get that big.
- And musicians… The music scene’s crazy. Bands start up each and every day. There’s one born every minute. But you CAN make music in a sustainable way if you get the balance right.
The goal is sustainability. Are you doing something that will last?
2 thoughts on “sustainability vs Dead Man’s Gulch”
This history of the music business has *many* lessons as to the value of creating something that lasts. It’s the only way.
Agreed, but it really boils down to people discovering music they like. If you can find a way to do that outside of the major’s control and repertoire, you could create a nice sustainable system.