An argument that record labels are here to stay

I’ll buy that newspapers in their historical form are going away, but not that publishing as a function distinct from writing is going away.

Writers can’t take it on. It’s a different set of skills, talents, and resources, and it’s time-consuming. It controls the money, and money controls the writers.

And how is this argument different for labels?

3 thoughts on “An argument that record labels are here to stay

  1. Airlines are here to stay. Auto manufacturers are here to stay, probably. Record companies are here to stay, but they will look and act completely differently. Looking 15 years down the road, film companies will completely transform, too.

  2. I’ll buy that they’ll look really different.

    But you know who isn’t necessarily here to stay? Music resellers like Pandora and LimeWire.

  3. You can’t talk about this stuff in a vacuum and pretend the analogous similarities are all there is.

    Look, the big difference is that, fundamentally, labels are a crooked business. I don’t see newspapers as a racket who have built a 100 year business on screwing everybody in sight and they don’t have nearly the loan-shark or blockbuster mentality. I’m not that close to the newspaper business, so I don’t know if they *ever* had a chance against the Web with craigslist undermining their core business. But I know that the labels had a million chances to leverage the web and went against their own interests every single time. Perhaps you can blame the Web for the demise of print newspapers, but you can NOT objectively blame the troubles of labels on anything but their own, collective frame of mind.

    As far the future goes, the gaming industry seems likely to be the primary customer for music (and probably the movie companies). They will continue to dwarf the others in revenue and that will set the agenda for how entertainment is created and distributed. At some point, in a generation maybe, they (gaming) may venture into the celebrity making business and then it’s really over for labels and movies.

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