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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Music 3.0 - The Current Era Of Music

In my upcoming book, Music 3.0 - A Survival Guide For Making Music In The Internet Age (published by Hal Leonard and expected out by the end of the year), I explore many of the topics that have come up here in the blog in recent weeks, from the Economy of Free, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Management, the Theory of 1000, the Long Tail, and a few more.

But what exactly is Music 3.0? In it's most basic, M30 (an acronym for Music 3.0 pronounced "M three - oh") is the era that the music business is in right now, the most recent of the five ages of the music business. M30 is the first time that an artist can actually directly market, sell and interact with his fan base.

The five ages of the music business breaks down like this:

Music 1.0 - the first generation of the music business where the product was vinyl records, the artist had no contact directly with the record buyer, radio was the primary source of promotion, the record labels were run by record people, and records were bought from retail stores.

Music 1.5 - the second generation of the music business where the product was primarily CDs, labels were owned and run by large conglomerates, MTV caused the labels to shift from artist development to image development, radio was still the major source of promotion, and CDs were purchased from retail stores.

Music 2.0 - the third generation of the music business that signaled the beginning of digital music, piracy ran rampant due to P2P networks but the industry took little notice as CD sales were still strong from radio promotion.

Music 2.5 - the fourth generation of the music business where digital music became monetized thanks to iTunes and later, others like Amazon MP3. CD sales dive, the music industry contracts and retail stores close.

Music 3.0 - the current generation of the music business where the artist can now communicate, interact, market and sell directly to the fan. Record labels, radio and television become mostly irrelevant and single songs are purchased instead of albums.

In coming posts, we'll discuss M30 more and more as well as the impact it has on the business and the strategy required for an artist to navigate it.


TheBlueSage said...

Wow - someone who thinks like I do! Direct sales to the customer, by the Artists, from the Artists' website, blog pages and multiple other digital locations is where it is trying to go. The biggest block so far has been a technological one, in that browsers (and therefore software companies) controlled what a user could do with a web page inside a browser on their computer). That is now a thing of the past. This Music3.0 thing is coinciding with the new Web3.0 thing, and at the forefront of that is an independent Digital Download Service called MySongStore combines the cutting edge of Web3.0 with the solidification of Music3.0, under RSA security principles, and Fair Trade standards. With things cracked open in this manner Record Companies will have to find a new business model (such as actually trying to find new music (via a real A&R department), or start assuming a more simple business manager/promoter role). The record industry is dead. The boutique digital download mechanism is on the rise, and finally, after over 50 years, artists can get a fair shot at getting paid for their work, seeing some of the royalties, and not having to rely on the personal tastes of a middle man to get their music to the public.(If you want to see my thoughts on other things, such as subscription music, check here...Strings, Keys and a Prayer Mat)

James Flores said...

That's great news for musicians. I would add one more era to your music industry timeline:

Music 0.5 - Before recorded music, the only way music was heard was to buy sheet music and perform it live in your home. The industry promoted the song, not the artist.

Bobby Owsinski said...

I considered Music .05, James. Didn't want to muddy the waters even more but you're probably right that it needs to be included.


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