Turning Criminals Into Customers

Eric Clapton Live At Budokan

Image courtesy EricClapton.com


Juniper Research

Sales of digital music increased by 940% between 2004 and 2009.

Sales of physical music fell by 30% during the same period.

Global recorded music sales approached $25 billion in 2009.

THOUGHT: I’m looking up at the sky right now and you know what I see? The sky. It’s still there. It hasn’t fallen.

Cause that’s what we were told would happen with the advent of the digital music distribution. Rather than figuring out the new model, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) set about turning its customers into criminals by suing them rather than giving them what they want: The music that they like on their terms. That meant a wide selection of diverse genres able to be played on portable devices.

A lot like what we’ve got now.

It’s not that the RIAA didn’t recognize that change was coming; they just refused to accept it and failed to adapt.

Which, of course, allowed Apple to swoop in and eat their lunch by offering that vast selection of diverse genres at 99 cents a song. Apple was perfectly happy to turn the recording industry’s criminals back into customers.

What’s remarkable to watch in the wake of all the marketing failure that was the old school recording industry is the marketing innovation by musicians themselves who are increasingly cutting out that middleman.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Eric Clapton, Lay Down Sally at Audiolicious.tv.

Thank you for music. Can’t imagine life without it.


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