DBEATE: Are Music Fans Still Being Left Out of the Conversation?
As involved in the music industry discussion we like to consider ourselves, too often the dialogue aims at the worries and ailments for musicians and record labels, and as Hypebot points out, music fans need to be considered too. After all, they are the ones buying the music, t-shirts and concert tickets. So what’s the deal?
The truth is, like any industry, the ones with profits at stake tend to get too involved in their own problems, instead of considering the customer. Right now, the feud between masters of the music universe and musicians is really a battle for fair royalties and monopoly control by the mega record labels. All the while, labels and musicians complain about piracy, when it’s not the fans and users aiming to stick it to the industry, the culture changed and it’s irreversible.
In the new version of the music industry, the pillars have become crowdsourcing, concerts, mobile apps, streaming sites, slapping logos on artists like NASCAR cars, etc. Spotify and other sites are partnering with major non-music companies to benefit their own agains, not the music fans. Labels and music-tech companies feel very nervous about music fans, thinking they’re going to get screwed over again somehow; there’s a lack of trust and hostility to some degree. Frankly, the industry just thinks the fans just want everything free and don’t care about the business model. We can’t assume that’s the case.
Music tech companies need to be more mindful to what fans and users want if they want to really change the business for good, or else there won’t be much of an industry left. Musicians are cutting away labels and making do on their own. Direct-to-fan will be the doctrine of the future, and that’s fine, but the industry’s well-being is way better off if the business heads could build a constructive dialogue with the fans to make music better for the future.
The music industry didn’t want to know what fans thought before the 90s, and now that they need them more than ever, it makes sense to change the politics, right? Artists have already begun to embrace their fans more closely; it’s time for business to take notice.