Music Industry: ‘Product’ Isn’t a Dirty Word

From Music Industry Blog:

This morning I made a keynote presentation to a Westminster Forum conference on the UK music industry. Though the focus of my presentation was intentionally gloomy (look out for a post on the key themes later this week) I finished with what I thought was the positive outlook: a call for a new generation of music products. Regular readers will know that I beat this particular drum with near demented insistency and have been doing so for a few years now. I used to get strange, puzzled looks but nowadays there is widespread recognition that product innovation is key to the long term health of media businesses. (Much as I’d love to, I’m not claiming sole credit for the change in outlook permeating media industries).

This morning though caught me by surprise. A couple of panellists took umbrage with ‘product’ having anything to do with the music industry, that the music industry was about music, not product. In many ways they are right of course, but they also ignore the basic economics of the music industry. (I say ‘ignore’ rather than ‘misunderstand’ because these particular panellists have been around the music industry long enough to know it inside out and to know exactly what oils its wheels).

Of course the music industry is first and foremost about music. As a musician and a former (small time) recording artist and someone who spends way too many hours each week playing guitar and in his recording studio, I know this as well as anyone. But product is the beating heart of the recorded music industry. CDs, vinyl, downloads, apps or subscription services, these are the products which generate the income that allow some artists to give up the day job and focus on making great music. It is the product wrapped around the music that creates that income that helps support creativity.

Read the rest of the story at Music Industry Blog