How the music industry has changed: the latest from the experts

Music discoverability and how to make money in music

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Day: May 11
Time: 10:35AM - 11:50AM

The record label structure has drastically changed over the last 20 years. From its sole purpose of selling albums, what is the new structure and formulation of music in 2016? How are writers, artists and producers succeeding and making money through new techniques of business and placement of their music? Do streaming services actually provide a sustainable structure?

Video summary

We know how the music industry has changed. We used to have radio, record stores, record labels, music stores, and magazines. Now we have unlimited access, unlimited channels, but minimal direction and guidance. With so many points of entry, music discoverability should be easier with the available technology. But the new music distribution methods can make the signal-to-noise ratio overwhelming for the consumer: all the noise is canceling out the signals. In this video, Steve Kane and the other music industry gurus discuss music discoverability and how money is made in the music industry of today. They explain how playlists on music distribution services like Spotify and Apple Music are becoming more popular, and how the industry is developing niches that cater to communities of music fans.

Experts in this video

Executive Vice President, Music Canada

Professional Music Geek, Corus Entertainment

President, Warner Music Canada

Director of Canadian Operations Nielsen Entertainment

Video transcript excerpts

“Discoverability has gone from being broadcast or a narrow-cast to a becoming a conversation, becoming a multi-level, multi-layered conversation with a lot more participants than there ever used to be. And, that’s part of the evolution of the music business that is continually ongoing.”

“We had our standard cultural gate keepers. There was radio, record stores, record labels, music stores, music magazines. They…sorted through all the chat, and gave us what they believed was the best stuff. Our problem today is signal to noise. The barrier to entry into becoming a musician and having your music distributed around the galaxy has never been lower. Anybody can do it. The problem is that too many people are doing it and a lot of people who are doing it really shouldn’t be, because we don’t have the cultural gate keepers who are there to discover them and nurture them and coach them and do all these other things. So as a result, we have a lot of really raw stuff out there and frankly, a lot of it wouldn’t have made the cut back in the old days.”

“In the music world, you scratch the surface of any viral stories, what you’ll find is a very sophisticated search engine optimization. You will find very clever content that is built, designed and released into the world with the idea that it is attractive to share to people just like you.”

“As far as millennials and teens are concerned, they don’t even know I exist because my product is not available on their platforms…Radio needs to be educated to get away from their old way of doing things because that’s not what’s going to move the needle in the future.”

“The brand is the artist…they all acknowledge what they’re doing is building a brand. Touring, merchandise, records, what have you.”

“Well it’s tough because we have a generation and a half that has grown up on free music or music that is nearly free.”

“Now…we have word of mouth with the click button…”

“The delivery system will come and go. Creativity and content, that’s what drives it.”

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