Predicting the Music Industry’s Future in 2014

For this assignment we had to choose a interesting news story that people were talking about. From that topic we were told to find three different voices to interview and get their own opinion on the news story.

BY ASHLEY BOURQUE
Intro to Media Writing: Fall 2013

Sometimes industries need to look inside themselves before blaming the problem on consumers.

This past month Advertising Week took place in New York City and more than 10 music industry executives were there to discuss on the music business struggles and what the upcoming year has in store for the industry.

Marcie Allen, founder/president of MAC Presents, a sponsorship company for artists predicted that music sponsorship will pay labels and artists more than music streaming sites all together. Ash Pournouri, Owner & Founder of At Night Management, who manages Avicii, predicts the digital era of streaming music will keep developing.

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Many consumers of music have their own predictions. “Too many people in the industry are focused on the fame and money aspect of it,” Marco Urbani, a sophomore at Salve Regina University and Metallica fan stated.            “The only way the industry can improve is if people start focusing on the music itself.”

According to Urbani the industry is only going to get worse in the years to come. He believes that technology will continue to make a significant impact on music stating, “all the sounds will be created electronically so there will be no authenticity to the music.”

Sponsorships are key to keeping the industry afloat. Sponsorships are when companies pay artists to promote their product. “It’s already being used today,” Urbani stated. “That’s how so many artists are getting their music videos produced, through these sponsorships.”

Dawn Emsellem, a research and instruction librarian believes that it is the music industry’s own fault that they are struggling in the first place stating, “It has been a long time coming for the industry to fail”. She believes that artists are not being imaginative when it comes to their product and should work on locking down a specific sound and run with it.

According to Emsellem, sponsorships could be the one thing to help the industry, but she doesn’t support it. “Sponsorships are like selling out,” Emsellem said. “From a business perspective, yes, it’s a great idea, but I don’t like to see artists selling out.” Although sponsorships could potentially help the industry, Emsellem doesn’t think the music business will change that much from what it is this year, especially when it comes to dealing with illegally downloaded music.

“It’s the music industry’s fault for not dealing with that issue.” Emsellem said. Emsellem thinks that the industry has seen the piracy of music since the beginning of the millennium and has had plenty of time to address it.

Emsellem explained how multiple bands like Nine Inch Nails release their album on the Internet for free, to gain a following before going out on tour, which is how they earn their money. “When it comes down to it, it’s all about loving music,” Emsellem said. “That’s why it happens. It’s not done in a negative way.”

Caitlyn Wolny, a senior Residence Advisor thinks that the music industry is struggling because of platforms like iTunes where you have the option of buying one song for $1.29 compared to before iTunes existed, you could buy an album for $10.99.

According to Wolny, the industry isn’t going to change in the upcoming year either. “Artists are going to make a hit single then stop, make a hit single than stop, just like so many artists did this year.” Wolny stated. Wolny gave the example of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines “which came out in March and stayed at the top of the Billboard Top 100 Charts for consecutive weeks. Thicke then released another single; “Give It 2 U” in July, which only charted as high as 25 and rarely, got radio play.

Wolny believes it isn’t bad because it helps the song become viral. “Everyone shares it with everyone else and eventually some sort of company picks it up and that’s how the artist can make some money off of that song.” Wolny said.

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