The Music Industry Crisis Document - 8.1 Edition

When a crisis occurs, a council of thought leaders is appointed to define the problems, develop a recovery strategy, and carry out a comprehensive action plan for restoration. This document was created for this very purpose with the collective thoughts of thousands of music pros on LinkedIn and various private forums.  The finished project is now a blueprint to begin the reconstruction process.  

With that in mind, let us identify the main problems that have threatened to destroy the vision that was born on the streets of Tin Pan Alley.  Here they are, finally, all in one place and in no particular order. 

1. 360 Deals

Music industry sales are down more than 50% from 1999’s record breaking year. Labels, publishers, managers, and other funding partners have adopted a new model of business for new artists, The 360 Deal.  The model allows for funding partners to extend their revenues into streams that have always been ONLY reserved for the artists (ticket sales & merchandise). This new model is the result of the financial strain caused by the devaluation of music forcing agencies and labels to consolidate and make cuts all across the board.  In the end, 360 deals strain everything and everyone, causing countless problems, yet they are a necessary evil for struggling funding partners.

2. Internet Radio

Internet radio providers cannot sustain growth due to the growing licensing fees for streaming music and the lack of clear revenue models. If revenue models could be clearly defined, additional innovative distribution outlets could provide a new paradigm in radio as a whole...

The RMF's Treatise for a Global Dialogue

Dear Music,

You have suffered. How? Why? What is the culprit at the core that started it all? A thought pattern, “music is free”. We at the Restoring Music Foundation believe the key to valuing you lies where it all began, a thought. The battle ground is in the mind. There is no going back and old thoughts will no longer do. It is time to reThink everything.

We would like to invite everyone in music to become a part of a global conversation for the restoration of music. The crisis has been defined, help us now talk of solutions. Many issues must be addressed, yet the true key to restoration lies in our perception of worth. Give music value once more and we have found our great and elusive tipping point.

Join the Global Twitter Dialogue

#MusicProblems – Are problems missing from The Music Industry Crisis Document?

#MusicSolutions – How can we solve the problems listed on The Music Industry Crisis Document?

 

By the Restoring Music Foundation, an LA & Nashville based 501(c)3, and part of a crowdsourced research project for the restoration of the music industry. Since the start of the project in 2007, the issues have been discussed all across Linkedin and in numerous professional music industry circles (most notably within the well respected Music and Entertainment Professionals group). Our intention with this Treatise is to let everyone in on the conversation. Get involved: #RMFSolutions.

Defining The Music Industry Crisis - 7.2 Edition

When a crisis occurs a council of thought leaders are appointed to define the problems, develop a recovery strategy, and carry out a comprehensive action plan for restoration. The Restoring Music Foundation (RMF) was created for this very purpose.   The RMF’s mission is to restore the value of music all across the supply chain.

With that in mind, let us identify the main problems that have threatened to destroy the vision that was born on the streets of Tin Pan Alley.  Here they are, finally all in one place and in no particular order. 

1. Internet Radio
Internet radio providers can not sustain growth due to the growing licensing fees for streaming music and a lack of clear revenue models. New distribution outlets could provide a new paradigm in radio as a whole if revenue models could be clearly defined.

2. 360 Deals...

Can the Marriage of Internet and Music Survive?

"Everytime you illegally download a track, you kill another one" (fill in the blank with ANYONE who makes money in the field of music).  This is a SERIOUS dilemma considering that NO ONE values music today.  It is no one person or groups fault that the public opinion shifted in this direction, but nevertheless here we are 10 years after the market was freed by Napster (1999), and the general global consensus feels no remorse for pirating music.  Let us just say this fire is out of control.

What can be done when the whole process of buying or stealing music is based on the honors system?  There must be a STRONG catalyst to force public opinion back in the other direction.   The true question we need to ask is, how do we give listeners a reason to value music again?   Artists, record execs, retailers, and fans must be willing to have an open mind to the general consensus for change.  Everyone who listens to music is responsible for fixing it.  That means YOU!  It will take some time, but change is within reach. 

Under crisis the solutions must be easy for everyone involved in the transition to understand. The solutions must present a radical change from normal patterns. They must be loud enough to force everyone to turn their heads and take notice because it is going to take everyone agreeing on the notion of change to truly make a difference.  Most importantly, we must all learn to be servants as well as capitalists and consumers.  We truly believe that in the end it all boils down to that.

BREAKING! New RMF Council Members Announced!

We are gearing up to really get things moving over here.  We recently finalized the first few members of the RMF's board of directors.  We will be growing the council from 5 to 15-20 over the next few months.  The current leadership team of the Restoring Music Foundation is comprised of successful entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, communications professionals, philanthropists, lawyers, and PhD’s.  Together they are building a Foundation that will inspire the professional music community to engage in innovation for social change and that will serve as the support system for a strong and sustainable recovery within the music industry.


Like what you see?  Use the comments below to tell us about it...

The Last Word on the Music Industry Crisis (6th ed.)

 

We have been working on a document entitled, Defining the Music Industry Crisis, for some time.  It has been through 5 editions prior to this new version.  Each addition was edited based on feedback from our extensive network of music industry professionals.  This version (the 6th edition) has been retitled, The Last Word on the Music Industry Crisis.  It is in a pdf form as it has been picked up by an entertainment magazine with a July release. print it, download it, share it!!  The full version is available below.  Enjoy!!

We Added Two New Sections To the Website! Goals & Solutions.

We finally published the FINAL crisis document yesterday.  With that behind us, we are now ready to talk of solutions.  We have added two new sections to our site, Solutions & Goals.  Please give these new sections a look over as it will give you a clear understanding of what we (The Restoring Music Foundation) are here to do.   I will be announcing information on our 501c3 by the middle of next week.  We are now an official non-profit, but I want to iron a few things out before I publish the info.  Stay tuned...


Like what you see?  Use the comments below to tell us about it...

Defining The Music Industry Crisis - 5th Edition (FINAL?)

  

 THIS ARTICLE IS OUTDATED, SEE NEW EDITION.

To every problem there is already
a solution whether
you know it or not. 

                                                   -Grenville Kleiser 

 In politics, when a crisis occurs a council is appointed to define the problems. A document is then outlined, written, and continuously amended. It is only after everyone agrees on the problems that solutions can be developed and implemented.

With that in mind, this document is meant to identify the main problems that have threatened to destroy the vision that was born on the streets of Tin Pan Alley. The following list is in no particular order but rather listed for the sake of finally getting them all in one place. I urge readers to use the comment board following the article to get involved in the process.

The Music Truth Campaign - Sobering Fact #1

Everytime you illegally download a track, you kill another one.

There is NO budget to develop new artists in 90% of the Indies.
Labels, on average, have reduced their staff by 50% in the last 5 years.
It only takes 5000 sales of a single on average to enter the top 30. (It used to be at least 30,000)
The last Motorhead album reached #30 on sales of 3500 (1st week sales).
If you sell 200 copies of a CD from a new artist, you've done well.
You only need sales of 650 singles to enter the Top 75 (1st week sales).

Sobering enough?

Peace,

Frenchy

A Note About Frenchy and Sobering Music Facts...

Dear Music Industry,

If there is anything worth saving it is MUSIC.  I would hope that we are all in this business because we are behind this notion.  With this in mind, we have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to introduce you to The Restoring Music Foundation.  Our mission is to restore the value of music within the supply chain, but particularly in the minds of the consumers.  This is the first annual letter we plan to write concerning The Restoring Music Foundation's progress towards this important mission.  We make no disillusion to the loftiness of our goal, but rather reconcile the fact that "for every problem there is already a solution."  We understand that where there is a crisis, there must be a cohesive and calculated action plan for restoration.

The Three Legs of the The Restoring Music Foundation's Restoration Strategy.

  1. To provide awareness for the music industry crisis and facilitate a change movement.
  2. To write and carry out a comprehensive restoration plan aimed at creating opportunities for everyone.
  3. To build an infrastructure for industry growth by incubating new music startups/models in line with the Foundation's goals and by educating the next generation of listeners about the value of music.

Defining The Music Industry Crisis - 4th Edition

THIS ARTICLE IS OUTDATED, SEE NEW EDITION.

To every problem there is already
a solution whether
you know it or not.  -Grenville Kleiser 

 In politics, when a crisis occurs a council is appointed to define the problems. A document is then outlined, written, and continuously amended. It is only after everyone agrees on the problems that solutions can be developed and implemented.

With that in mind, this document is meant to identify the main problems that have threatened to destroy the vision that was born on the streets of Tin Pan Alley. The following list is in no particular order but rather listed for the sake of finally getting them all in one place. I urge readers to use the comment board following the article to get involved in the process.

Merging the Live Music Space. Problem or Solution?!

Over the past year we have been on a quest to comprehensively define the many problems involved in the current economic music crisis. We have it all nailed down except a unified answer as it concerns the live music space. This is the final unsolved piece to the puzzle. With the recent merger of Ticketmaster & Live Nation, I thought it appropriate to open up the floor for debate.

Do you see Ticketmaster & Live Nation creating problems or solutions? Do you see other major problems in the live music space? Please pitch in your expert thoughts and opinions.

P.S.

Dear Live Nation & Ticketmaster,
Congratulation on your recent merger! No one will deny the genius of your business models. At the Restoring Music Foundation, we would like to offer a short thought to whomever it may concern.

You are now officially THE live player in this important music space. Please don't abuse your power, be fair and use your market control for the greater good. Be good to your customers and be fair to independent artists.

Cheers to music,

Chris

A Music Education Productivity Innovation

A new music education technology company, iSchoolBand, will attempt to solve many of the problems we talk about in music education with their highly boasted productivity platform due out this fall. The platform offers band and orchestra programs a slew of features, offering a new paradigm in communication, organization, and management for any director brave enough to try new things. The platform attempts to provide an intuitive approach to web applications and claims, "The system is simple and painless. It is a great first introduction to web based networks and setting up your network requires no time at all. Your school network and database sets itself up as students and parents sign up."

Communication

At the core of the iSchoolBand platform is a social network reminiscent of Facebook. The big difference is that the network is private to each school and secured using a series of codes and passwords. Social networking technology offers a form of communication that is yet unprecedented. The iSchoolBand platform uses that technology to offer five major communication features: messaging, group messaging, comments, announcements, and status updates. In addition, it offers a dynamic address book and email notifications to make sure no one misses an important message. They will be extending the notification reach to the cell phone sometime this fall.

Organization

The iSchoolBand platform has been tailored to fit the needs of school bands and orchestras by offering features for individual instrument groups, boosters, parents, and other support groups. It automatically organizes students and parents into groups as they sign up. This saves hours of work for the directors when it comes to setting up the network database. It also allows administrators to easily specify who media items (sheet music, audio files, and drill charts) and documents (permission slips, medical forms, sign in sheets, etc.) are for by simply checking the name of a group. This allows our system to automatically organize media & documents into user backpacks, group profiles, and student profiles. Never again will directors have to reprint a document.

Management

The Administrator Control Panel allows directors to manage every aspect of their school's network. The platform allows directors to specify student and parent administrators, allowing star parents and students to help carry the administrative load.  Individual permissions can be set to allow admin groups to only have access to areas the director specifies. A content filter has been included to keep the content clean and comments and news feed items can easily be deleted by administrators. In addition, every bit of content on the network can be edited including: group, student, and parent profile information.  A dynamic event management package is due soon as well. They had inteded to include it in the initial release but time constaints forced them to put it on hold. Look for it this fall.

With any luck, the iSchoolBand platform will change the face of music education and provide a foundation for a new generation of school bands and orchestras.  The network is currently in a private BETA phase of development.  It is due to launch in September and plans to officially release the service this December at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.  You can learn more by visiting their website: http://www.ischoolband.com

The Internet Radio Dilemma

..:: This article provides a deeper understanding of one of the issues outlined in:
..:: Defining the Music Industry Crisis.

 

"#1 Internet radio is the future, yet providers can not sustain growth due to growing taxes on streaming music and a lack of clear revenue models."

                                                         - Defining the Music Industry Crisis.

 

I will try to provide a clear understanding of the ongoing Internet radio dilemma. There are two basic problems that need to be individually analyzed, the high royalty rates and the lack of clear revenue options.