"Between the traditional record industry and the “new” or next music business, there is a certain degree of dichotomy in their attitudes toward new technology and their willingness to integrate it into their industries.
From the perspective of journalist and author of 2009’s Appetite for Self-Destruction Steve Knopper, to correctly characterize this difference in temperament, we would first need to define exactly what “the next music business” is. Knopper poses the question: “Is it what Radiohead did, what Topspin is doing, what Amanda Palmer is doing, what Warner Music Group is doing, online retail sites like iTunes and Amazon, the loose coalition of free music available on MySpace, Google, Spotify, or even file-sharing?”
We do know that the next music business is not album-centric, and that it is a much leaner industry, one that is rife with creative opportunities for artists to pursue new revenue streams. Above all, it is about acquiring fans and the creation of a middle class of artists who are going to have higher margins and smaller profits, but longer, more sustainable careers.
Knopper notes that the traditional record industry is “embracing some of this stuff, with a few decent moneymaking ideas like Vevo and playing Amazon and iTunes off each other leading to cheaper online music for consumers.” But, he argues that, overall, “the record business could really use a high-tech visionary, somebody who understands that the old model is over, and breaking hits Jimmy Iovine-style isn’t going to float the business for the next 30 years.” "
Quite a long article, but an excellent read and it looks like I'm going to have a quiet day in work today... I think what the majors don't understand is that people don't value mp3s. They think that they need to go digital, and to a certain extent that's obviously true, but from a grassroots, indie label perspective, all of the indies seem to be more passionate than ever about physical product, be it those weird special offers where if you pay a tenner you get the album, if you pay twenty quid you get a print of the artwork and an exclusive EP, if you pay a hundred quid you get a lock of the singer's hair or whatever or just creating an extra special bit of packaging like Big Scary Monsters have done with ACDSleeve.
Has the larger industry got it all wrong? Personally I don't really care for mp3, and resent paying top dollar for a bunch of 1s and 0s that I could accidentally delete at the push of a button, which is why I buy CD and vinyl.