June 13, 2012 – 5:17 am


Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson has labelled the music industry a “dinosaur”. She told Metro in June 2012: “It’s a shell of what it once was and the industry hasn’t got its head around the fact a lot of young people don’t listen to the radio or buy records - the industry has been slow to adapt and become a dinosaur.” Manson added: “When corporations become dinosaurs they get desperate and greedy and become involved in ugly practices. The good thing about the collapse is it’s got rid of characters who have no interest in music. The workers left at the companies are passionate and care about bands.”

How many years has the record industry left? Would you give them 10 years?

In the post-record industry era, how do you think music will be distributed? Do you have a model in mind?

Your no B.S. comments will earn you a pass to free music.


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  2. How long the record industry remains around depends on how long we put up with them. In order to survive they will have to find a way to be bailed out. Can they survive on outrageous RIAA lawsuits over downloads? I don’t know, but they have managed to bankrupt a few citizens. Perhaps that is all it takes to survive these days. The financial industry, which failed big time, still manages to bankrupt citizens and got a taxpayer bailout to survive, despite the fact that they are universally hated. I don’t know if the record industry can do the same in these times when anyone who wants to be a musical artist can record an album in their home. The biggest question is the one you pose, regarding distribution. Even when record companies do little else, they manage to distribute records better than the artist can do alone. I try not to be ignorant of new artists, but every time I visit what passes for a record store these days, I find I have not ever heard of half the artists represented there. With radio dead (maybe young people don’t listen to the radio because it sucks-it didn’t in my day), there is no publicity for new music. You have to search for it on the internet, and to many, that is too much like work. Maybe I am the dinosaur. But I’m not greedy like a record company. If I’m not in a position to make it better, I just have to roll with it. If I had to guess, I’d give the record companies 5 years to either come to grips with reality or fade into oblivion.

    By aking on Jun 13, 2012

  3. It’s not (always) just the record companies. some artist release (or allow to be released)compilations with 1 or 2 new tracks.

    What other reason for this is there except to rip off the faithful. You can’t purchase the new tracks separately which would be more honest.

    I believe that musicians should make money from their hard graft but it seems that the people who make the most are the businessmen that have no interest in art.

    Radiohead allowed you to pay what you thought the album was worth. A small income several times can be worth more than one large profit.

    By BarBob on Jun 13, 2012

  4. I hope they will find a way to make it work. I would recommend only selling CDs for $9.99 for new releases and $4.99 for old catalog stuff. I prefer CDs over downloads any day. And scout out some new, talented bands. There are too many generic bands out there.

    By Phil on Jun 14, 2012

  5. I still prefer CDs but would be ready to pay some sort of subscription in order to be able to download all the music I want in high quality.
    I think artists will more and more publish/sell their own music on the net, under their own control. What I can’t figure out is how to make it all profitable for new artists. They need promotion, I mean it’s easy for Radiohead to experience freedom, but first you need to be known somehow, and word of mouth is not enough in a world market. And that’s where labels still make a huge difference.
    Music industry is not dead, it just needs a strong lifting and a “diet” to become less greedy.

    By frank capra on Jun 14, 2012

  6. CDs going the way of vinyl, going the way of shellac discs, going the way of cylinders…
    The important thing about all those, as with books printed on Real paper(! wow !), is that the buyer acquires possession of the performance. As long as you protect it, nurse it, treat it right, it should service you for the rest of your days.
    The kindle and iPod generation are going to be mightily shafted when the great big InterNet dies one day (thermonuclear war anyone?) and their ‘devices’ no longer function.
    “Operator, can you give me the number for Cloud complaints?
    “What do you mean there Is No Number?”

    By Tony on Jun 14, 2012

  7. i went and bought my first new CD yesterday in probably 5 years(Rush clockwork Angels). there’s enough ‘used’ cd stores around me that i don’t have to buy new ones. used to be the big box stores music section would be almost half the store but now its all in one corner

    By WH Dupree on Jun 14, 2012

  8. i currently sell cd’s records etc and find if you have the right stuff people will buy but only at a cheap price all my cd’s are £2.99 or 2 4 5 or £4.99 for better titles.
    But it is tough and vinyl is proberbly my biggest seller

    By leon3574 on Jun 15, 2012

  9. In the sixties record companies didn’t understand what was going on so they were signing groups left and right. This worked out for us because it gave us a variety from which to explore. They encouraged and nursed these groups and many developed a following. Creating small communities out of your friends. Disco came along and the record companies broke their contracts with the rock n’ rollers. Getting by with studio musicians and hired songwriters. And saving money! When what they thought was the future of music turned out to be a fad they had to go back to promoting groups and dealing with egos.
    And ever sense the Beatles, groups have concentrated on making complete albums. Record companies have now gone back to the begining. Early ’60s, Brill building, pushing singles. Not albums. Using studio musicians again. They are saving money. They do not invest in the future. They do not support the music community. That is why there will never be another group with mass appeal like the Beatles or Stones. Who is going to buy a whole cd if there is only one good song on it?

    The record companies job is promotion and distribution. They painted themselves into a corner by trying to set trends, not follow them and giving the public what it wants. At a reasonable price. Even downloads are overpriced. I cannot speculate on their future.

    By sking on Jun 15, 2012

  10. I am pretty sure that the record industry as we know it (in it’s current horrible state) will disappesr in the next few years. As a former member of the “club” I have may friends who are still reps for major record companies in the US but the number is dwindling (one has gone from a regional rep with 30 accounts to one of 5 national reps with so many accounts that you never talk to a real person).
    Gone are the days of a rep visiting the individual shops (or what is left of them) and the big box stores have all but given up.
    The major record companies have been shooting themselves in the foot for many, many years and they only have a few toes left.

    By rondelrio on Jun 15, 2012

  11. In these days…absolutely!
    They earn more than musicians!!!!!!!!

    By Rochacrimson on Jun 15, 2012

  12. I remember seeing a VHS recorder in the 70s and I couldn’t believe that it was possible to record TV programmes and watch them again at my leisure. I remember buying vinyl in the 70s and thinking that was with us for ever. Then came CDs - wow, and to cap that DVDs replacing video. How could they cap that? In ten years time, who knows how we’ll be storing the things we watch and listen to? It’ll be interesting, if nothing else.

    By Daij on Jun 16, 2012

  13. i guess everything will be ‘cloud’ based. nothing will have any physical substance

    By tinyhandsofconcrete on Jun 17, 2012

  14. Music in the future will be distributed by the artists themselves, which is a step up from organized distribution by agencies that dont give a [email protected]#$ about quality. I’m happy to see the RIAA go down. They have held back good music for too, too long. And they have misrepresented the artists by paying them a smidge of what they deserve!

    By Tom Billings on Jun 18, 2012

  15. How many years has the record industry left? Would you give them 10 years?

    I think of the record industry and the music industry in the same terms and music will be around forever.
    The distribution will change constantly that cannot be stopped. As long as technology advances changes will follow. Right now the clever musicians and those who want to sell are helping themselves by offering downloads from their websites or, the ability to purchase a concert was you leave the performance,That couldn`t happen just a few years ago, so who knows what changes are in store in the industry. The sky isn`t falling, the suits who used the industry as a giant credit card are probably shitting but that is their problem.

    By sluggo on Jun 19, 2012

  16. soon there will be nowhere for us blokes to go,you could spend many an hour in record shops while her indoors went elsewhere

    By paul on Jun 19, 2012

  17. I think the record industry will be around for a bit yet. Who else will sell the kids their Katey Perry and Justin Beiber music. There was a time when the record labels were synonymous with the bands. The Beatles were on Capital, the Byrds were on Columbia, The Rolling Stones were on London. Of course there were the soul labels like Stax and Motown that groomed and presented their acts. Those days are long gone in the rear view mirror. I think downloads without physical CD’s will be the next big thing. The Rolling Stones Archives are already selling downloads of their more bootlegged concerts without CD’s. I think the real big thing that will come and I will not be alive to see it will be musical holograms. If you want to see the Beatles play “Get Back” on the roof of the Apple building, you put something in your hologram player and boom, you get a hologram of John Lennon and company playing the song. Remember,you heard it here first.

    By Mackster on Jun 22, 2012

  18. the industry has plenty of years left but it will have to adapt to the changing times. they survive by ripping off the artists and the fans. they pay themselves by abusing their authority and position and power. without all that theyd have ability to control that with which they are. the problem is greed. as dennis hoppers character in flashback said to keifer sutherlands character..ronald reagan was responsible for creating two classes. the truly needy and the truly greedy. thats not too far from the truth. u cant blame musicians for wanting to make a buck off of what they do. thats just normal. but to want to make a buck off those who make a buck is a little obnoxious and the suits do that. the industry. if they die..its their own fault. they do have their heads up their collective ass. they dont keep up with the times and they think that they dont need to promote in a new way with the new times. thing is.. its a new world out there with new bands. u cant use the old ways to promote the new artists. radio the way it was isnt working. kids today.. and by kids i mean people the industry wants to attack with their marketing perhaps all those under 30.. arent the same as we were in the 60s thru 1990. in my day we had new music advertised in such places as comic books of all places. we didnt have youtube and google and iphones and..well u get the idea.
    as it is now things will get worse. cds recently sold less than downloads for the first time ever. soon enough single cds will stop totally. box sets and limited editions will be the only way u will find cds. i dont care how i get my music. ill adapt. im easy. i have more than enough music to last me the rest of my life. what i dont have now ill find on my own. ill likely never buy another cd in my life. ill live. but im 52. the music industry wont suffer that much without my money. its the money from those kids under 30 they need. they just need someone that age to kick em in the ass and tell them what theyre doing wrong.

    By darth on Jun 22, 2012

  19. glad after 30 years to be out of the business, the music died the day the lawyers & accountants took over. too many artists ripping off fans hasn’t helped either, artists need to share some of the blame, thinking every sale had to have a non negotiable royalty attached, which kept prices artificially high. everyone in the industry had it too good, too long, at the expense of the customer, don’t just blame the labels.

    By Liam NSW on Jun 24, 2012

  20. The corpse of the record industry has been drawing flies for quite some time now. Hard
    copy media has become a nostalgic discussion.
    the good news is the artists have taken control
    of the process. to me, the grassroots model of grateful dead years ago, and a dave matthews or phish of today, of constant touring and accommodating the fans by allowing sharing of recordings of the shows, create loyalty and willingness to buy official product, and allows for minimizing of record label involvement. let’s face up, digital is here to stay, but the music we hold dear will be out there. and as most of us visitors to big O know, we will find it, wherever it may hide.

    By Billy Jack on Jun 24, 2012

  21. The hard facts are that the record companies got caught up in their own self importance and the belief that they could dictate to the record buying public and they in turn would just do what they were told. It’s not the record companies that I feel for, it’s the artists that are struggling to break through and the record shops (remember them?!?) that can’t compete with the likes of Itunes.
    Again though it’s the record companies that sold their souls to the digital download companies in a panic because they suddenly found they hadno where else to go.
    There are still soem good, hard working indie labels out there taht really care for the artist and the customer, whether they survise or not is the biggest worry for me.

    By sebrof on Jun 25, 2012

  22. One thing I love about the current state of affairs is buying music directly from artists, whether through a PledgeMusic or Kickstarter model, or from their website, etc.

    There will likely always be a music arm of the entertainment industry for the top 40 (mostly) crap that indifferent music fans still consume.

    By Jeremy Shatan on Jun 28, 2012

  23. Music industrie gets now what they deserve for so long. I really like paying i.e. Aimee Mann directly nowadays. She had a hard struggle and did right. I`m also sure more and more people wil get tired paying astronomical ticket prices feeding pseudo legalized scalpers especially for dump like madonna, stones etc. Music industry has only one chance: fair prices. Goldminer days are gone, thankfully.

    By Desolationrow7 on Jun 30, 2012

  24. ill likely never buy another cd in my life. .. the music industry wont suffer that much without my money.
    this is a quote from a poster above. this is the kind of thinking that makes me sick.this person thinks they don`t need to pay for anything.this is wrong on all accounts.i work hard creating my music and also like to eat.if you steal everything from me how do i eat and create ?

    By anonymous famous musician on Jun 30, 2012

  25. The industry is dying, what will survive is something that will appeal to the top 40 we-don’t-care-manufactured-throw-it-away demographic. The rest will survive on the internet, backing everything up on external HD’s, if we have old vinyl or other forms of “treasure” great, but we will seek out the art we love, and the artist will find us.
    Can there be another Beatles or Stones or Zappa or artist like that? YES!!!
    It will happen, think of the possabities with direct communication with the artist.
    That is what scares the music industry, the artist can give us what we, the consumer, want!

    By Bluez Dawg on Jun 30, 2012

  26. Record companies have brought their own demise. The day of a band releasing their music independently continues grow. That’s exactly what Rusted Root is doing now. Soon to be released, their fans are donating $ 20 to the band to put forth the new album. When released, all who donated will be recognized in the liner notes. A great concept!

    By Bubbles on Aug 29, 2012

  27. The free market will decide the fate of the big publishers. More and more artists are marketing directly to the consumer and bypassing the “middle man”. The big publishers reap what they sow…

    By TDC on Sep 17, 2012

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