Bainwol: 5 Reasons To Be Bullish On The Music Biz
September 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM (PT)
RIAA Chairman/CEO MITCH BAINWOL took some time out of his busy schedule to point out some silver linings in the current economic clouds over the record industry. He wrote an essay in THEWRAP.COM where he cited 'Five Reasons For Optimism In the Music Industry."
Here are excerpts from the five reasons:
1. Our product, music, remains as popular as ever. ... music remains as popular as ever, according to our surveys, and is an economic catalyst for many other industries. ... We no doubt continue to confront serious challenges to fully monetizing the value of music, but the fundamental relevance of music to the human experience remains as powerful as ever.
2. Long live the album. The album’s demise is exaggerated. CD sales may continue to decline ... but so far in 2009, growth in digital album sales is again outpacing digital singles (17.5% vs. 11.7%). Digital music is still a maturing marketplace, and fans are becoming increasingly comfortable buying not just the latest single online, but the entire album."
3. But it’s more than just the album. ... comparing year-over-year unit sales. fails to capture the whole story. The modern music company is an increasingly diversified, full-service entertainment firm deriving revenues from a variety of different streams. ... Revenues from digital platforms like satellite and online radio grew more than 70% in 2008 and should experience continuing significant growth this year and beyond.
4. Record labels make or break the day. A handful of well-known bands have elected to distribute their latest albums without the help of a record label. More power to them. But ... virtually all are established acts, with a devoted fan base and an established brand. ... Digital technologies have indeed made it easier for an artist to "DIY." But more often than not, it is the music label that can uniquely help the artist cross the bridge between anonymity and artistic and commercial success. ... Breaking through, developing and cultivating an audience, working with the most talented musicians and top-notch equipment, leveraging opportunities in a cluttered multi-platform digital media world -- all are the invaluable and irreplaceable functions of a modern record label.
5. Great music. ... This fall, fans will hear another great slate of albums from the world’s most talented bands and artists, including ALICIA KEYS, NELLY FURTADO, PEARL JAM, NORAH JONES, BON JOVI, KISS, LEONA LEWIS, TIM MCGRAW, SHAKIRA, ROD STEWART, CARRIE UNDERWOOD and countless others. This is yet another encouraging sign of a music business that is energized, vital, relevant and here to stay.
Read the unabridged version here.