The morphing of the music industry – the adjacent possible


Think the description “music industry’s death” is a bit over-dramatic (!) – I view it more as a morphing or transition from one business model to another (and those who successfully make the transition will prosper).
“If you were a music executive sitting in a presentation 10 years ago and you’d been presented this chart, would you have any doubt that your CD business was going to die? Moreover, wouldn’t you have seen that in a historical context, the invention of the CD was an effervescent bit of luck? This ugly, animated gif carries a force that you can’t summon in a static line chart.

All of that is simply a testament to the immense power that the right chart at the right time can wield. But for now, it’s interesting to note how fractured the landscape is, at the point where the gif ends. Downloadable singles dominate the share of downloadable music — but most sales still exist in physical formats. (Granted, most music these days is probably being stolen.) Seeing this, it’s hard not to wonder: What’s going to be after the MP3? You’ve got to think that the Internet will be the mode of exchange for decades and decades to come — and that downloadable files will be MP3s or some newer, higher-resolution replacement. But the gaping thing this gif doesn’t quite get to is the fact that all this assumes that people need to own their music. As Spotify and even Pandora have shown, that might not be the case at all–and the next music-format revolution might not be too far away”

Interesting to see the stats in motion over time (assuming of course they are accurate!)

Classic examples from the adjacent possible – CD’s being impacted by downloadable music. What’s next?


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