Don’t be Paul Bunyan with his axe

Remember when Napster was supposed to kill the music industry?🎼

Some of you on my list might be too young…

But most of you know what I’m talking about.

It wasn’t that long ago that digital music was seen as this insanely disruptive technology and also a big threat.👀

For me, as a kid, I remember using Napster, Limewire, Kazaam, and other P2P file-sharing services to download all kinds of songs.

In fact, I was actually one of the people kicked off Napster for downloading Metallica – and I’ll never forget trying to open it and seeing that I was banned (I was ~12 at the time).🤘

In some respects, those days felt like the wild west…

But the biggest thing I remember was all of the news stories about how this would end the music industry forever.

If artists and labels couldn’t make money off their record sales, what motivation would they have to continue creating?!?

​​That was their main line…

And for a time, it kind of looked like some of these doom-laden prophecies may come true…

As global recorded music revenue dropped from $25.2 BN in 1999 to $14.2BN in 2014.

But then, something interesting happened…

The revenue numbers started rising again.

In 2019 the global revenue for recorded music was back up to $21.5BN…

And last year, the revenue hit $23.1BN.

So, what “saved” the music industry?

A huge part of it is streaming music revenue, of which $14.2BN was paid out to artists and labels last year…

But another big part was the $8 BN generated by independent labels and artists.

That’s WAY more than “Indies” used to make back in the day…

And it's only been made possible by technology and the proliferation of content distribution platforms. ​​

Plus, none of this even takes into account multiple other revenue factors like touring, merchandise, and sponsored content/promotions.

That’s the biggest thing, actually – most artists make way more money touring than from their recordings…

And today, those who amass large social media followings have all kinds of opportunities for sponsorships and collaborations too.

So all of this is to say that, SURPRISE! Technology didn’t kill the radio star.

Actually, it brought way more economic opportunities to many more artists…

And this is why I have a pretty low tolerance for protectionist policies in general.

The fact that some New York City taxi drivers started killing themselves once Uber was allowed in the city is tragic…

But if I’m being completely honest, I found it hard not to be irritated that this was their response.

Come f*#(ing on.

Nobody is entitled to a monopoly…

If you own a product or a mode of distribution, and it gets disrupted…

Guess what?

You better figure out how to 1) make your product better, 2) innovate around your distribution, or 3) both.

Otherwise, it’s on you.

Same thing with AI and Copywriting.

We’re not really that close to a flippening…

But when it happens, it’ll be fine.

Standing around like Paul Bunyan with his axe is stupid…

If a new steam-powered copy machine comes into the picture…

The smartest move would be learning how to operate and then leverage it right away.

 

– SPG

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link

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Stefan Georgi

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