The state of music commerce under new technologies was discussed by a lively group of music pioneers, including Ted Cohen (Tag Strategic), Kami Knake (Bands In The Radar (BTR) Management), Kevin Kiernan (Sony), Gerrit Meier (Clear Channel Radio) and David Tockman (AOL). Brightened by Ted Cohen’s lively energy and witty remarks, passionate questions and smart answers, the survival of the music business under changing standards and conditions and the effects of these changes on artists and audiences were on the radar of the discussion.
The panel started with an attempt to define the current situation of music commerce, which is attempting to adapt to the rapidly developing technologies and create/increase its revenue. New technologies may be decreasing the importance of the old ways of consumption, but the main idea was seeing the glass half-full. New advancements also mean new opportunities, and a visionary approach is a must to come up with brand new creative ideas, new products, new ways to sell music and to stay alive.
The future of CDs, downloading, streaming, legal issues around digital music commerce and offering free music were among the hot topic debates. One recurring topic was the ‘death of the CD,’ but most of the panelists disagreed with this statement, of course accepting the decrease in sales. But such situations result in the opening of new opportunities and markets, such as the attempt to sell a less expensive merchandise such as a t-shirt or a key chain, in greater quantities.
One other result of the changing times discussed was its effect on artists and how they now have to tour a lot than a decade before in order to compensate for the lost revenues of record labels arising from decreased CD sales. Well, artists, audiences, and music business people all agree on this same thing: while things are changing so fast and nearly everything is downloadable now, each of us has to adapt and be even more creative than ever before.