More about CDs and music

Eric posted some links in the comments of my last iTunes post. Here are the links about Album length, More on album length, and Death of albums. I wanted to make them a post so I did not lose them when the comments turned over.

I had a conversation with Eric about the future of the music world. He can easily see a future with out record labels. Once there is all digital distribution, the current record labels do not make sense. There will be no reason for them to exist. Artists will be able to cut the deals themselves.

I think the future looks a little different. A lot of people like Pop Stars and Rock Stars. There is a reason that American Idol does so well in the ratings. I think that you need a machinery to make and promote these kinds of stars. I think the rest of the media would not know who to look at if the record labels were not promoting anyone.

I can see a future where large record labels have very small number of artists under contract. They go from having thousands of artists under contract to less then 100 per company. Just enough to fill Wal-Mart shelves. Record companies will only deal with the most profitable properties.

In a world like this there is a lot of room for smaller companies. Those smaller companies have the ability to take more risks. The problem is they still will not have the same promotional power. It will still be harder for people to find those acts.

The hard part of all of these things is that the major record companies are part of big media conglomerates. An artists on Sony Records can find his music in a movie or in a video game. The smaller labels will not be able do this.

I do not think anyone can say what the record industry will look like in 5 years. I have the feeling there will be one or two more changes yet that we do not know of.


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