The real reason the music industry is sinking

Well, at least *my* opinion of why… ūüôā This post doesn’t contain facts and figures, but a gut level reaction…

Today, it finally hit me why the music industry is nothing like the industry was through the 90’s. ¬†What event brought this revelation on? ¬†It was when I was listening to my weekly ‘New Music’ mix from Apple Music. ¬†This new feature has been huge! ¬†I’ve been introduced to some modern music that sounds like my favorite classics! ¬†Awesome!


What happened was that I listened to the music, thought ‘cool’, and moved on. ¬†I didn’t buy the band’s album, either electronically or physically. ¬†In fact, I had heard the band on my playlist a couple of weeks ago, had thought ‘cool!’, and promptly forgot the name of the band.

That is when it finally hit me…

I don’t cherish the music anymore.

Let me repeat that… I don’t cherish the music anymore.

What do I mean by that?

Well… when I was growing up, getting a record/cassette/CD was a big deal. ¬†It was expensive! ¬†($10 on a student job salary or worse, an allowance was a LOT of money!). Plus, I didn’t have a way to pick and choose songs, unless you spent $4 on a single. ¬†Also, playback was pretty linear, you really couldn’t copy different songs from different albums. ¬†You either had to build a mix tape with the double cassettes or just listen to the whole album. ¬†Finally, the playback devices really didn’t support multiple albums. ¬†I remember listening to the same cassette for a month in my car.

This meant that I listened to an album a LOT. ¬†Not just once or twice, but ten times, 100 times, even more. ¬†I got to know those songs. ¬†Got to know the song before each song. ¬†Got to know the song AFTER each song. ¬†Really dug into the music. ¬†Really listened to the words. ¬†Identified with the songs. ¬†Even mentally stored them away for a time when I would understand them. ¬†And, so, when the band I would listen to for a month on end had a new album, I purchased. ¬†Wash, rinse, repeat…

With that, I cherished every record, cassette, or CD I ever owned… ¬†the music was part of me.

Then, along came .mp3s, Napster, and subscription music services.

Now, for $10 a month, a person can get almost everything ever recorded. ¬†It’s like Columbia House’s advertisements came true! ¬†Any album, any song, any time! ¬†Music nirvana!

And, in doing so, the music industry lost something.

They lost the ability to connect.

Now, if you don’t dig a song, it’s ‘next’, there ‘something else out there’. ¬†Or, even if a song resonates with you, you don’t listen to it for hours on end. ¬†I heard some great music on my new playlist, and I did nothing to further the band (i.e. buy the album in some form). ¬†I didn’t even make a play list or listen to the whole album. ¬†In doing so, I stopped cherishing the music. ¬†These songs are forgotten 20 minutes after I listen to them. ¬†I do nothing to etch them on my soul, like I did when I was younger. ¬†These are not songs that I will hate upon listening to them, then grow into them after 10, 20, even 30 years.

The music truly became a commodity, and the only ones that survive are the mega stars that the record companies create.  Everyone else will live off of the crumbs.