12 thoughts on “In Beyonce we trust & then on iTunes we buy: End nears for physical media”

  1. It clearly worked well for Beyonce but what about for an up and coming artist? They can’t just put out an album on iTunes and expect it take off…

    1. Eric

      The reality is that up and coming artists also have to work doubly hard to get attention today, be it from their record labels or radio and distribution agencies. Social media is a way for up and comers to get traction.

      1. For the up and coming artist, I recommend searching for data about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Their album — The Heist — was self-produced and they skyrocketed to the top of iTunes. It took longer, but most people had no idea who they were last year or 2 years ago.

        I agree with Om that iTunes is still way to edit driven, but they will learn and personalize and help newer bands come up because people will be willing to spend money to discover new acts.

    2. truth is, up and coming artists are just that. beyonce’s marketing for this album (and anyone who doesn’t know this was calculated is uninitiated at best), was brilliant for an established artist. she did what all up-and-coming artists need to do to even begin, get their music on iTunes and other major digital outlets, which seemingly simple task is become more and more controversial by the year. but, the current structure and the way it operates is really no different than the music industry of old (TMTCTMTSTS). i will give you it is plain cheaper to making a “record” with a reasonable level of recording quality, so more people are not using $$ as the excuse to not cut that record. too bad, because most records should really never be cut, but i didn’t say that out loud.

  2. “The “album” and its success prompted some random thoughts in my head.”

    To be clear – the thoughts in your head were not random. If they were random they wouldn’t be specifically focused on Beyonce, the music industry and end of digital media. They would be random, maybe about the itch on your lower back, dinner, the ball game or whatever other truly random thought might occur. In fact the thoughts in your head were the opposite of random. They were driven by the article into an analysis of the industry that led to certain specific conclusions and that resulted in a blog post. What was random about this?

  3. Beyonce’s move is clearly innovative and not only does it indeed signal the end for physical media but more importantly it points in the direction of where the recorded music industry needs to be if it is to recover from its near death experience at the hands of the digital age. Unfortunately the recorded music industry will continue to be on life support because of the economic fact that the ability to make a perfect copy of a digital work of art ad infinitum ultimately renders that work valueless. The die was cast in 1982 when Sony/Philips released the digital Compact Disc. Recorded music lacks the intrinsic interactivity of software – gaming software in particular – that helps with digital monetization. Adding an app fudges the issue.

    It should be no surprise that the pirated copies of Beyonce’s new work will start appearing before not too long. What is needed to bolster digital music content’s value is another level of innovation which can add finite quantities and limited quantity editions even in the digital realm. If this can in effect be done in the digital realm for something as fundamental as a currency (with Bitcoin et al), then surely it can be done for digital works of art and music in particular, which is the form most at risk thus far.

  4. I think it’s funny how this is an updated argument of what heard in the Napster days: if artists want to sell albums when they can download or stream for free, then give them an expanded package to buy. In those days it was a CD ROM, then a DVD with an interactive experience. The app is an evolution of this.

    So why do musicians keep trying to work the 90’s model and expect people to buy something they’re not going to buy?

  5. hmm, when I got my copy of Cheech & Chong’s ‘Big Bambu’ many, many, years ago, it came with a giant rolling paper – wonder how they will duplicate that in the 21st Century?

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