You’ve heard that the music business is on life support. That everyone’s stealing what they once paid for and that we’re all screwed as far as royalties go but let’s hold on for just a minute. I’m optimistic about the future of our business and let me tell you why.
The history of our business is littered with examples over and over again, in which big bad technology was going to ruin us. It actually started with player pianos. They were going to put “live” musicians out of work. Then came the phonograph, another threat. Then the radio. Who needed records if they could get music for free? How about cassette tapes? Remember how the industry predicted that would be the death knell?
And it’s not only new technology that has scared us. Hell at one point they thought Rock and Roll would be the end and don’t forget the demise of Tin Pan Alley! The list goes on and on.
So imagine you’re a songwriter one hundred years ago in 1913. You wouldn’t even be able to picture the future royalties generated by the phonograph, movies, radio, television, tapes, CDs, along with anywhere your music is played including concert halls, night clubs, department stores, hair salons, etc. (ASCAP, the oldest PRO wasn’t founded until 1914).
We are blind to what’s up ahead but if the past is any guide, there are going to be technical innovations way beyond what we currently have and they’re going to need songs and they’re going to have to pay for them!
What do you think?