New Business Model for Music Industry needs new ways of capturing value

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First record stores were closing in the US as everyone wanted to download music.The record stores were affected as distribution moved online with iTunes selling millions of downloads. The music recording industry was kind of okay with this as they still had a method of capturing value or monetizing their efforts of promoting artists and marketing music. But that was in the US.

It turns out that in China most music ( over 99%) is simply acquired free ,violating copyright laws and disabling the music industry from capturing value. Google in China is offering free music downloads and hoping that AdWords will help capture some tiny piece of value through ad revenues. This ad revenue will be shared by the music industry and Google. In other words, music companies have given up on trying to implement the US business model in China.

Musicians and artists I suppose love all of this as their music gets exposure and anyway they did not make big money in the traditional model where record companies,distributors and retailers made most of the margins and customers had to pay. This industry is sort of different because the musicians work primarily on the premise of "live to work" rather than "work to live" in sectors like banking and auto which seems to be having trouble in recent times.In fact,bankers are leaving banking (they don't love banking ?) given the cut back on bonuses.

The restructuring of the music industry in China  should spread to the US in due course and dis-intermediation of the distribution channels and record companies will create interesting opportunities. You can be sure that musicians and artists will proliferate and new ways of "capturing" value will have to be built.

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