THE FALL OF THE FINAL FOUR
Matt Regan asks:
Do you believe that eventually there will no longer be big record companies such as Universal and Sony? What affect is this going to have on the industry?
The decline of the big four record companies is inevitable. They are crashing and burning as we speak. This process began almost a decade ago when they tried to destroy Napster rather than embrace the new technology. The phoenix always rises from the ashes and due to their huge publishing entities, and the core catalog of recorded music they own, it is probable that they will morph into online distributors with very small infrastructures. As more and more artists develop their own record companies, using Internet distribution, the power of the big four will decline even further. Artists that build large fan bases on their own initiative will be lured into big money, 360 degree deals, especially if the majors can find a profit point in digital distribution. Since the music fan is well aware that the purchase of records is a matter of choice, not necessity, the corporations will probably find a hostile environment in the fan base. Fans may elect to pirate the music offered by major record labels and elect to pay the artist who offers his music and merchandise directly from their own web sites and online music sales systems. It is probable that the only sales of plastic and paper CDs will actually be offered at live events where the bonding experience between artist and audience is most intense. There is no doubt that the selling of music will never be the same and it is up to skillful entrepreneurs in partnership with talented artists to invent The music Renaissance.