Its been a while since we updated this blog. That is not because there is a lack of news in the music industry! Far from it! However it is simply because we have been pulled in different directions by the industry itself. At the moment there any tons of opportunities to make money and pursue new audiences in the music and sound sectors. Indeed the creative industry sector is expected to grow over the next 5 years, and that despite the global economic downturn.
Does this mean the times are good for everyone or even that the money you can potentially make from your ‘art’ and skills is of a high volume? Well lets tackle those two questions.
Times are clearly not good for everyone in the creative sector. As we know large record labels are failing, indeed they have been for sometime. However the recession is accelerating the rate at which their old business model is dying out. This is due to a number of factos such as:
- People having less money on non essential purchases, such as music
- When they do want to buy music, they want it for less (same with films, see the crash in DVD prices!)
- Other industries which might have utilised music as part of their model, and hence are a customer of the music industry’s are trying to pay less, as they are making less. Ad funded websites for example.
- Recessions are time when people invest in new businesses with new models, and the record labels do not represent this sector of business.
- Some of the record label’s mother companies, which might have once absorbed their losses for strategic reasons are themselves losing money. Sony for example. Hence that puts more strain on any part of the overall business which is shrinking or failing, the music part for example.
Its not just the music sector having to face up to new realities. In the UK, one of the largest commercial broadcasters, ITV, announced losses of almost £3 billion! This is due to a collapse in advertising revenue, the same problem that is resulting in many websites either downsizing, going bust or looking for new business models. Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp is now actively looking at ending the ‘news and content’ for free culture on their websites and are publicly talking about introducing a subscription format for many or all of their websites.
However, despite the challenges and ‘bad news’ for the large companies, people still need content. In many ways, people need more of it now than ever. There are more and more websites that need to fill their pages. Due to the recession people are ‘in’ more than ever and need to be entertained at home. Hence we are witnessing the success and growth of the small to medium sized business in the creative sector. Due to the equipment needed to produce film, music and games being so much cheaper than it was, even 5 years ago, many of these businesses can now produce content to a professional standard. This is leading to them picking up work where previously traditional suppliers would have been automatically been chosen (due to to history and convenience).
Each job itself might be worth less, perhaps substantially less, but the business’s costs are so much lower that it works in this new economic landscape. In many ways I do not see things going back to how they were with overpriced video suites and large recording studios in swanky locations. Id like to think that we have now reached a point in the development of the creative industry sector where in many ways we have gone back to the pre-industrialised way of making creative products, such as pottery, clothing, art etc. The idea of the artisan, in their home, or village producing on a small scale.
So is the creative industry sector growing? Yes.
Is there going to be a much larger number of players in the market than there were previous to the recession? Yes
Will they be smaller in terms of turnover and employees than previous? Yes.
Is this good? Yes!!!!