Ten years ago the RIAA fought the decrease in sales of music CDs by different means, including: taking their customers to court, lobbying to have the ISPs stopping Internet Access to anyone who shared music files, and imposing taxes to any device able to store or play music, assuming everyone was in piracy.
Ten years later, all these actions from RIAA seem ridiculous. In 2019 music is no longer sold in discs or in any physical format. All music is distributed online and, to what would have been a surprise for RIAA in 2009, for free. Artist distribute their tracks freely online, and encourage their fans to share them with their friends.
Social Networks like Facebook, MySpace, uTube and Amazon.net play now a central role in the music industry. All artists compete for attention and try to influence others to become fans. Becoming a fan of a band gives the user access to their songs, to their music videos and to buy their merchandise online.
Artists get the ad revenues from their sites, and more substantial revenues for the $0.99 monthly fees that the SuperFans (premium fans) pay to have access to exclusive content around artists, such as interviews, live chats, or clips behind the scenes. Superfans enjoy other benefits, including discounts in tickets for live concerts.
In 2019, the labels and the RIAA have almost disappeared, and artists now deal directly with their audience, thanks to the social network platforms that manage the SuperFans subscriptions, as well as the online purchases.
Now there is a huge amount of semiprofessional artists that generate some revenues from their creations. Still there are a few celebrity artists that command hundreds of thousands of SuperFans.
Music did survive the era of the Recording Labels. The new Online Music era is more democratic in who gets the attention, and has removed inefficient intermediaries between artists and fans.
Cartoon found via Wired.com
This post is a prediction of what could be written in ten years from now about the Music Industry. Soon another post about Movies in 2019.