A recent article in Crain's New York Business (subscription required), titled "Music Labels' New Leaders," explores the music industry's shift to hiring the hippest hitmakers to man the helm of many top -level positions in the business.
This trend is just one play -- of many -- in the book of record labels trying to turn the business around. The fact that record labels need some assistance is no secret. Just look at EMI's recent rejection of Warner's bid ($4.1 billion) for acquisition -- because it was reportedly too low. Further proof of the dire straits that the music industry is in comes from the aforementioned Crain's article itself:
"Overall album sales in 2006 were down 1.2%, to 646.6 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- despite a dramatic rise in legal digital downloads. Analysts predict that the market will weaken further this year."
Surely hiring the hottest producers of the moment isn't going to be enough to make up for those sales, mainly because the music business isn't just about music sales. Here's an insider's view on the measures the music industry can employ to better connect their artists with the artists' fans, and hopefully to even garner some new ones for them.
On February 21, Fast Company held a roundtable discussion with leaders in the music industry to discuss the future of music. Panelists included, Grammy winner John Legend, Musictoday CEO Nathan Hubbard, VP-A&R Capitol Records David Wolter, OK GO's viral marketer Jorge Just, and associate chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music Jason King.
Click on title links to watch video clips from this discussion: