Additional perspective on Daniel Johanssons “The need for new knowledge”:
As a label owner that doesn’t see the CD as a mean of its own, and sooner rather then later want to stop producing them, a development of the measuring service that Daniel writes about might be the missing bridge to a new era. For a disillusioned music executive it will for sure be an important tool to understand their audience, but the really important development lies on a broader scale.
Today the only way in which you can be taken as a label serious is to manufacture and distribute CDs. In other words – you have to make CDs to get aired on radio, reviewed in papers and get contribution from culture funds. For a record label that recently became a music label I am looking forward to stop releasing music on plastic discs. I thought that upcoming streaming music services with “all the music in the world” models would make the change on their own. But I think I have to revise that. It’ll take two to tango.
If you have the ability to collect stats of the downloads/streams/etc from one release it’s all of sudden possible to scale that to all the music that is being released. Then it will be possible to create charts of the collective and very diversified music usage on the web – a chart that is much more powerful than todays measuring of one distribution channel.
To me the current situation is a problem. It’s another gap we rapidly have to decrease. Again there’s an ocean between how things work and what the reality looks like. It restrains the development of new labels and it depresses old ones that want to explore new ways of doing their business. Our industry is obsessed with comparing stats. For many years how many CDs you sold was all that mattered. Unfortunately this is still very deep rooted in the structures of how this business work. But if we turn that negative side around and see the problem as an inspiring factor it’s obvious that we identified a way to change the system. Stats that are better and more accurate then the ones that are being used today. Now, this is where the progress at the broader scale lies for new measuring tools. It will turn CDs from Mr Serious to a luxury complement and liberate us that want to be judged on the music and not on the carrier.
I’m looking forward to an accurate internet chart that is transparent with what it’s measuring and what services is ranked the highest. The chart should be revised along with the rapid changes of the internet culture. Along with better music services this can really make a difference and forever change the main way we distribute, value and explore music. And, from a music labels point of view, change the way of being serious.