“As Things Stand Now, Digital Music Has Failed.”
“Institutional self-perpetuation holds no legitimate place in a world of scarce resources”, or even in a world of abundant access to resources.
An entire decade is behind us and there hasn’t been much progress. Record company executives are starting to worry that the digital music business is already is big as it’s going to get. Of course, many say that there’s still hope to be had. As long as they can continue to curtail music piracy and make it harder to download music illegally, many think that the record industry can still rebound.
Sadly, as Jay Frank, who is SVP of music strategy at CMT, said last week, the music business is still in the CD to download transition while fans are clearly in the download to streaming transition. In other words, young fans are warming up to the idea of Spotify and Grooveshark and moving to access over ownership.
“Not all companies deserve to last. Perhaps society is better off getting rid of organizations that have fallen from great to terrible rather than continuing to let them inflict their massive inadequacies on their stakeholders. Institutional self-perpetuation holds no legitimate place in a world of scarce resources; institutional mediocrity should be terminated, or transformed into excellence.”
In the terms of Collin’s model of institutional decline, the major labels rest somewhere in between stages 4 and 5, which are aptly described as “Grasping For Salvation” and “Capitulation Towards Irrelevance or Death.” While the record industry executives believe that piracy enforcement will be their path towards “Recovery and Renewal”, it’s hard to say if that’s really their way out of decline.