pretty clear that there is not really a "new model." Everybody is trying by "casting out into new waters" but nobody really knows what to expect and are just setting around waiting for people to "step out and stand alone as part of the artist culture."
From what I can gather, the power brokers feel we are moving back to a "mom and pop" model of music business. That's why I keep my skills honed as an engineer/producer plus add computer/internet development with a dash of short-run duplication and graphic production to the mix of what I do.
I think we will see more and more people setting themselves up as one-stop shops with emphasis on production or marketing in order to develop new artists.
Just look at how many studio musicians are now producers, engineers and have their own studios. Man, I wish I were a better musician, then I wouldn't have to call anybody! (just kidding).
I just listened to part 2 and a couple of things resonated with me:
1. More Modest Expectations.
I couldn't agree more. I am a capitalist through and through, but one thing about it that does bother me is our constant perception that everything must continue to grow, do better than the last, sell more than before, break the record. Well, all that has done is make for larger disappointments which has led to increased anxiety.
2. Radio is still King for the Country Market.
It would be good to remember that even though Internet seems to be the format of choice, it still does not reach the number of people radio (and I would put TV in here as well) does. Ok, CD sales are down, but I think there may be more reasons for that than just the Internet.
3. Production costs are skyrocketing?
I have to take issue with that. I don't know many musicians, engineers or studios who are getting paid more today than they were 10 years ago. Some are even working for less. Maybe production budgets have gotten out-of-hand? Any reasonable producer will tell you that a great record can be made for $100K or even less. If we spend $250K+ (during a recession) on a production and wonder why we're not making any money, we need to take a remedial math class. I understand that the 1 smash artist can't support the 10 not-so-smash artists anymore but where in the world is new talent going to be developed? This ties in to adopting more modest expectations.