The last time the global music industry showed growth was 1999, when Britney Spears released Hit Me Baby One More Time and the likes of Manic Street Preachers and Belle & Sebastian won Brit awards. That year revenues peaked at $28.6bn; says James Waterson of City A.M., London’s first free daily business newspaper.
This is good news for the music industry and according to Frances Moore, chief executive of industry body IFPI, the result of “hard-won successes for an industry that has innovated, battled and transformed itself over a decade,”
A hard battle indeed has been fought primarily in the world’s courts suing, bullying and browbeating in most cases their best fans, their customers. This has been an immensely costly battle and a small positive swing of 0.3% in revenue growth does not constitute a victory for an industry that creates very little value for the artist or the customer.
The battle, that Mr Moore refers to, has been fought to maintain the old ways in which the music industry made money, the old ways in which it did business. But there are now new rules and new scripts for success. Customers and suppliers don’t buy law or contracts, they buy relationships.
Innovations, disruptions and new business models come from entrepreneurs who create platforms for tribes of passionate listeners. The rewards are not found in the court rooms or old business models. In the Connection Economy, the economic era we find ourselves in today, profit and growth is achieved by leveraging the competitive advantage of relationships, generosity, trust, creativity, art and humility. Something lawyers and industrialist don’t get.
In the world of fast, quick and easy switching from one product provider to the next. In the world driven by the promise of efficiencies and ever decreasing costs and prices; competitive advantage and differentiations exists in creating special relationships.
To achieve this we need a new mindsets, a new SCRIPT. The art of Story-telling, not spin but the genuine story of you and your quest. The art of Collaboration – building platforms for our communities to engage, have fun, interact and transact. Rewards shared across the community; Intelligence for the collection and action of data and evolution; Passion linked to your quest and defining the hole you leave when no longer here. Trust and Transparency the foundation of advantage.
The founder of the John Lewis Partnership, Spedan Lewis a man of profound vision once said: “The present state of affairs is really a perversion of the proper working of capitalism” Perversions like: bosses that sue their customers, bosses that pollute environments, bosses that treat staff poorly, bosses create mind numbing work environments, or bosses that let horse meat enter their supply chain.
The proper workings of capitalism focuses on relationships and puts the soul back into business and it can bring the soul back to the music industry or any other industry for that matter.