You can’t sell a book if there isn’t thousands of books competing against it for your attention. And LPs back in the day didn’t sell in a place that had just one LP to sell. Hence why the record stores became huge.
To be surrounded by competition is good for business because it’s not about if a person will invest time, it’s about which artist will the person invest time on.
Bands used to play Clubs before. Once upon a time, streets of businesses were lined up with live bands. The people of the time demanded it. And they selected which venue and artists got their attention. People pub-crawled to see different acts and today pub crawls are all about drinking sessions.
Today, you would be lucky to find a live music venue and if you did, the style of music may not be to your liking. And there wouldn’t be another venue to visit if that was the case.
Streaming or digital mp3s follows the same old principle. Put enough music tracks on a platform in which compete against each other and let the person decide on which artist they will invest time on.
Some people can’t handle the noise and just double down on the bands they already like. Some enjoy the search for the next favorite and some are happy for the algorithms to recommend the next song. Some fans refuse digital and still go shopping. There’s no one size fits all fan.
Adobe went from a sales business to a subscription business. In the beginning, income dried up but now it’s at an all time high. The customer is happy and they get updates of new features monthly plus they pay every month, not just once a year or every 2 years.
But artists and the labels just can’t let go of that sales model. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
Imagine if an artist did something different.
How would that look a year from now?