The villain’s in the mirror

The music industry’s problems are caused by the changing needs and
tastes of customers, as reported by this informative story in Slate.
Industry mistakes include:
* Believing in teen idols. Buyers over the age of 40 account for
44 percent of the CD sales, up from 19.6 percent in 1992,
according to a recent RIAA survey. Older listeners have diverse
tastes, and it’s harder to reach a fragmented market. So the music
industry keeps trying to manufacture teen stars with mass
popularity, even though Britney’s audience is shrinking.
* Offering one color, as long as it’s black. Successful industries
differentiate products. Yet the music industry focuses on mass
distribution of a single product, at single level of quality.
* Blaming technological threat while ignoring customer boredom.
The last big lull in music sales occured in the 70s, when cassette
tapes were taking off. The industry blamed plastic. Then punk and
new wave killed disco, and sales rose again.

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