Digital Killed The CD Star

01.07.08 10 years ago 23 Comments

Words By MZ

Street Music Players

The music industry as we know it is coming to an end.

Slowly but surely the physical distribution system (Vinyl, Cassette, & CD’s) is moving toward digital distribution. As CD sales continue to fall year after year, even the staunchest supporters of the industry status quo are beginning to see the end is near. The meteor is headed toward the dinosaurs and they have two choices: adapt and evolve or become extinct. After years of fighting change, rappers are beginning to warm to the idea of music being distributed digitally. DMX, Joe Budden, & Lil Wayne have all secured deals for their music to be sold online. Soulja Boy used Myspace and YouTube to create a buzz before obtaining his deal. And Jay-Z, two months removed from refusing iTunes the right to sell his songs from American Gangster individually, is rumored to be starting a digital record label with Apple.

Up-and-coming artists looking to break in are now forced to find their way in an uncertain environment. Everyone is speculating what will happen in with this new business model, but few are actually giving solutions and offering suggestions on what to do. One person offering a solution is Andrew Dubber, a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University in the UK. He also runs the website New Music Strategies, which in his words: “… is a website devoted to helping small-medium music businesses and independent artists use new internet technologies and strategies in order to make money and thrive in the new environment.”

He has also written an e-book entitled “20 Things You Must Know About Music Online,” which is a collection of posts that first appeared on his website. The book can be downloaded for free or purchased from his website. This 96-page book is a good read for anyone pursuing a career as an artist or interested in the evolving face of the industry period. It is easy to follow and chock-full of great advice. More importantly, it just produced in June of 2007 so the information is relevant. After reading the book, any artist would do their self a favor by adding his website to their favorites list because he continually updates his site like it was a blog.

For more information, visit

U.S. Album Sales Down, Digital Sales Up [Wired]

“British music industry boosted by online sales” [ZDNet]

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars [Wired]

Around The Web