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Charlie Hammell
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This is primarily a music distribution issue. At one time, the means of distribution was mechanical, complex and expensive. Only a few well-funded businesses could do it. Thus, they determined on whom they would risk their considerable capital for the opportunity of a profitable return. Technical innovation and proliferation has changed that model entirely. The means of distribution is now the Internet. The cost has gone from many thousands to near zero. The means is no longer mechanical, it is electronic using consumer grade systems most people own. This has completely eliminated the middle man regarding distribution. And music is not the only endeavor affected by this. Most any intellectual property distribution can now occur straight from creator to consumer: journalism, literature, visual art, film, audio broadcast and video broadcast. This has *not* eliminated the need for marketing. And the creators, while mostly adept at figuring out how to distribute their creations on the web, may not be so effective at marketing. The proliferation of all intellectual creations, unfiltered, places an even bigger burden on effective marketing. Thus, while the barrier to distribution is now lower, the barrier to reaching your market is just as high, if not higher. The business of record marketing has merely shifted from the expensive means of production to the expensive means of marketing. Creative people now have unrestricted direct access to the consumer. But it's an even playing field. So does every other creative person have unrestricted access to the consumer. Who will really get the consumer's attention? That's where the business challenge is, and has always been.
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May 1, 2010