I’m sure you’ve heard Apple is currently the world’s most valuable company, now worth North of $500 BILLION. What you haven’t heard is the news from IFPI that digital music sales are up 8% to $5.2 billion at the start of 2012; so global digital music sales equal 1% of Apple’s value today! Wow, cool…no, not cool!
Why not? Because music saved Apple and without the demise of the business of music, there would be no half a trillion dollars Apple company today, period. Think about it, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad were all products designed to interact with digital content starting with music first. Without the complete emancipation of music due to mp3s these Apple products would have been lackluster.
According to IFPI, the total sales value of music in 2011 was $16.2 billion or just over 3% of Apple’s value. How is it possible for the greatest driver of Apple product sales globally – music – to just be an iota in value to Apple? Who’s to blame for this egregious offense – the Labels, the Publishers, the PROs, the Unions, the TechCos, the Artists??? Sadly ALL are to blame, but no one really more than the Artists because, over time, they have empowered this litany of parasitic companies and organizations to do their dirty work and lost control over their own voices in the process.
Today it is not Artists that speak to Congress but Labels, Publishers, PROs and their representative lobbies who all claim to have Artists’ best interests at heart. Not so! They have an infrastructure to maintain and a status quo to preserve. Change, true change in music will only take place when Artists find their voices again and fundamentally alter the way they do business.