Those of us born before the new millennium probably remember camping outside of a music store like Sam Goody or Tower Records waiting for a new album by their favorite artist to be released at midnight. Back then, it was hard to imagine shopping for merchandise from the comfort of your home.
I used to love buying CDs and feeling the anticipation as I’d struggle to unwrap the cellophane packaging, eventually breaking into the inner layer, removing the bar code sticker seal and finally smelling the freshly printed artwork on the inside booklet, inner case, and on top of my new CD. Growing up, it was always important for me to read the liner notes and study the production credits, trying to figure out how this mystical creation came into existence. This process obviously has personal sentimental significance to me, but as much as I love reminiscing about the past, in business it is important to look to the future.
The digital revolution that took place in the 90’s shook up the music industry, especially for those who were already set in their ways. The impact was felt across the entire industry, from top to bottom and from creation to sale. The most important outcome of all of this is that the younger generation of aspiring music makers have a serious advantage compared to the way things used to be.
Today I am going to talk about how digital platforms changed the recording/production process. Next week’s entry will be about how computers altered the distribution and sale of music, so be sure to check out that post as well. And remember, these posts are about seeing change in a positive light. The music industry is very dynamic, and needs to be approached with a flexible, open mind. I’ve noticed that people in this industry who do not embrace change become dinosaurs, and dinosaurs become extinct. If you want to stay alive, especially in this business, you’ll need to adapt and embrace everything that technology has to offer. We are here to evolve, and the progress of technology is not going to stop anytime soon.