While the recording industry generally gets a bad rap for managing the transition to online distribution, there is one niche that has flipped the model and uses old distribution techniques to sell music across multiple formats. That niche is indie rock and there are some lessons for publishers.
Musicians have learned that the new corporate powers — technology companies — are possibly worse than the old corporate powers — record companies. How well would technology companies treat academics?
Recent inflection points for the music industry may yet again prove instructive for publishers and others. But is it already too late for us to recover the craft of making products rather than providing content?
The failure of the traditional music industry has become the standard cautionary tale for content industries adapting to a digital era. But for scholarly publishers, many factors make the music industry a poor comparison. We have more in common with smaller niche markets. Watching their electronic experimentation and new business models may be more informative as we seek new strategies for presenting and selling content.