If It’s Retail, Is It Still Rock?

As many of you may know (and for those of you who don’t), I spend my days as VP of Music at StarStyle.com, building on of the first, successful efforts to allow fans to identify, bookmark and purchase the products and merchandise they see in music videos. It’s everyone idea, really. We were just the first to bring it all together. With the help of a dedicated music staff who have a wide degree of insight into the music video production process, StarStyle has enabled commerce opportunities for over 50 music videos. In just a few short years, we will have accomplished what many others set out to do, but did not have the tools, technology or vision to accomplish.

This article that appeared in today’s edition of the New York Times (online) talks about the emerging symbiotic relationship between artists and brands. It’s especially important for the dance music industry to take notice, as the genre has been one of the last to adapt relationships with brands. There are a number of reasons for this. Mainly, the dance music industry lacks a coordinated focus to raise its profile in the United States. As the genre continues to support track-based releases instead of artist and song driven music, mainly because its cheap to produce, market and distribute, there are no stories to tell, no artists that transcend the genre, no organized effort to tap into today’s media culture.

Why is this? I don’t have all the answers, but from experience I know that most dance music industry folk lack the business knowledge to develop comprehensive, long term, revenue focused business plans. As a matter of fact, I’ve rarely even seen a dance music company produce a business plan. This gives the genre an air of disorganized organization. A chaotic message to say the least. It’s something that individuals such as I have to bring back to the genre, after stretching out arms into the larger world of pop music and online media. That’s hard to do, when many of the owners of these dance music organizations don’t care to understand where the bigger opportunities lie. They are quite content to control their market share and although they may support others who want dance music to grow and prosper, they’re sitting pretty and would hate to change the status quo.

I hope you’ll take this article as a sign things are changing in the music industry. In order for dance music to benefit, serious conversations and change in business philosophy must take place.

NYTimes.com Story

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