The Music Fan
The Challenge
Requiem For a Record Store

"As the viability of record stores have dwindled over the years, I can’t help but feel that our importance to the community has dwindled also. We’ve received an enormous amount of love from people since we announced the closing but it’s been often accompanied by a hushed confession that music just doesn’t play as big of a role in their lives anymore. They don’t have the time for it. It’s sad, really." – Rich Menning

With the decline of record sales, the music industry is in dismay. Digital downloads are the preference for today’s generation. Whether legal or illegal, the ease of accessing a ubiquitous stream of music is only a mouse click away. How does this affect music industry? Ask the record labels who scramble to repair the demolished infrastructure that once housed their framework for success. Ask the starving artists who depend heavily on touring and merchandise to make a living. And last, but not least, ask the record stores who are liquidating their inventory and closing their doors. Out of the three sectors, the record stores are affected the most by the paradigm shift in the music industry from analog to digital. From major retail stores such as Virgin Megastores and Tower Records to independent stores, owners aren’t able to compete with the iGeneration’s iTunes, imeem or iLike. As technology advances and consumers demands become more and more self-centered, experiences in the physical world become more and more obsolete. I was speaking with a friend a month ago about this scenario, and I came to the conclusion that any business selling products or providing a service offline need to create an experience for the consumer and engage them to compete with companies online. However, as I mentioned in my post, The Future of the Atlanta Music Industry, music fans are the support factors. Regardless of the deeply rooted narcissism that plagues us digital natives, we should still engage in offline activities. The record store, whether major or independent, should still play an integral part of our lives in how we explore, discover and purchase new music.  


The Opportunity
SlicethePie: Unleash Your Inner Major Label Executive

"Music Fans take on the A&R role, earning money reviewing tracks, spotting new talent and ensuring the best Artists get put forward for financing." - SlicethePie Site

Most services or apps related to music are usually geared towards expanding the platform of the artist or label. What about the music fan? Yes, we have sites such as Last.fm and imeem, but what about the fans who really want to engage and be a part of the creative process? Introducing, SlicethePie - a financing platform for the music industry that enables new and established artists to raise money directly from music fans and investors. This idea covers all spectrums of the music industry from music fans, artists and investors (labels). However, focusing on the music fans, this platform allows them to directly invest in the Artists in return for exclusive Artist access, a copy of the completed album, their name on the album sleeve and a decent share in the financial returns from album and single sales.  The future seems promising for music fans who want to contribute more than just being considered a consumer who purchases an album. If you want to give your two cents about an artist and their career and earn digital pennies in the process, SlicethePie is a start. Support the music!

 


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