There’s been a whole lot of debate about whether or not the internet is the monster eating away at music industry profits.
What if the internet has nothing to do with it?
We’ve long known that video killed radio as the key driver of massively marketable songs and artists (the shift officially took place around the time a cut midriff started counting for more than, say, a killer riff on a Fender Strat).
But what if that key driver disappeared? What if MTV and VH1 – the networks that dominated music marketing and replaced the Wolfman Jacks of the world – suddenly stopped pushing the product?
Chances are sales would decrease, no?
And that’s exactly what happened. When is the last time you saw a music video on VH-1? You might catch an occasional outtake between not so real life peeks into the surreal lives of former stars, but that’s about it.
Peter Brady, Hulk Hogan, and Ozzy are the ones who have hurt music sales.
The irony in all of this will be that the internet – with video delivery tools from You Tube to Google to iTunes to Launch to Urge – is the very vehicle that can bring music sales back.
Maybe the next selection of Surreal Life cast members should be culled from former music industry big wigs who were convinced the net was their ultimate foe. A season as an opening act to Hulk Hogan’s family would serve them right.