NY TO LA (Hypebot) – 2007 marked the further decline of the label system as we once knew it and the rise of new release models and avenues for marketing.
1. Music sales continued their decline dropping another 15% or more over 2006. Sales were down 21% in the week before Christmas alone.
2. DRM is dead. Three of the four top label groups (EMI, Universal, and and last week WMG) stopped adding restrictive software to their downloads.
3. Amazon.com opened an all mp3 store where every track is playable on any brand of player and can be burned to a CD. Amazon also rejected iTune's 99 cent/$9.99 pricing structure cutting them by 10%.
4. Social networking gained traction as a viral marketing media. Facebook's open platform and Google's Open Social promised to make SN even more marketer friendly in 2008.
5. Widgets were everywhere bringing music discovery and purchase to where ever fans are online.
6. Ringtone sales faltered, but music still went mobile. The release of the iPhone forced other phone makers to add more music features to all cell phones.
7. The competition among portable players finally heated up. iPods got cheaper with some models getting bigger hard drives. Microsofts' Zune gained traction as an iPod alternative.
8. Internet radio had an uncertain year with ongoing royalty rate battles. Despite that 2007 saw the rise of personalized net radio. Pandora and Last.fm gained big audiences and others like Slacker launched.
9. A growing number of established artists including Radiohead, Madonna, The Eagles and Prince found new ways to release their music without traditional labels.
10. The RIAA continued its legal actions against fans who trade music on the net particularly targeting colleges. Despite these efforts Bit torrent and Limewire usage grew.
11. More record stores closed, but some great local retailers remained strong.
12. Overall concert revenues declined 20%. Are fans tired of high ticket prices and a mediocre concert experience?
13. Concert giant Live Nation fired Ticketmaster (known for high ticketing fees) and promised its own ticketing system by Jan 1st 2009.