- Recording artists, and music labels
- Hi Fi equipment manufacturers
- Retail stores of CDs and stereo reproduction equipment
- Internet Radio
The advent of MP3 music players and online music providers has begun to destroy the bastion of power that were major record labels. The biggest contributor to this isn't the technology itself, but the ability of consumers to purchase single tracks at a time. While this may mean the end of the concept album in pop-music land, I think in the long run, it will mean the decrease of influence that major record labels will have on our culture and music.
Also, recently record labels have tried to destroy small mom and pop internet radio stations by imposing a flat fee per record played. This is a boneheaded move. The independent artists will quickly find this as an opportunity, and regroup, offering the independent radio stations a sweeter deal than they had before. The indy-radio station will return, only with even LESS pop music/major label influence. Instead of destroying the indy-station, they will just reduce the relevance and power that "major record labels" will weild.
Another interesting trend is that serious music listeners are buying local, and directly from artists. The closing of 800 CD stores in 2006 will mean that music listeners will be buying more from their local symphonies, and jazz ensembles than they did before, meaning at the end of the day that musicians, especially good musicians, will make more money than they ever did before. This coupled with the inddependent radio station revival which will occur, will mean we will at the end of the day get much better modern music than we ever did before.
I also think that we are going to see more classical music being actually recorded. Why? Because with the closing down of major stores keeping back-catalogs dating back 50 years, there will be more immediate demand for the purchase of CD's before, and after concerts today.
I was going to write this all together as a long post, but I think I will stop here, and post more tomorrow about how the equipment industry will survive as well.