Normal, Illinois

Published 01/22/2015

By Jeff King

Normal is a small city in central Illinois. Home to Illinois State University and a Mitsubishi car plant, Normal sounds pretty normal.

Except that no place is normal any more. The “new normal” is sweeping all industries as the change and technological development are accelerating at a rapid pace.

The impact on the music and entertainment industry has been profound. There is more content available and consumed, legally and illegally, than ever before in human history. We are seeing the rise of new music distribution models and the empowerment of the “do-it-yourself” creator and performer. Middlemen need to provide stronger value propositions or they will be replaced. These changes are exciting and bringing long-overdue reforms to several elements of the music business.

So, where is all of this heading?

As access to data becomes easier and easier, we’ll see more accountability. But more than that, data can help people make smarter business decisions. Algorithms tying together listening habits and purchase patterns with music creators and music users will help identify opportunities with much greater certainty. Think Moneyball meets A&R.

Of course, at the end of the day, it’s still a “people” business. Human ingenuity creates the content and humans are the consumers. As Taylor Swift has suggested, music that connects with people emotionally will be what is successful. But the connection to technology and advanced analytics will be key to ensuring that your music is heard above the din.

This is going to be fun.

In a future blog I’ll talk about Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

About Jeff King

Jeff King is SOCAN’s Chief Operating Officer and he’s been with the organization since 2001 in a variety of roles. His career is showcased by a strong record of management performance, staff and business development. A natural leader, Jeff is a strategic thinker and planner. But that is really just part of his story. He grew up in Southern Ontario and is an avid music, travel and movie fan. He is also a history and business buff. This combination of interests results in him not only doing a job he actually enjoys but does not even feel like work. Of course, if he stopped getting paid he would likely stop showing up.

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