Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Music Industry and the Church

One of my favorite authors and motivators is Seth Godin. He challenges his readers to initiate, to get out and create art, and then to ship. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t try to survive. We are told to play nice and follow the rules and you will be rewarded. The reward is a paycheck. But is there something more?

Recently I heard Seth speak at a gathering in Orange County. He continued to challenge us! One topic of conversation was the recording industry and its apparent fall. It seems that the record industry, the book industry and even MySpace are all facing this fall together.

It seems the record industry is controlled by executives and they are the ones making the big bucks. The LP was the standard for years. Innovation happened and the cassette and 8 track came onto the scene helping increase sales and profits for the record executives. The next innovation was the CD. CD’s cost pennies to make and ship helping increase profits and sales to record levels.

But the next innovation caused the record industry to lose its focus, making them forget they are in the business to sell records. This new innovation was the advent of the internet. With the internet individuals found ways to share music with one another, for free. In the past if you wanted to hear a song you could hope to hear on the radio, remember calling in for an instant request? Or you could buy the LP, cassette, 8 track or CD. Getting something for free created a problem for the industry. So to protect their assets the industry went toe to toe with these sites. Even though the sites are gone the music industry suffered the greatest, profits and sales are not what they once were. Is it too late for the industry to recover? Only if they initiate, get out and create art, and then ship.

That was a long introduction to a deeper question. As I was hearing Seth explain this problem with industries that are failing to create art I was thinking about the Church. We see in history where individuals have been able to initiate and bring something new to the faith. They create new insights, new thoughts, new questions, new theories and new perspectives. Unfortunately the initiators and their art are not embraced. And I as look at the state of the Church today I see this religious industry fighting hard to keep the way they are (were). And I wonder, will the Church be able to recover?

NPR did a piece on the issues facing the Music Industry. You can read it here.

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