Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Losing A Market 

The recording industry has been fighting a losing battle for years to prevent listeners from downloading and sharing music. Its claim has been that it is defending artists under contract to recording companies. Now, however, it is losing its artists who are giving away music free. What is left? It has a PR problem of the deepest kind -- lack of relevance economically. Executives in the industry are watching the recorded music business go the way of carriages and spinning wheels, and they are paralyzed over what to do. They aren't the only ones. Auto dealers face the same problem. Customers are moving toward purchasing online away from dealerships.

PR in dying businesses is hard and often unrewarding. On the other hand, it can be liberating because old practices no longer work, and creativity is essential. It comes down to how far one is willing to challenge the assumptions of a business. In the end, few survive because most businesses are unable to step out of their economic models. They expect consumers to continue their old patterns, and they try to compel behavior as the recording industry has been doing. That never works.


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