It has been fairly obvious that the record industry is in decline, has been for years, and will probably continue to decline for some time. That's because the RECORD industry is based on a decades-old business model of selling discs of either the vinyl or laser-read variety. The music industry, it seems, has never been better.
Artists and record labels that have embraced the internet and new ways of doing business are being rewarded. Imogen Heap, a 31-year old recording artist from England (formerly of the band Frou Frou) is a great example of this. As a recent article on the Telegraph website says, she "has a lucrative sideline in “sync deals”—licensing her songs for use on television and in ads and film soundtracks."
I truly believe that this sort of licensing of music will be the future of the music industry. Fans will still get to hear and share the music they love and artists will still be rewarded for their hard work. The difference is that it will be companies paying the artist's salary via these licensing deals. The more popular an artist is, the more choices they'll have when it comes to aligning their music with a brand.
A great example of this in action can be seen in this ad from Nike SB featuring pro-skaters Paul Rodriguez and Eric Koston, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, and music from Ice Cube (SB is Nike's surf/skateboard/snowboard brand):
(Yeah, you can watch it here on BlogCampaigning or your RSS reader, but I highly recommend you watch the full-screen version with the sound on.)
I was out riding my skateboard through the streets of Toronto's Little Italy neighbourhood within two hours of seeing the video. I had that song stuck in my head (and will forever associate it with Nike), and although I was wearing a pair of Nikes, they're two years old and the video has me thinking about buying new ones.
I've never been a fan of Ice Cube's music, and didn't even know that the song in the video ("Today Was A Good Day") was was by him.
The result of this video was that I was entertained by a commercial so much that I watched it a few times and shared it with some friends. I became a fan of Ice Cube's song, and he probably got rewarded by Nike for having it play along with the video.