Manage for Success: Positivity, Newsletter #116, April 2011


"Manage for Success" is a free monthly newsletter for record label executives who want to operate their companies efficiently and successfully. It's published by Keith Holzman of Solutions Unlimited, a management consultant, troubleshooter, and trusted advisor, and is based on his many years as a senior executive in the music industry.


Copyright 2011 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.


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No. You didn't miss the February and March Newsletters since I didn't send them -- the result of a home and office move. But, as a matter of fact, there hasn't been a lot of real news during the last few months, at least of major import to our industry.


As a result, I've had some time to think about where the music business is heading, and although I tend to be an optimist, I'm very concerned about the future for our industry, our nation, and the world. I won't attempt to discuss, no less solve, any national or international problems, but I will address "the biz."


My first concern is the dismal quality of much that's been released in recent years. Yes, there are occasional albums that stand out from the dreck, but they are too few in number. When was the last time there was an album that made you rush out to your nearest neighborhood record store because you just had to have it and wanted it right away? I'll bet it was some years ago.


And what happened to those friendly neighborhood record stores? They closed up shop -- either due to poor sales, the proliferation of piracy, or just bad management. We don't have them anymore. With a few exceptions we're stuck with big-box stores with a limited depth of titles such as Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart, or well-stocked online stores such as Amazon.


I, for one, miss the opportunity of browsing through the bins for that serendipitous "find," or the recommendations of a record store clerk whose taste I'd learned to respect. That's all ancient history.


And even as good as it is, Apple's iTunes store just doesn't provide the tactile pleasure of picking up and handling a well-packaged LP or CD.


What can you do about this? Not much -- except -- only release music truly worth of you and your audience's time, effort, and cash. Work like hell to promote and market your releases. Be sure your artists get proper exposure and that they perform regularly and frequently in front of paying audiences. Artists and labels must have strong, positive, on-line presences, with well-designed websites. You and they must make maximum use of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and other social media.


Finally, despite this negativity, I generally think positively. And that's my recommendation to you.


Until next month,

Keith Holzman -- Solutions Unlimited

Helping Record Labels Manage for Success.


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Copyright 2011 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.