Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men believes that the commodification of music will soon come to an end. During a recent interview with Huffington Post, Morris revealed his thoughts on the future of the recording industry.
“In the next 10 to 15 years, all music is going to be free,” Morris said. “It’s too hard to police it. Now that the public has been set up with free music, [paying] for it is not going to happen. You’re always gonna fight against paying.”
According to a study done by Forrester Research, U.S. music sales topped out at $14.6 billion in 1999. That was the same year Napster made its debut online. But in 2009, the money earned from record sales dropped to $6.3 billion.
The main reason for the decline is that music fans have taken advantage of file sharing. But instead of fighting the trend, some artists have decided to purposely release free music.
In the hip-hop community, most rappers are now releasing several free mixtapes each year as a way to remain relevant and gain new fans. Musicians now realize that gaining new fans can be more important than record sales. The fans who are unwilling to pay for an album could be more inclined to purchase concert tickets.
The record labels are attempting to adjust to online music piracy by releasing music online exclusively through iTunes and Amazon.
However, if Morris’ prediction is correct, recording artists will have a chance to gain control of the music industry for the first time in history. –amir shaw