Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Future of Music from South Korea?

South Korean music entrepreneur JY Park was recently interviewed at MIDEM, the music trade show at Cannes. In addition to being a musicmaker in his own right, Park has a model for the music industry that just may be its future. Interestingly, it's based on the assumption that digital downloads will continue to dominate the music business and that CDs will disappear within 5 years.

Park was very open when he told a packed conference that he aims to make 50 percent of his artists' earnings from advertising endorsements and another 50 percent from films, TV and music downloads.

Inspired by Motown Records and Berry Gordy's pioneering approach to nurturing and molding talented musicians, Park also doesn't believe a star can be born overnight. He can spend up to seven years preparing his multi-talented youngsters for their artistic debuts.

"It's weird, because Motown is American, and American companies aren't doing it," he said at MIDEM during his first trip to Europe.

While the premise may be provocotive, the most important elements here are very compelling. Park is an extremely successful musician himself as well as a music entrepreneur; he's neither a disgruntled musician nor a hidebound music exec. He's making a lot of money now, with his model perfectly targeted at the where the music market is going, not preserving where it used to be. And, perhaps most ironic, his model is the American Berry Gordy's Motown label. The bottom line: digital media may destroy the old way of doing business (physical CDs) but it's salvation may be even older: develop good music that people want to hear, and they'll pay to see it performed.

More here. [cross-posted from]

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