Monday, July 14, 2008

Labels must change

Peter Gabriel - wearing his We7 hat, of course - has called on record labels to reinvent themselves:

"There's still room for record companies but they should reinvent themselves as a service industry and not as owners.

"The structure of the old album and waiting for that to be finished still has some merit but you can do a lot of other things and I think it should be a lot looser and mixed up."

You have to wonder why Gabriel believes that there is a role for record companies, as if it's a given. There might be a way for those companies to continue to exist, certainly, but the radical reinvention they'll require means they won't be the companies they are now. In other words, in the long run, the record companies of today may only have their stock market initials in common with the beasts they are tomorrow.

It's surprising that Gabriel has assumed there must be a role - it's like telling coal delivery companies that they'll still have a role when the country goes all nuclear; it's simply a matter of giving their delivery team lead trousers.