Ziggy Marley Predicts the Future of the Music Industry

Question: Where is the recording industry right now?

Ziggy Marley: Well, what we see is that the record labels are still trying to hold on to power, but it's getting less because record labels have the connection with the big retail stores. All the retail stores that are left are in business with the record labels so for an independent company like myself, it's hard to get into a big retail store because they're already connected with a record label who give them all the other commercial stuff that, you know, they buying.

So it's hard for us but we're making music a lot less these days in terms of expenses. And so, I don't have to make... I don't sell a million records to make some money from a CD. You know, it's not... it's not about that, what... where we make our... where we make our... Our strength is in playing music live. You know, the records are there to help to promote. But it's live. If you cannot play music live in the future, you know, you're not going to have a chance.  You have... be able to play music live. I think that's where the future is, playing it live and just not expecting to be... not expecting to sell 10 million records. I don't have to sell 10 million records to be able to be successful, to be able to be credible or to be able to be loved by people. I haven't sold 10 million records but people know me because of the substance of the music that I do and the meaning of the music. That becomes much more important now and gives us longevity. 

That is where... those who come and go with the flight of what's hot and trends, they don't last forever. What we do last forever because what we're singing, there's meaning to it and that is all we see it. We see music becoming more, now, important for what it means to people. And it's going to get more... It's going to go in that direction.  People want more, more than just the pop culture, I guess you would call it. And that's what we see. I mean, the Internet is going to play a big part for us. But, again, it's live, it's playing music live. That's where... That's how we're going to connect with people and that's how we're going to be around for a long time, doing great live shows, you know.     

Recorded on: May 7, 2009


The musician talks about the difficulties of working with the recording industry

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