Mark Ramsey has two must-read posts. Here's one on what we should be learning from this year's CES, including:
... The fundamental problem in our industry is, frankly, that we have so little content unique to us and so little content bigger than us. ¶ If you're all about the music then you're about nothing unique at all. And it has taken the obliteration of radio's monopoly over listeners' ears for this to be made apparent. ¶ Get this straight: It doesn't matter that you have a tower. It doesn't matter how many HD sub-channels you have. We have been borrowing the attention of millions of listeners all this time and now we must earn it. ...
And this is from one about music industry trends:
... the transitional nature of all - ALL - recorded technology that distributes music to consumers. That is, one technology shrinks as another expands, ad infinitum. Radio, too, is a technology, a very well established and popular one. The erosion we're currently seeing in radio usage - especially among the young - is not a hiccup. It is part of a long-term trend we are only beginning to experience. The more we face competitive alternatives which substitute for radio's core benefits, the more this trend will accelerate. ...
Update 10 January 2008:
Mark's writing about lessons for radio. Marketing guru/writer Seth Godin has also posted about lessons from the music business, but targets all purveyors of digital distribution with his advice, starting with this gem:
The first rule is so important, it’s rule 0:
0. The new thing is never as good as the old thing, at least right now.
Soon, the new thing will be better than the old thing will be. But if you wait until then, it’s going to be too late. Feel free to wax nostalgic about the old thing, but don’t fool yourself into believing it’s going to be here forever. It won’t.