El último manifiesto de ChangeThis trata sobre la industria musical: The Rise and Fall of the Hit. Es una adaptación del libro The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.

Es un interesante trabajo periodístico con datos y hechos, no con interpretaciones peregrinas como las de algunos tertulianos de la blogocosa (la manera de consumir cambia, las estrellas artificialmente agigantadas entran en declive, pero esto no supone el todo gratis).

Recomiendo su lectura íntegra, pero copio y pego aquí algunas extractos reveladoros e inspiradores:

On March 21, 2000, Jive Records released No Strings Attached, the much-anticipated second album from NSync. It sold 1.1 million copies its first day and 2.4 million in the first week, making it the fastest-selling album ever. The music industry had cracked the commercial code. With NSync, a pop-idol boy band fronted by the charismatic Justin Timberlake, Jive had perfected the elusive formula for making a hit.

In retrospect it was so obvious: What worked for the Monkees could now be replicated on an industrial scale. It was all about looks and scripted personalities. The music itself, which was outsourced to a small army of professionals (there are 60 people credited with creating No Strings Attached), hardly mattered.

Between 1990 and 2000, album sales had doubled.

When it comes to lost marketing power, nothing compares to the decline of rock radio. In 1993, Americans spent an average of 23 hours and 15 minutes per week tuned to a local station. As of summer 2005, that figure had dropped to 19 hours and 15 minutes. Time spent listening to the radio is now at a 12-year low, and rock music is among the formats suffering the most. Since 1998, the rock radio audience has dropped 26 percent. What’s killing rock radio? A perfect storm of competition. Start with the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which added more than 700 FM stations to the dial. This fragmented the market and depressed the economics of the incumbents.

Practically every other sector of mass media and entertainment has witnessed a similar shift away from hits. Last year the Hollywood box office take fell 6 percent, continuing a decline in attendance per capita that started in 2001. The average top 25 blockbusters in any given year so far this decade have accounted for 5 percent less of the total box office gross than in the 1990s, even as they’ve cost 57 percent more to make.

Just 52 percent of Americans read a daily newspaper, compared with 81 percent four decades ago. Magazine newsstand sales are at their lowest level since 1970.

The era of the blockbuster was an anomaly. Before the Industrial Revolution, culture was mostly local— niches were geographic. During the ’70s, American Idol wouldn’t even have made it to the top 10 with that kind of market share. Collectively, the hundreds of cable channels have now surpassed the networks in total viewership. No single one dominates.

We are abandoning the tyranny of the top and becoming a niche nation again, defined not by our geography but by our interests.

Instead of the weak connections of the office water cooler, we’re increasingly forming our own tribes, groups bound together more by affinity and shared interests than by broadcast schedules.