I was pondering the nature of custom music and library music when I stepped into my closet and realized I was surrounded by marvelous, historical models of custom-made clothing and those which were ready-to-wear.
Like most people from the last 100 years, 99.9% of my clothing is fairly inexpensive, mass-produced, purchased at retail and bought ready-to-wear.
I think I own one or two custom-made, high-end pieces.
CUSTOM MADE WAS ONCE THE NORM
Before the industrial revolution, pretty much all clothing was hand-made for the specific wearer.
With the rise of the industrial revolution, the nature of fashion artists and artisans, designers and tailors, seamstresses and milliners evolved rapidly as the clothing industry switched heavily from haute couture to prêt-à-porter.
Due to ready-to-wear, customers at all economic levels could now afford much less expensive, varied and extensive wardrobes.
SURVIVING AND THRIVING THROUGH CHANGE
With these changes, most custom dressmakers and tailors vanished. The industry shifted and the demand for most of their services diminished greatly.
At the same time a much smaller number of custom clothiers flourished specifically because they stood out in reputation, design, quality, innovation, service and exclusivity.
Interestingly, the fashion industry boomed as top fashion artists such as Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent thrived in both ends of the market produced both high-end custom clothing as well as highly profitable, high-volume, ready-to-wear lines.
THE ART AND BUSINESS OF FASHION AND MUSIC
While there will always be a market for high-end custom clothes and music, the vast majority of clothes and music will be “ready-to-wear”.
Factors such as designing for the mass-market, production costs, distribution, turnaround time, pricing and marketing will be increasing weighed in determining success in the media music market just as they did in the fashion industry a century ago.
FIGURING OUT WHERE TO FIT INTO THESE CHANGES IS KEY.
As the market evolves, each person needs to figure out for themselves where they see the future heading and where and how they want to fit into the ever-changing media music industry.