Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has said that the music industry’s struggle to adapt to the digital era are a lesson to other businesses.
And he’s made a direct comparison to the oil industry, which is facing a massive financial downturn as the price of fuel has plummeted recently.
He believes businesses need to adjust their approach to what they do, rather than relying on traditional approaches, like the major labels did when they pursued music fans for illegal downloading at the turn of the century.
Dickinson tells Energy Voice: “People didn’t want to be thieves – they were just enthusiastic about bands, and couldn’t believe their luck.
“When record labels got turned over by digital, it didn’t mean people stopped wanting music. It just meant people didn’t want to pay for records any more.
“They still pay for music, only in different ways. They buy the t-shirt, the concert ticket, the merchandise – but the music itself they get pretty much for free.”
The musician, pilot and businessman believes that oil companies will “go the way of the dinosaurs” if they don’t heed the warning made plain by music companies’ experiences.
“People still need energy, but they’re use it and get it in different ways,” Dickinson says. “The oil industry is like the record industry. It needs to look at what it’s doing.”
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And he believes that laying off staff is the wrong solution. “What’s important is to maintain the skills base,” he argues. “You need to think outside the box.”
He underlines his belief that things aren’t as straightforward as they seem by saying: “One of the big drivers of renewable energy isn’t people’s desire to be green. It’s the requirement to be independent of unstable states around the world that have a lot of oil under the ground.”