2011: The Year That ‘Indie’ Becomes Obsolete

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Is the term ‘indie’ best sent to pasture in 2011?

According to Sonicbids founder Panos Panay, the answer is yes.  In fact, Panay believes that 2011 will be year that ‘indie’ becomes totally obsolete.  “Back in the day, indie meant independent,” Panay told Digital Music News, as part of a broader 2011 predictions discussion.  “As in, I have no major label behind me because I’m not mainstream enough.  Indie was punk.  Or speed metal.  Or name any genre that did not fit into the neat radio formats of the day.  Indie was the Ramones.  Or Wendy O. Williams.  I have no idea what indie means anymore.”

These days, it seems like everyone is getting indie cred, including the biggest superstars that technically qualify.  And as majors lose more and more influence, huge artists are patching together their own label arrangements.  “NARAS considers even artists like Paul McCartney to be indie this year,” Panay noted.  “Most artists don’t even want to be on or need a label the way they used to.  So, an artist is independent of what?  The end of labeling is a good thing.  2011 will be the year when we stop talking about indie music and indie artists but about new music and emerging artists.  Or, just about MUSIC.”

What else is this musical Nostradamus predicting for next year?  A few other Panos projections to ponder:

*Consumer brands’ investment in new music talent will overtake record label investment.
*App Stores will become the new record stores.
*More artist-fan funding collaborations ahead.
*Smartphones are the new… automobiles.