The music industry, as mentioned before, is in a huge slump at least when it comes to physical CD sales and the digital sales are not making up for it.
Perhaps these ideas don't fit, but I just wanted to throw them out there.
The first idea is actually something that's been making headlines recently.
Nine Inch Nails has given fans plenty of options to purchase albums. I believe that labels should take that philosophy and give fans the ability to listen to albums before others do.
I think that the minute that a label approves an album, they should make options available that day for purchasing an album.
For instance, you pre-order an album for $5-$10 more than the regular price, you should get the album on the day you pre-order it as MP3's and a code to download B-sides, live tracks, and videos over time. If you pre-order for $15 or more, you get the album that day as MP3's, the code and you get the album physically shipped to you and so on and so forth.
If you've ever bought an album that came with a fan club option, this would be it, but better.
Most of the time, people are disappointed with the fan club albums because they don't get that kind of access when there's only a year membership. You may only see that particular band once in that year live. I think if you offer fans more, they'd be willing to pay a little extra for it.
It'd revolutionize the music industry because this would force labels to think about sales other than first-week sales. If something like this actually became successful, it could even force radio stations to become a bit more freeform.
For instance, let's just say you bought Metallica's Death Magnetic today, got the entire album today and had no idea what the first single was. You get enough people that bought that album, they call stations to dictate what they want to hear.
I think the general idea you're going to get out of these ideas is the idea of freedom and giving back to the fan. Just not for free.