Two excellent new pieces on the changing landscape around music and digital media.
First up, Tom Coates with recent thoughts on music:
"If music companies can weather the intermediate period between the limited, cable-utilising bandwidth of today and the potential multiple-computer + networked appliance households of the future (indeed if they can help facilitate such a world) then they could still survive and develop brand-new channels which could facilitate a faster and more immersive use of music generally."
Tom then goes on to outline a potential model, concluding:
"What I am attempting to outline is a way in which record companies might be able to approach making money by giving people real incentives to buy from them by improving the functionality, accessibility and utility of the music-listening experience rather than by trying to shut down technology that they don't approve of."
Well worth a read. But the model described by Tom still provides for money to frequently change hands around music. Clay Shirky's latest piece, building on his 'mass amateurisation of publishing' ideas and applying to music, suggests that the efficiences of the Internet effectively undermine much of the economics around music. As with most things Shirky writes, he gets right to the crux of it.
"Digital changes in music have given us amateur production and distribution, but left intact professional control of fame. It used to be hard to record music, but no longer. It used to be hard to reproduce and distribute music, but no longer. It is still hard to find and publicize good new music. We have created a number of tools that make filtering and publicizing both easy and effective in other domains. The application of those tools to new music could change the musical landscape."
Oh, and rather more concisely, Matt Interconnected with a few salient observations on the industry's current position.