Music Business 2012 vorhergesagt mit einem David Bowie-Song

Keith Joppling analysiert den Zustand und die Zukunft der Musikindustrie anhand von drei Zeilen aus einem David Bowie-Song. Unbeding lesen, sehr empfehlenswert!

“It’s the beginning of nothing.
“And nothing has changed.
“Everything has changed”

So say a few profound lines of the lesser known, but excellent, Bowie song ‘Sunday’ (from the ‘Heathen’ album). Listening to this song recently got me thinking about the whole music space once again (note to self, I should really stop doing this). Just for the pure fun of it, let’s use Bowie’s lyrics to de-construct & re-build the entire music business in an alternative forecast.

First, “It’s the beginning of nothing”...

Majors are wrestling with the angels, technology upstarts with silver bullets (there aren’t any) proliferate, Live Nation is vexing everyone by signing big “360” deals (still, for now). Publicity stunts over how new albums are released just get more & more ridiculous with honesty box payment options, free songs and now whole albums down to 49p. Ultimately this is of course assisting music’s destiny towards being free (according to economists & futurologists on the web anyhow). Meanwhile industry bodies seemingly make late headway with solutions over file-sharing (though according to said economists and futurologists, none of it now matters that much, sadly). Hell in a handcart we go then, but hang on...

“And nothing has changed”...

Come again? We know that music consumption habits have transformed for good. Access to music is ubiquitous & largely free, when it used to be scarce and fiercely ‘gate-kept’ for sale only and even then at our risk since we couldn’t even listen first. No one’s bothered about keeping a music collection now, because a) music is too plentiful to make sense to own b) the music had DRM on it when we bought it and we’ve lost it since in a hard-drive crash or c) it didn’t have DRM on it, because we got it free from somewhere so who cares, or d) it’s still free on the web somewhere, so if we did want to get it back, we could, but probably won’t as a) universally applies.