Topics include: programming, Apple, Unix, gadgets, large-scale web sites and other nerdy stuff.

The sea change in the music business.

2007-01-30 15:34:59

I've been thinking about writing a note on this topic for a long time. I have this outline in mind where I describe the long (1000-year) history of how musicians make money, and how a momentary blip in technology (between Thomas Edison and Vint Cerf) created a short-lived industry (the audio media manufacturing, marketing and distribution industry). But Chris Andersen just wrote a nice, clear article on this subject, that succinctly gets to the core of this idea.

A shorter version: for decades the music business consisted of touring musicians around (at low or no profit), to generate interest in buying physical media (records and CDs).Today, the physical media that contain music have almost no economic value, the business should be reversed: spread the music around to generate interest in attending live performances.

It's not a business plan the RIAA likes: they own trucks and media manufacturing plants and retail distribution. The musicians own the talent. Going forward, the money will now flow to the talent, rather than the disc manufacturing and delivery people.