Saturday Summary 017




This week, Myspace gets humiliated again, and lots of people have thoughts about new models for the music business. An enlightening perspective from an independent label on Spotify’s business practices. While there is an undeniable parallel with radio, and presence on streaming services may be of real promotional value to some of the smaller players, unless you’re a major then the paid streaming model is essentially based on theft: someone other than the rights holder being the financial beneficiary of distribution. This article talks about consumers thinking they have the right to steal music: well, they do, but it’s not stealing. Theft is when you steal a physical object (CD), or when you profit from distributing or reproducing someone’s work without their authority. Taping an album, or filesharing is no different from being round someone’s house when they play an album: if you put stuff out there, you’re in no position to object if people hear it. Anyone who has a problem with me saying this can meet me behind the cricket scoreboard after school and we’ll settle it like men. This is an interesting piece, from an old school, big business industry perspective, on why whatever happens next hasn’t happened yet: the old business model is plainly dead, but an effective replacement isn’t in place. The issues he identifies are mainly problems when the rights holders are not the artists, however: in other words, his critique is still rooted in the old paradigm. True, effective new revenue models capable of supporting vast herds of useless, parasitic, larcenous, ignorant middle-men have yet to emerge: is this a bad thing? Meanwhile, someone who entirely grasps and inhabits the new paradigm debates the pros and cons of leaving it entirely up to the listener whether or not they pay him. That such a question can be asked (and from the perspective of having already leveraged such a model into a living) illustrates the enormous intellectual gap between the old and new paradigms. Oh how the mighty are fallen. Myspace has become a celebrity’s vanity website (well he’s not the sole owner, but seriously). Why anyone would want to buy this sink-hole is beyond me, but I guess it has some residual value, if it’s cheap enough – and it has changed hands for a tiny fraction of its peak value. The main trouble is that it comes with no technological goodie bag, and as a brand it is irredeemably tainted, as explained in the following: and here’s a post that sets out a concise and plausible account of the reasons for Myspace’s demise: This is a very interesting development: it seems that the movie and TV industry has bought into the idea that what they sell is access to content, rather than the actual ones and zeros that encode it. There’s really no better way to forestall people downloading stuff for free than offering some tangible benefits to paying for it (as a kid I would always buy the LP rather than taping it if I could afford to, because of tape’s limited lifespan). I’m interested to see how this pans out. As always this excellent and cutting edge website for the discerning DIY musician is ahead of the game when it comes to leveraging new tech. QR codes may or may not be the future, but even if they go the way of 8 track and Betamax, they will have automatic cool value as a result. And this does what it says on the tin. It’s never been easier to build yourself an awesome online presence, and this is a step by step guide to integrating the cleanest and most flexible solution for streaming and selling your music.

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