It’s tough being in the rock and saussage rolls business these days. In this interesting piece from The Economist they paint an interesting picture. Most entertainment people have been suggesting live is the new old music business. Big tours, summer festivals selling everything but singular recordings. But The Economist suggests that globally, the live music scene (at least at the top50 worldwide acts end) is in decline -0 by 12% since 2008. This follows on from reports last year that acts like Celine Dion and Sting were cancelling concerts, something unheard of with acts of that status. What to do if you’re a rock star eh? As they said in the 90’s – comedy is the new rock n roll.
Has technology made rights management redundant? Just because I can copy and distribute without paying for contetnt – is it right? Can music companies survive on income streams other than unit sales & publishing? When I first worked in music publishing an old hand once said “just because I have the technology to break into your car, and I really like it, does that mean I have the moral OK to use it?”. But in a world of endless distribution everyone now has the car alarm bleeper to everyones musical car. My head tells me that rights owners can longer control their work and they have to adapt to a new model (whatever that may be) – but my heart tells me that too many technology companies are happy to exploit the work, investment and talent of the creative industries upon which they feast whilst expecting nice clear and traditional (retail, licenses, patents, top price for new products) – revenue streams for their own businesses.
This is a great article pointing out the issues facing music and other media owners too. Do I need to ‘own’ a newspaper? No. Do I need to own a movie that Sky shows? No. Do I need pay for access to great content, with a simple app stylee payment from my various devices? Of course. ‘the greatest compliment I can receive is to pay me for my work’ – Picasso. What I need is fast, brilliant access to content and for that I’m willing to pay – as with Sky, my monthly fee and then I can pick and choose and browse. How do Sky pay for their package from Warners and Disney? I don’t care. Unfortunately a lot of media owners are still focused.on selling a download, a track, a unit. And as tbis article points out the consumer’s attraction to this is waning: digital music downloads in US growing at a measley 1% in 2009/10.