From the Future
just back from the Future of Music Coalition Summit, which
had a couple of major themes: Fan-financed recordings are
becoming a major driver in the DIY world (check out new player
kickstarter.com); the music industry is rapidly moving from
being product- oriented to service-oriented; Spotify, a U.K.
Internet-and-mobile-device music-delivery company, is going
to change everything when it gets here in the next year or
so; Sen. Al Franken rocks; and the traditional music industry,
represented by a slick RIAA flak who embarrassed himself repeatedly
on a Monday panel, is pathetically arrogant and disingenuous,
and increasingly irrelevant. But we already knew that. Here
are some money quotes from the conference:
you can’t get people to take your music for free, don’t focus
on how to get people to pay more for it.” —Jed Carlson, ReverbNation,
quoting Eric Garland, Big Champagne.
we’re living in a time where every musician is DIY, no matter
how big they are.” —Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune/Sound
feel so old-fashioned, having a record label.” —Mac McCaughan,
Internet is one big file-sharing program. It’s what it does.”
—Bertis Downs, R.E.M. management.
music business was built by Rube Goldberg, and it was designed
by Kafka.” —Bertis Downs, quoting Rob Glaser.
like how the Future of Music Coalition provides exposure for
up-and-coming musicians like Mike Mills. Watch that Athens,
Georgia, scene. There’s a group of youngsters I think’s gonna
be big called the B-52’s.” —Sen. Al Franken, after being introduced
by R.E.M.’s Mike Mills.
far as I’m concerned, free speech limited or free speech delayed
is the same thing as free speech denied.” —Sen. Al Franken,
advocating for net neutrality.
year, the music business is shifting from blocking content
to connecting fans with artists.” —Joanna Sheldon, Google.
didn’t come from Adam and Eve. It was concocted, and I think
there’s a reasonable argument to be made that it’s outlived
its usefulness.” —Peter Jenner, Pink Floyd’s manager.
took the labels 10 goddamn years to figure out that people
wanted MP3s.” —Tim Quirk, Rhapsody.
should’ve negotiated a better deal to start with.” —Steven
Marks, RIAA, addressing Tim Quirk’s complaint that the major
labels demanded more money after Rhapsody’s iPhone app was
was a very, very stupid thing to say.” —Tim Quirk, responding
to Steven Marks.
asking a terrific amount to get the turkeys to vote for Christmas.”
—Peter Jenner, commenting on getting the labels to change
their business model.
start every music story from the perspective that ‘people
aren’t going to like this’ and then try to give people reasons
to care.” —Bob Boilin, NPR.
time I open up a CD I realize I’m holding someone’s heart
in my hands.” —Bob Boilin.
is not dead. It doesn’t even smell funny.” —John Davis, NPR.
radio stations say they shouldn’t pay artists because they
promote their music. But, then, so does everything else.”
—Congressman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) on Big Radio’s resistance
to the performance royalty bill before Congress.
not sure why the record companies should get any of that money.”
—Mike Doyle on the bill.
aiming for the end of this year or the beginning of the next.”
—David Ek, Spotify, on when Spotify will be introduced in
the United States.
worry about making a pristine recording; just make sure it’s
good.” —Ian MacKaye, Fugazi/Minor Threat.
still record on an eight-track cassette machine. I want less
options, not more.” —Ian MacKaye.
you can get fan respect and build some trust, you can get
heard above the noise.” —Brian Message, Radiohead management.
should try to address this huge problem now, before it becomes
an overwhelming problem.” —Peter Jenner, on the lack of uniform
and accurate metadata tagging on digital music files.
someone names their band Various Artists, they’ll make a lot
of money from SoundExchange.” —Barrie Kessler, SoundExchange.
anarchy means losing your house.” —Jim Griffin, Choruss.
ask me about the future of the music business, and I say I
hope my infant son someday gets laid to a mixtape.” —Jim Griffin.