It’s been a good run for the music business over the last few days. Really good.
1. First, the obvious one that caught most people’s attention. For the first time since the infamous year of 1999 (see Napster), the recorded music business GREW. I’m not sure if that means anything yet. We’ll have to wait for a trend. But, positive, none the less. The growth only provokes two questions for me… Why? And, how do we do more of it?
2. Billboard has (finally) added Youtube plays to its calculation to determine the Hot 100 singles. ’Bout time.
3. Spotify and Ford hooked up for an in car, voice activated music service. This is a gamechanger if they continue to roll it out intelligently. It makes me want to buy a Ford, and renew my subscription to Spotify. Terrestrial radio is the last shoe to fall in the pre-Napster music business. This could be the beginning of the end for the last gatekeeper.
4. I might catch some heat on this one, but I think the activation of the Copyright Alert System is the right kind of regulation needed to educate and evolve consumer behavior when it comes to piracy. The major internet service providers (Comcast, Time Warner, etc) will begin to caution users they believe are downloading illegally, and point them to a legal purchase option. The devil will be in the details on this one. The user experience can’t be government’y or legal’y. It has to be respectful and easy. Private sector feeling, if you will. And it can’t overreach and become a hinderance to legal file sharing, and all of the good things that are happening in a post-Napster world. We’ll see. I reserve my right to change my mind on this one.
5. Finally, all of the above gidgets and gadgets and apps and platforms are great. But, as I’ve always said, if they aren’t driven by great art and artists, then they’re worthless. That’s why Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk is an absolute must watch for artists and for music business professionals alike. Absolutely inspiring.
That robot of Michael Scott they used in the series finale of The Office was super believable.