David Pakman: Witnessing The Atomization Of The Music Industry And What Do Do About It

We are witnessing the atomization and decentralization of the music industry, says David Packman, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock and former eMusic CEO. The music industry's best hope going forward is to decentralize music consumption as well.

image from www.scienceblog.com "We have been witnessing the atomization of artistic culture. The internet gives us far more choice than the limits imposed upon us by broadcast media. We know of more bands, we can get tour dates pushed to us, can sample music long before it is released and we can reserve tickets well before the show. But we are doing this across many more artists, spreading our limited disposable income around in ways we didn’t when we had fewer choices..."

"The future of the (music) business is atomized and decentralized. It is one where the collective power of the many fans actively engaged in discovery and sharing have more power than a few senior execs calling the shots about marketing budgets. Yes, there will always be superstars...But today’s superstars sell a fraction of records/downloads as the ones from years past..."

The New Power -

"The new power, in my mind, is granted to the aggregators who pull together our collective wisdom. The music business today is blogs, Twitter tweets, Facebook links, the Hype Machine, TheSixtyOne, Rockwood Music Hall, Pandora and Foursquare."

"Part of the fabric of the web,
not an overlay"

"...Where might today’s execs focus their energy? Providing tools and assets to empower the many fans willing to do their marketing work for them... Shouldn’t the music catalogs be available through a click-wrap API, paving the way for thousands of new music filters on hundreds of thousands of web sites? Shouldn’t music be decentralized? Not free, but just available everywhere...Music needs to become part of the fabric of the web, not an overlay on top of it. Like I can embed my Twitter stream anywhere, I need to be able to embed the music driving my life all over the web too. Not just the song names, the music itself. I have a need to share it, but I really can’t today. If this happened, the businesses that could be built on top of it are quite interesting. The data becomes the value here enabling the new generation of music programmers to emerge based on the collective and specific expertise of the masses."

- From David Packman, The Sad State of the Old Music Business

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