Just read your post on Digital Cowboys and I agree with everything you said.
I have a son who is a producer/audio engineer working in L.A. – he has a freaking amazing gig and is actually making money and music, successfully, at 27 years old.
What is the future? What does it look like? I want to know not only for my intellectual curiosity but for our son and his family and their ability to survive.
This next generation has been raised on the concept of ‘if its on the web, it must be free’ or a derivative of that line of thinking. This is the embedded mindset. We can thank P2P file sharing for this at the earliest stages and Google for endorsing (passively) the same mindset today.
The next big shift, the real seismic change is not going to come from a mass music player (Spotify, Pandora, etc.) it has to come from a different place. There is a new business model and it has to come from a new place – something not yet thought of.
Music is intrinsic to people, it is in our DNA. Making music, listening to it, enjoying it is not going to go away, ever. The commercialization of music is not a bad thing – the creation and enjoyment of music is a good thing. Walking backwards into the future, whining about the glory days of the 60′s, 70′s or the pre-digital days is just not smart. You can’t walk very far into the future if you are constantly staring backwards wishing all of these problems would just go away. They won’t go away, these are our problems, this is our current reality.
I want to be at the next intersection of music and the consumer. I think that next intersection is a place for thinkers and then doers, not for music execs trying to protect their job and bonus.
The existing music industry execs have demonstrated that they would rather try and protect and defend their current model or grow through more distribution sources (iTunes, Spotify, etc) and while this helps the business overall it does not change the dynamic for the music makers. (Note: I am not anti-music exec . . but I am anti-thinkers)
Envisioning the next step is going to be a challenge and it will be tough for people on both sides to accept the next steps but . . . if the next step builds a new paradigm for everyone, re-educates and trains the consumer on the value of paying for music and helps everyone engage and move forward – that business is going to be worth millions and millions of dollars.
Sorry for the long rant, this is a passion point for me and something I have long thought about.