September 20, 2004
In The City panel
I'm in Manchester in the UK today at the In The City conference (more specifically, the Interactive@ITC subconference) to participate in a panel called The Tastemakers. Here's the blurb describing the panel:
THE TASTEMAKERS – NAVIGATING THE CELESITIAL JUKEBOX
With the advent of the Celestial Jukebox, where every piece of music ever recorded is available to anyone, anywhere and at anytime, how do we solve the problem of helping consumers discover ‘new’ music?
Imagine a record store with over a million albums and tens of millions of tracks to choose from, how would you find anything new?
We’ll look at some of the solutions and get you to decide who gives the best results, humans or technology?
That's happening in a few hours. Should be fun. I've quite enjoyed the conference so far.
In particular I though a point made by Guy Garvey was interesting because of his status as both an artist and a directory of Skinny Dog Records. He stated that music should be free; artists should be paid from concert sales and other sales such as t-shirts.
Personally, I think it is likely that the main barrier to a much broader enjoyment of legal, free music than there is now is that there isn't yet a good mechanism for separating the worthwhile free music from the 99% that is not. I mean, it's great that anybody with a computer and a living room with decent acoustics can make a recording with sound quality rivaling what the great recording studios could do a quarter century ago. That means there is a lot more potential for non-mass-market music to be created and distributed. But it also means that there is no barrier to entry, so most of it will be made by underqualified people and will appeal to no one. So there must be an efficient filtering means in place to make it viable. Of course it's something I'm thinking about and that I hope our upcoming product will help address.