Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke gets to the meat of matters in his latest published interview with Believer Magazine, it covers all kinds of bases, including inevitable discussion of digital music and the future of creativity in the digital age…
On file-sharing, Yorke says: “Right, and if you forget about the money issue for just a minute, if it’s possible to do that – because these are people’s livelihoods we’re talking about – and you look at it in terms of the most amazing broadcasting network ever built, then it’s completely different. In some ways, that’s the best way of looking at it. I mean, I don’t spend my fucking life downloading free MP3s, because I hate the websites. No one seems to know what they’re talking about. I’d much rather go to sites like Boomkat, where people know what they’re talking about.
The world’s biggest music market, USA, has seen some positive and some worrying trends in recent months.
With iTunes ascendant and Amazon MP3 store now claiming c.8% of US digital music sales, with 15% of US internet users purchasing music from online stores in the third quarter of 2008, NPD Group reports.
This contrasts with CD purchasing figures, which continue to decline faster than digital grows. Nielsen SoundScan reports US album sales were down 21.7% in the first week of December, compared with the same period last year.
We caught up with UK online music service 7digital’s chief executive Ben Drury this week. A seasoned digital music industry professional, he shared his insights on Apple’s music market challenges as competition proliferates, social networking in music, lossless music downloads and much more.
Distorted Loop:Why does music matter? Ben Drury: Although music is not defined in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow_hierarchy_of_needs), I believe it must figure pretty highly on most people’s lists. In all cultures, with the possible exception of some extremist religious societies, music forms an integral part of self-expression, social cohesion, worship etc
Mulligan points out that as an active musician and an industry analyst, he (and we agree with him) doesn’t believe artists should be returned to some romantic position as unpaid minstrels travelling from town-to-town in hope of earning a few cents to survive.
The value of unlicensed music trafficked on P2P networks in 2007 was $69 billion, according to new MultiMedia Intelligence research, though the researchers warn the value shouldn’t be seen as lost revenue but instead reflects the “fair value” on a per–track basis of traded music files.
“A $69 billion figure is staggering to contemplate, but it effectively illustrates the impact of piracy on the music industry,” according to Rick Sizemore of MultiMedia Intelligence.
The retailer has only secured permission to sell 500 albums in this new combined format, including releases from the likes of Sub Pop and Matador, but the scheme has seen Insound’s vinyl sales double in the last 18 months, the report claims.
Apple’s “hobby” the Apple TV has a chance at becoming a ubiquitous household item, though the company may need to add support for non-Apple media services and implement many new features if it seriously intends making an iPod-level impact on this important growing market.
The reason Apple has the chance is visible in the growing momentum behind development of solutions to bring online video to the front room – a sector becoming quickly more intense.
Online video on-demand services such as iTunes or Hulu are hot properties, meaning many more devices – including TVs offering features similar to the Apple TV – should begin to reach market en masse starting next year. And even if Apple does not develop such solutions there will still be winners and losers in the race to offer the ‘iPod’ equivalent of the multimedia for the front room box.
AC/DC’s quite brilliant ‘Black Ice’ album may not be available online, and while the legendary band have offered a few treats for the digital generation this latest fan-based move is something else…
AC/DC feature in the world’s first music video created within an Excel spreadsheet, built using ASCII art. Bigging up the clip, the band’s ‘people’ said, “AC/DC smashes through the corporate firewall with real rock ‘n’ roll. Watch the video playing back as ASCII art in Microsoft Excel!”
You can see the clip after the break, mainly so we could include an image of the new album and note that relatively recent estimates suggest the band’s music’s been downloaded in excess of half a million times of the file-sharing networks…