Thursday, October 04, 2007

The future of music has two faces

There was an interesting contrast in the last half-hour of this morning's Today [Real link]. There was a piece on Radiohead and the honesty-box approach to flogging albums, which fitted in to the "technology has killed the traditional record label" scheme that has been the narrative set running by the RIAA.

By contrast, though, the feature of the Gramophone awards for classical music explored why there is suddenly a large movement of young, exciting and talented classical artists appearing. The conclusion was that, as technology has forced down the costs of production and distribution, allowing small labels to suddenly flourish, with each nurturing their own superstars. In other words, in the classic genres, the breaking of the power of the large labels has stimulated a wider, more vibrant music scene - precisely the opposite of what the rock labels warn will happen if their businesses collapse in the face of the future.

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