Convergence and the Music Industry

Week 3:Lets Begin with this:


How is the music industry responding to the development of file sharing and music download sites? What has characterised the overall response of the music industry? How has this industry been challenged by the development of new internet technologies?

  • Links and Material From Nick Middleton
  • I’d like to begin with a current news story showing how the big players in the music industry are reacting to the restructuring of music distribution over the last few years: downloading, P2P, iTunes, internet radio, social networking and so on.
  • Read the following three pieces. The main story: Universal launches Total Music and two reactions.
  • Start here Business Week
  • Guardian
  • John Gruber’s Daring Fireball
  • I’d like you to make a note of your reaction to this story.’Music industry seizes the initiative with innovative free music service’? ‘Desperate attempt to retain monopoly control over music distribution’? ‘End of iTunes domination’? ‘Dinosaurs extinct, who cares’?Will Total Music succeed, or fail?
  • Lecture: Total Music. Flashback, a quick recap on recent history: how did we arrive at this point? I’ll review what’s happened, with (brief) reference to law, business, technology and culture to see if we can identify some of the reasons *why* we have arrived at this point. If we could identify the drivers of change we’d know what to do. I’ll offer some criteria for assessing whether an idea is likely to succeed in the era of Web 2.0.

Week 3 lecture notes January update: RSS readers, Sony Public Relations Vs bloggers, Amazon store to challenge iTunes dominance? week-3-notes.pdf

More Useful Links.

Some of the most succinct commentary comes from the Fake Steve Job’s blog. It is an interesting blog to follow anyway but had particular take on the current challenge to the established music industry.

A useful resource for those of you with an ongoing interest in the music industry is a blog by a Birmingham (UCE) academic Andrew Dubber.

New Music Strategies

He has rolled up a series of posts about Online Music into an Ebook, a 96 page PDF ‘The 20 things you must know about music online’. Includes handy discussion on Web 2.0 and the Long Tail. A lot of the strategies he advocates apply to other media and online services.

Download it from here.

Music News Pdf Update: To download click on the link below1.2 billion people online and ‘… there have never been so many people united by their extreme reluctance to pay for anything. ‘Music Bulletin

‘Everything in the music industry is up, except CD sales’says Chris ‘Long Tail’ Anderson


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