I was nodding my head throughout this entire article, to the point that I wanted to repost it word for word right here on my own blog! I don't feel like a snippet will do this one justice, and it touches on too many things to boil it down to one statement, so I'll just give you the direct link: The Future @ Lefsetz Letter
I won't comment too much on that, because I just agree wholeheartedly.
I think what's not mentioned is that those who love music, which is pretty much everybody, whether it's the public or the industry big wigs, is that there's a nostalgia factor. We listen to and/or write songs to commemorate moments, to tell stories we don't want to forget...
So it's not that big of a question why so many are collectively trying to hold on to the days of analog. Industry fat cats especially cling to this, because analog meant that people got paid. Not necessarily the artists, but that's another topic entirely. I mean their biggest worry back then was that you were going to record songs on cassettes off the radio.
We didn't want to let go of our 8 tracks, our records, our cassettes... we definitely don't want to let go of our CDs, and when you talk about doing away with albums entirely it scares the shit out of people.
But as nostalgic as I am, I look at the future of our industry with excitement. If we embrace it, the experience can be so much more than it ever was. Sharing can be as magic as it was then without the piracy factor. "Hey, listen to this..." You can listen to it "for free" as part of your paid subscription, and the artist still gets paid. Music will be shared freely and listened to anywhere and everywhere... and it won't break the bank of the listener or the artist or even the dreaded record labels.
Realistically I feel like somebody's got to get the monopoly on this though, because I want access to ALL the music I love, and that includes both major acts and independent ones (ahem). I've had a few different subscriptions myself in the last few years but since nobody ever has ALL the music I want, I never stay long. I always return to buying albums or individual tracks, but that's not ideal, and it's beyond inconvenient to keep all that music synced on all my devices.
I see it all coming together. It will take groundbreaking vision and massive action, but I know the public wants this and it would benefit everybody involved. I'm glad the discussion continues, and I hope that I can get my upcoming work to break a little ground too here on our corner of the web...