Sunday, April 06, 2008

Technology undoing technology

Two hundred years ago, the music business was fairly simple. You made money if you were a composer or a performer, and the money came from performances and patronage.

Then wax cylinders led to 78s, then to LPs and singles, then CDs, and an industry developed signing artists and publishing their music.

The latest developments in technology - especially downloadable music - haven't entirely cut out the middle-men, but they have meant that performance has become a main earner for bands, and releases are almost a form of publicity.

Not quite full circle, but the latest technologies have made earlier ones potentially redundant. I suspect that's a pattern, but not a crisis.

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