Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tough Sell

According to the Grammy foundation's own blog entry, it sounded like yesterday's session on the "future of music" with this year's crop of nationally selected next generation music professionals didn't go as well as organizers might have hoped. Facing an audience of high school musicians, old hands in the business explained about their backgrounds as veterans and told war stories about several of the various golden ages of rock 'n' roll, but -- according to those present -- what "really sparked many responses from the GRAMMY Campers was the topic on illegal downloading and DRM."

The campers were asked if they were illegal down loaders or honest buyers. Cohen responded to the campers that honestly admitted that they are illegal down loaders by stating, ”We are in the age of recommendation. It’s not about file sharing anymore; distribution is trivial.” He recommended websites that can indeed distribute music worldwide. But the question that really ignited back and forth banter between the campers and the panel was, “If we are out of the age of illegal distribution why is their [sic] DRM Protection on music?” This question began a dialogue on how file sharing is being replaced by subscription because the average consumer doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on music to put on a portable device. The conversation was then directed towards Amanda, Tim, and Matt, who discussed the details and motives of DRM. They returned the conversation to the campers, asking them about their average buy of music for their IPOs and the majority of shared music on their Ipods. Stimulated campers wanted to know in return how file sharing affected the music industry and were labels turning to the internet to market artists. “But if the music industry is moving towards a technical age what is the point of a major label if an artist can do it independently?” The panel responded by stating an artist can market themselves on their own but in order to receive international coverage they need a label that has the right resources. All in all, the panel got GRAMMY Camp ’08 off to an informative start.

Although the spelling was less than perfect, I admire the official blogger who reported on what was apparently a very contentious conversation. The music industry now also has to deal with hostility to DRM from their own potential ranks.

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