21 April 2006

Music to My Ears

There's a fascinating story over on BBC News, nominally about Madonna, but really about a new commons. It reports on how concerts are becoming ever-more important to rock stars, as sales of their recordings diminish.

The latter fact may be due to the Internet; but whether it is or not, the future seems to be one where the digital stuff - the song - is essentially free, and the stars make their dosh from the analogue side - concerts. So here we have pop songs as a new commons, where the creators of that commons make a more than decent living.

Two quotations in particular are worth noting. One is from Alan Krueger, an economist, who provides the figures to back up this idea:

Only four of the top 35 income-earners made more money from recordings than live concerts. For the top 35 artists as a whole, income from touring exceeded income from record sales by a ratio of 7.5 to one in 2002.

The other is from the ever-perceptive David Bowie:

music itself is going to become like running water or electricity

Now that's music to my ears.

1 comment:

Andy Havens said...

I don't know about you... but I currently (pun intended) pay a heckuva lot more for my electricity than I do for my music.

Now... if you can point me to an Open Source for electricity...