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July 19, 2008

« Stadium, Schmadium | Main | Doctor Doctor »

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Times of London, absolutely nails it (h/t: Bill Bishop):

Futurology seminars have long been obsessed with one question: what next after the internet? The answer is always the same, a new electronic gizmo. ...

Since the invention of the telegraph and gramophone, innovation is interested only in kit that yields profit. What is becoming plain, even under the strains of recession, is that the futurologist’s answer should lie in the realm not of electronics but of reality. It is in reality television, reality politics, reality entertainment and sport, the immediate, the active, the present, the live. The phenomenon is near-universal. People do not want to spend their spare time in front of the same screens at which they increasingly work. They want to “go out”. ...

What is happening is a reversal of history. Artists can no longer sell the products of their genius because the internet supplies it virtually for free. What can be sold is that genius in the flesh.

The whole story is here.

Experiences matter.  Authentic experiences, especially. Cities can provide them, and those that do so gain an edge. All part and parcel of the shift to the creative economy and society. We're tracking the transformation of the popular music and entertainment industries in one of our big, focal projects at the MPI. More to come.


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Broken link; I think you wanted http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/simon_jenkins/article4276451.ece .


I think Jenkins is right that various kinds of live experiences are the most promising revenue stream for most artists. But look at the musicians he cites: Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Prince, David Bowie. . . there's no one under 50! I'd be much more interested in reading how the live phenomenon is changing the game for up-and-coming artists who aren't simply capitalizing on nostalgia-seekers in their prime spending years. I think we'd find they're earning money from a lot of things beyond CD sales and live shows.

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