Today Is Opposite Day: Music in the Network Age

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Aram Sinnreich first presented this as a keynote at the 2008 Halifax Pop Music Explosion conference. Most recently, it was presented on 12/6/10 at NYU's Computers & Society Speaker Series. The video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Plm1ulrp2s

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Today Is Opposite Day: Music in the Network Age

  1. 1. Today is Opposite Day: Music in the Network Age Aram Sinnreich Rutgers University
  2. 2. A Little Background:
  3. 3. Every Age has its Metaphors
  4. 4. Our Era is Defined by the Network US Plane Travel Genetic coexpression The Internet
  5. 5. Networks Have Permeated our Lives…
  6. 6. …And Given Rise to “Configurable Culture”
  7. 7. Niche is the New Mainstream… 15.8% 9.4% 10.3% 15.3% 15.8% 19.9% 20.0% 23.3% 25.8% 28.0% 30.2% 35.4% 46.0% 55.1% 76.5% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% None of the above Software mashups Machinima Video mashups Game mods Game emulators Trading game currency Anime music videos Music Mashups TV or film remixes TV commercial remixes Music sampling Altered photos Music remixes Blogs Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey; n=1765; US Only; Oct 2006 Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey July, 2006 = 1,765 Awareness of Configurable Cultural Practices
  8. 8. …Especially for Young People 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Remix Music Video Mashups AMVs Videogame Mods 18-25 35-44 55+ Awareness of Configurable Cultural Practices Source: Radar Research/ Intellisurvey July, 2006 n = 1,765 (%)
  9. 9. Music-based Configurable Practices 64.7% 1.2% 3.0% 3.2% 4.4% 6.9% 9.8% 12.4% 21.6% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% None of the above Sold sample music Created sample bank Created sample music Custom online radio Blogged about music File sharing Karaoke Made play list Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey; n=1765; US Only; Oct 2006 In the past year, which of the following music-related activities have you engaged in? Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey July, 2006 = 1,765 Engagement in Configurable Cultural Practices
  10. 10. “Consumption-Adjacent” Practices Outstrip “Production-Adjacent” Ones 21.6 3.2 23.6 2 11.8 1.8 32.6 11 0 10 20 30 40 50 Music Playlist Made Sample Music DVD Extras Remixed Video Videogame Cheat Modded Game Redeye/Cropping Advanced PhotoShop Engagement in Configurable Cultural Practices Source: Radar Research/Intellisurvey July, 2006 = 1,765 (%) MUSIC VIDEO GAMES PHOTOS
  11. 11. New Generation, New Attitudes 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Totally Unoriginal Somewhat Original Completely Original 18-25 35-44 55+ Opinions About Configurable Cultural Practices Source: Radar Research/ Intellisurvey July, 2006 n = 1,765 (%) “To what extent do you consider mash- ups and remixes 'original'?”
  12. 12. The Problem is, Our Society is Still Linear Corporate org charts production distribution marketing retail consumption Business “value chain” Chain of commandAssembly line
  13. 13. What does this mean for the music industry?
  14. 14. Networked Production: Linear: Verse  Chorus  Verse  Bridge  Chorus Networked: Beats Samples Effects REMIX The Remix
  15. 15. Networked Distribution: Linear: Producer  Distributor  Retail  Consumer Networked: Peer Peer Peer Community P2P
  16. 16. Networked Consumption: Linear: Beginning Middle  End (Album) Networked: Song Song Song Shuffle Play Lists
  17. 17. The Entire Value Chain is Remixed production distribution marketing retail consumption
  18. 18. Industry Response: 5 Stages of Grief Source: Radar Research, Nov 2006 • Denial • Unwillingness to acknowledge Web pre-1999 • Anger • Lawsuits • Propaganda • Bargaining • DRM • Acquisitions • Depression • Literally (drop in CD sales) • Acceptance • Ad-driven models • e-Labels • End of DRM • (mostly, we’re not there yet)
  19. 19. Today is Opposite Day
  20. 20. Audience = Artist Source: Radar Research, Nov 2006 • Configurable music makes the line very gray • mashups, remixes, blogs, playlists, games • Long tail provides both exposure and potential revenue for millions of recording acts • Collective production begins to look more like folk/oral musical culture • We need new legal categories to suit these realities • Creative commons • Right to remix
  21. 21. Product = Brand Source: Radar Research, Nov 2006 • You can’t download a human being • Artists need help distributing hype, not music • Tunecore membership: $9.99 • LiveNation advances: • Madonna: $120M • Jay-Z: $150M • Shakira: $70-100M • Nickelback: $50-70M
  22. 22. Recordings = “Merch” Source: Radar Research, Nov 2006 • Even in the old days, promotional “free goods” took 10% bite out of a record contract • Prince, Planet Earth: 3M free copies in Mail on Sunday • Followed by $22M sellout concert series in London • NIN’s Ghosts: 2,500 limited edition $300 sets sold out in 3 days -- even though music was free • Vinyl sales skyrocketing
  23. 23. Control = Chaos Source: Radar Research, Nov 2006 • Criminalizing normative (and legal) behavior • DMCA • C-61 • ACTA • DRM is bad for music -- and for business • Over 40,000 American sued by RIAA (CRIA has done this, too) • Net result: paranoia, surveillance, chilling effects
  24. 24. So How Can Artists, Labels and Publishers Make Money?
  25. 25. More Opportunities Than Ever Source: Radar Research, Nov 2006 • New B2C models… • Subscriptions • Patronage • …Don’t forget B2B • Ad-supported on-demand • Blanket ISP license • Hardware tariff (e.g. Zune) • Game/movie/TV licensing • Webcasting/Satellite royalties • …and, of course, EQUITY • And all the “360 Deal” Stuff • Touring • Merchanidising • Bizdev
  26. 26. How Big is the Industry, Anyway? 1999 2008/9 CD Vinyl Digital Performance MP3 Players Live Events $35b $19b $650M $1.6b 0 $6.9b $250M $1.7b $100M $24.2 $8.5b $22b Music Vidgames 0 $4.8b
  27. 27. The Final Opposite: Destruction = Creation
  28. 28. Thank you. Questions? originalsinn@nyu.edu

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