The Future of Music- A Book Written in 2005, Read in 2012

I won the Entertainment Marketing award when I graduated Metalworks Institute and it came with a $300 gift certificate to Music Books Plus. I’m slowly plowing through my books, but I recently finished The Future of Music- Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution by David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard.

I read the entire book, but it didn’t take me long for me past the prologue to ask “When the hell was this written?” It was written in 2005.

While the book had some interesting points, such as music should be as easily accessible as water, there were predictions that were hilarious. Napster with a legal streaming service that works? Sorry, it was dead since it was sued. In 2005, Facebook was only a year old and the iPhone wasn’t even released for another 2 years. It’s strange to see how much has changed in 7 years, or even in my lifetime. I lived through vinyl, cassettes, CD players, MD players, mp3 players and now that has all shifted on to one device.

While the book does mention how our entertainment hubs will combine into one, it rarely mentioned Apple. It’s a well written book for someone who isn’t as knowledgeable about the music (or even entertainment) industry, but for someone like me who’s been through schooling, it was a little redundant and stating the obvious.

While technology has changed a bit, there are things that remain somewhat similar. Media companies are still trying to fight the consumer for downloading media, which as stated can only have negative impact. In addition, the book stresses the revolution of streaming music, which last year at every digital music summit, still seemed like a big deal. However, as some artist’s have stated, it takes thousands of listens to make a couple of bucks.

Even though there are a lot of things in this book that are laughable. I really liked the idea of future music being as ubiquitous as water. We pay for water without thinking about it. It’s routine. We even pay for premium water (in bottles, Evian etc..), with the guarantee that it is better than what comes out of taps. iTunes and streaming services are closer to a way of music being so easily accessible but not everyone is ready to pay for it like we do for our water yet, nor the most simple way. Whatever lies in the “future” of music, isn’t going to be a singular solution.

For your entertainment purposes here’s a list of other things that didn’t exist in 2005:
– Twitter
– iPad (or any other useful tablet for that matter)
– Youtube was a baby
Hypem had only just started
– PS3
– Justin Bieber

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