You could call this an advert April 5, 2008Posted by James Warren in cool, marketing, music.
…but i’d rather call it a film. Stunning *film* from Schweppes.
Hat tip to Mr Clayton. Music by the way by The Cinematic Orchestra – the real star.
Comfortably dumb October 9, 2007Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, music.
First Radiohead, now Nine Inch Nails. All very interesting, but further to my point of yesterday, these are two of the biggest bands in the world – or certainly they used to be – so they *can* go it alone, as they’ve already built up massive fan bases. There is an argument somewhere in amongst all this that says without ‘the music industry’ (in all its forms) to support them, they may never have reached their current heady heights. So while the ‘business model of the future’ may help established music acts, it doesn’t necessarily provide global opportunities for new/up-and-coming bands.
Yes, bands can promote themselves via MySpace etc, but at the end of the day, while it allows access to shedloads of music, MySpace isn’t as easy to ‘use’ as MTV, Radio 1 or Xfm (or at least not to a mid-thirties-no-spare-timer like me). Sometimes, just sometimes, I want the quality control filtering done for me. I want to sit down and be a dumb terminal. Which is why there’ll always be a place for the media (and therefore a music industry to provide it with content that matches its audience).
Of course the likes of Pandora can do this filtering process for me, but you still have to start somewhere (I want to hear music like xxx) and I’m not sure to what extent they feature unsigned bands. Anyway, I enjoy a little bit of serendipity. Without it I would never have heard half the music I now hold dear.
(I should caveat all this nonsensical rambling by saying, ridiculously, I haven’t bought any music for months – unless you count HSM2 for the kids (which is fabulous) – so maybe I’m just massively out of touch.)
Radiodead? October 8, 2007Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, marketing, music.
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I can’t work out whether this is the future of the music industry or just the deliberately disruptive strategy of a band that already has more money than it knows what to do with. The proof of the pudding, as they say, will be in the eating. I’d love them to show live downloads vs revenue – ie show the average price paid. In that way the audience really would set the price as a community, rather than individually (as they (by which I mean we) would all follow the consensus, like sheep).
Mobile phonograph August 4, 2006Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, mobile, music.
Further to my gibbering earlier, the other week I saw this and this and a whole lot else besides and it’s made me think about the future of portable media. By way of a quick (non scientific and incomplete) overview, flash memory technology is allowing mobile phone manufacturers to incorporate xGB MP3 storage into their handsets. This makes them a compelling alternative to (for example) Nano and Mini owners. Throw the phones’ wireless capability into the mix and their increasing ability to handle email, internet and multiple media (multimedia sounds so very 90s, don’t you think?) and you have a practical and cost-effective solution to an all too familiar problem – too many blooming devices. To illustrate this one of my very good friends has discarded his (almost brand) new Nano because he’s just picked up a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. To quote him (he has a work Blackberry too) “I’m just fed up with carrying so many things around.” Interestingly, the reason he bought the Nano in the first place was because his ‘proper’ iPod was too heavy to carry in his suit pocket.
The answer? Handbags for men. Of course the real answer lies in yet further convergence in the area of mobile devices. But will the phones eat the iPod market, or is there an alternative? What I singularly failed to mention in my previous post was that an iPod with 3G wireless connectivity could also be used as a phone (durr). And a portable email device. And heaven knows what else besides (Jobs would doubtless include built-in camera, given Apple’s creative heritage, with some simple edit s/w and integrated upload to an Apple version of flickr/YouTube).
In one fell swoop, Apple does to the PDA/mobile email/phone market what it did to the MP3 market all those years ago. The super-rich celebs, meejah and city types (not to mention the less-impoverished PRs) would ditch their boring practical corporate Blackberries for sophisticated sexy sleek designer iPads before you can say ‘Look at this shiny monochromatic hunk of converged gorgeosity – see how successful, cool and rich I am? By the way, I also have a great sense of humour, am fantastic in bed and know how to operate a spin dryer.’