Friday, 13 November 2009

The day the music died



'Free access to music will destroy the recording industry' Sounds familiar? It was said in the 1920s about the invention of wireless.

The gramophone industry at the time was horrified that instead of people paying to hear content they just 'tuned-in' for free.  Luckily for the gramophone industry the government was worried enough to take the BBC out of private hands and turn it into a corporation and charge us all a licence fee.

If you really want something you will find it.  American prohibition in that same period didn't stop American's from finding booze.  When during the sixties here in the UK there was a pop music explosion with the BBC only playing a few hours 'pop' a week listeners tuned into to pirate radio which was then made illegal by the government.  Are you spotting a trend here?  As a trade off we did finally get proper commercial 'local' radio nearly 50 years after the rest of the world.

Here is an extract from a letter to 'Gramophone' from May 1924:
There appears to be much needless uneasiness on the part of some gramophone lovers regarding the general effect of the broadcasting boom upon the gramophone world. Of wireless and the gramophone neither can supersede the other, although they can be most usefully allied to enhance the harmonious amenities of music in time home circle. Regardless of our own desires of the moment, the wireless programme is transmitted to us in its own particular order at its own particular time the gramophone is subject to our own control, to be accommodated to our own particular mood at any particular time.

So here we are in the so very different 21st century?  Listeners really want content but they will not pay for it.  So content will have to be free and money will need to be made within the content. 

1 comment:

Cyberdoyle said...

Yep, the day the music started to die was when government dinosaurs sided with the music industry instead of realising that times have changed. They are trying to prop up an obsolete method of delivery. One day they will get IT. Darth Mandy has a lot to answer for, and I hope the next government doesn't fall for his spin.