Recently I was reading an article in First Monday headlined Rearchitecting the Music Business: Mitigating music piracy by cutting out the record companies.
I haven’t had the time to read the article in its entirety, nor for that matter have I really done the whole issue the justice it deserves. But something stood out in what the author was saying, something that gave me that a-ha moment I always look for.
And that something was this paragraph, right at the end of the summary:
A key assumption in this presentation is that the costs associated with the current model of oligopolistic intermediation â€” as well as the artist lockâ€“in that is its consequence â€” is at the root of the crisis in music distribution. The problem cannot be fixed without a major effort to break the grip of the music distributors over the system. If that rings a death knell for the music companies, so be it. Musicians and listeners, the core creators of value in the music business would gain enormously and a measure of economic justice would be attained. Using powerful Web tools has successfully disintermediated airplane ticket sales and may well do the same in residential realâ€“estate sales and in both venues buyers and sellers can and will save considerable money and develop much more powerful ways to develop information links between those parties.
You must have heard that vile phrase by now: “Content is king”. I’d never quite assimilated the causal connection between “oligopolistic intermediation models” and “the artist lock-in” adequately before, and as a result I feel I can understand more about why people say things like “Content is king”.
Maybe the phrase needs reworking a la In the Kingdom of the Blind The One-Eyed Man is King…..