“When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to.”
The above quote from Clay Shirky, in my mind, perfectly encapsulates the fear inherent in business models effected by the internet, social media and new methods of information distribution.
And it fits perfectly for music – specifically the line “They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place.” If the 10 years (!) since Napster has taught has anything, it’s that even the smartest (cough *Snocap* cough), best funded (cough *SpiralFrog* cough) and even most popular (COUGH *myspace* COUGH) music services/systems invented don’t cut it during a revolution. And they certainly can’t “replace” music sales.
Nothing is sacred.
So what to do? Try. Measure. Optimize. Fail. Try again. Same as it ever was.