Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

A pick and mix future for the music industry

Most pop fans probably probably still associate Dave Stewart with Eurythmics, but he’s had a wide and varied career since that double-act came to a halt. Aside from production and soundtrack work, Stewart is also Nokia’s “chief distruption advisor”. He …

Fri, Oct 8, 2010, 10:19

   

Most pop fans probably probably still associate Dave Stewart with Eurythmics, but he’s had a wide and varied career since that double-act came to a halt.

Aside from production and soundtrack work, Stewart is also Nokia’s “chief distruption advisor”.

He was wearing that particular hat at the Billboard Mobile Entertainment Live conference in San Francisco this week where he unveiled his bright idea to make money from the music industry.

Stewart’s plan? Fans will get paid for tweeting about their favourite bands if someone buys a ticket, album or t-shirt based on that tweet. Sadly, Stewart didn’t go into specifics about how this would work or how much a tweet would be worth.

You can add Stewart’s idea to a lengthy, never-ending list of notions hoping to save or cash in on the music industry.

Over the last few years, we’ve encountered – and covered – countless innovations and solutions as the traditional record business struggles to make sense of technological changes.

From Spiralfrog and Spotify to Harvest Entertainment and Muzu, there has been no shortage of would-be white knights rushing to the rescue.

What the new breed are showing, though, is that there isn’t – and won’t be – an one-size-fits-all solution to the woes of the business.

For example, there was once a collective industry-wide wisdom that the live side would lift all boats. Thankfully, that has now been shown up for the nonsense it always was.

It’s abundantly clear that the dominance enjoyed for a few decades by the record industry is unlikely to be replaced by something similar and all-encompassing. The future is going to be a pick and mix one.

On a related note, I will be chairing a Hard Working Class Heroes discussion panel tomorrow at 3.30pm in the Button Factory, Dublin, called Futuregazing with a number of interested parties talking about what they think the music business will look like in 2020. The folks with the crystal balls and tea-leaves are Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, Ian Wilson (2fm senior producer), Trevor O’Shea (Bodytonic boss) and Xavier Guasch (Primavera Sound booker). Admission is free.