A few weeks ago I moderated a panel on DRM at a “music technology” conference. I wrote it up on the Creative Commons blog. Short version is a consensus from non-activists that music DRM is on its way out.
But what I want to complain about here is the use of “music industry” understood to mean the recording distribution industry and “music technology” understood to refer to use of the net by the same industry. Similarly, “future of music” understood to refer to the development or protection of recording distribution industry business models in the face of digital networks. Each of these gets under my skin.
My contention is that the future of music is determined by changes in music making technology and culture. The recording distribution industry has just about nothing to do with it. It seems that every new genre from ancient history to present has sprung from the latest in music making technology and cultural antecedents, and developed its essential forms before the recording distribution industry got a clue (or recently, started to sue).
I may be overstating my case, especially with regards to rock, but fuck rock stars.
If you’re interested in the actual future of music and want to look for it in an industry more narrow than “information technology”, it’s the musical instruments industry that you want.