Last week before a concert, I chatted with LG from ’77 (the band that I support) about the change that the music industry has seen in the last 15 years. Already before the interview I had come to the conclusion that it is not free (illegal) downloads themselves, that constitute the problem. Rather, I argue, their indirect psychological effect is devastating. This is that the appreciation of the artist and their skills is lost. If you can download all the songs of a band for free, you will never experience that magic of the moment, that can only occur in the record store, when you hold the record in your hand and you think of the hard-saved money that allows you to buy it. In the last millennium it was this magic, that we associated with the albums and the artists. Each concert was thus also a magical experience. How can this still be possible today? Apart from the plethora of leisure activity offerings the magic associated with the appreciation of the artistic work is simply gone.
My thesis is, therefore, that in particular the lack of appreciation that goes along with free offers, represents the essential problem of the creative sector. What costs nothing is worth nothing. That’s the problem. So when the music industry, publishers and newspapers consider, how they can make money in the future, they need to ask themselves this question at the center. What can we offer to our users that they REALLY appreciate, perhaps so much so that it has a certain magic?
And a band like ’77 will have to consider how they can provide their fans magical experiences, or at least which world of experiences they can offer that their fans really appreciate.
Actually, not really anything new. Only the technology has changed.