Monday, August 11, 2008

Peter Gabriel: A Digital Music Poineer

Often we find articles which are just too good to condense and encapsulate what we would want to say. Today The New York Times has an article, ‘An Old Rocker Gets Digital’, which is on Peter Gabriel, the musician, entrepreneur and digital force. We would urge all to read it as it not only charts his digital evolution but clearly shows the direction music is going.

The article covers his latest venture, We7 , which enables users to choose between buying recordings and downloading a free version with a 10-second advert. Interestingly the ad expires after one month and Gabriel is the first to admit that the idea of advertising with a track would have been sacrilegious twenty years ago but, ‘Today, I have a different view: it’s a way to hold onto income for creators.’

Gabriel is also quoted, ‘With downloading, the artistic change hasn’t really hit yet. But it’s turned the economic model on its head. The major record companies have some smart people looking at digital models. But the question is, will the people at the top be willing to turn the business upside down?’

The final quote is a gem which is a wake up call for all who believe that there are at the centre of the value chain, ‘I don’t believe in the death of the major record companies, but as an artist, I’d love to see them reinvented as service companies.”

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