I'm not a huge fan of labels and generic concepts to describe a whole new way of thinking and doing things, but it can't be argued that the people who constitute Generation Y are more often than not distinctly different from those who make up Generation X.

Move aside parents, your kids are coming...

Gen Y is taking over. The generation of young adults that's composed of the children of Boomers, Generation Jones, and even some Gen X'ers, is the biggest generation since the Baby Boomers and three times the size of Gen X. As the Boomers fade into retirement and Gen Y takes root in the workplace, we're going to see some big changes ahead, not just at work, but on the web as a whole.

-- Why Gen Y Is Going to Change the Web
I'm a bit odd in that I associate more strongly with GenY than GenX but I wouldn't class myself as an out-and-out digital native - maybe a naturalised digital native? (My vinyl and CD collections would vehemently argue against that, though).

Either way, put aside five minutes to read the full article on ReadWriteWeb, it's actually quite interesting. Your thought for the day :)

... But the current industry major players can't figure out how in the hell they're supposed to wake this sleeping beast. Hands up who else is waiting for some real innovation? Hands up who doesn't think We7 will last in its current incarnation for more than 18 months? Yeah, me too.

In lieu of a more long-winded post (which may yet happen), I thought it wise to note the latest info on paid digital downloads from the OCC:

London - Digital music sales in the U.K. were up across the board in the first quarter of 2007, with digital album sales rising 69.3% from the same period a year ago, and digital singles up 42.3%, according to data compiled by the Official U.K. Charts Company.

Source: DMW

So, what's the industry still complaining about this time around? Oh wait, the $100,000 legal bills they're having to pay from some of their frivolous lawsuits won't be helping. That, and all the other people who don't have iTunes gift vouchers are starting to realise (I think) that the current crop of legal P2P services just aren't fitting their requirements (and are STILL clunkier and less satisfying to use than the original Napster), and so continue to take to the pirate seas en masse.) Yarr!

The sage commentary shall return when I have a free moment to sit down and write more cogently - for now, that's about as intelligent as I get. (Why am I always horrendously busy in fits and starts, with long periods of downtime inbetween? Very frustrating. If anybody can suggest some effective time management strategies, I'm all ears.)

Until next time...

Little by little, the music industry is tearing itself apart. Be it uncertainty, ignorance or unwillingness to accept the inevitable, we may never know (but I have a good idea). Not even a week ago, the RIAA announced that CD shipments are down 17.5% but digital is now 23% of total revenue. Metallica, always late to jump on the bandwagon, are also apparently mooting a Radiohead-style DIY-price-it-yourself release - after Radiohead have announced that their release was most likely a one-off (one thing it didn't do was make them money!)

And, in the same breath We7 finally gets a fuller-scale launch, with the licencing of SonyBMG's content to bolster its indie label content (with more from the other labels on the way apparently). Wake me up when the paradigm changes, because I gave we7 a spin (with some out-of-copyright material) and to be honest I was disgusted by the way the whole concept of forced 10 second preroll advertising on the start of EVERY track devalues the music.

The industry is always harping on about how digital downloads and rampant unlicenced P2P distribution is devalueing and commoditising music to the extent where people don't care about it - but when you have major launches of new web sites like We7 (famously backed by Peter Gabriel!) whose core revenue model revolves around commoditising music by placing adverts before the start of each track, what do they bloody expect? It ruins the listening experience because the technology hasn't yet caught up with the concept, and it's a stupid idea to try and roll an idea like We7 out now when they can only offer a "bodged" end product. I saw an email containing details of revenues to labels for putting their catalogue onto We7 - it wasn't even guaranteed revenue but PROJECTED revenue! And even then, it was an absolute pittance.

I have my own ideas for how to save the future of the music industry, and while they are a little "out there", I have a few good ideas cooking gently on the back burner and they do in places overlap with the shared goals of Michael Robertson. (If you used MP3.com, and particularly my.MP3.com, that was his project.) Unfortunately, Michael's currently being sued AGAIN by EMI for his latest innovation, the Oboe locker which ties in with his (legal) web site MP3Tunes.com. Another classic case of litigation in place of innovation - especially poignant given last month's ruling in the US by a federal judge against the music industry, which shatters one of the key arguments in many of the RIAA's legal cases against individuals accused of illegal filesharing. You can come to your own opinions about that (I'm sure of mine!)

We live in interesting times... Turmoil is still rife; the industry itself predicts that 2012 will be the year when digital revenue overtakes physicals - but I severely doubt the sales channels will even vaguely resemble the form they currently take. Sales platforms like iTunes are nothing more than a flash in the pan (and won't all those iTunes fans be crying into their proprietary players when they buy a different branded DAP and find they can't put their M4P AAC files onto it?!)


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