It's the music, stupid

David Loiterton
25 Apr 2007

I'm a music guy. It means I'm someone who loves music and loves the music business. Now, why would anyone love the music business you may ask‾ A business not only in terminal decline, but also considered by many to be virtually a white collar crime. Simple: we're in it for the MUSIC. We love being part of the process; being able to listen to music all day every day; seeing a great band perform for the first time; the thrill of discovery. And we especially love working with the people that make the music - the geniuses and dreamers that create the soundtracks to our lives.

So why is our business going down the toilet‾ Why are we suddenly on the same social level as drug runners and spammers‾ The reason is we stopped making music. And over the last decade the business has been invaded by aliens. They're from research firms, Wall Street and reality TV shows, and the business many of us love is now a shadow of what it used to be.

We used to spend thousands of hours in pubs, clubs and two-horse dives looking for that special one, getting that magic down on tape and supporting an artist across four, five or six albums because we fundamentally believed in its power to change the world. Music can do that, and no-one except the indies and the artists themselves seems to understand that any more. The aliens demand a better hit ratio to try to ensure better short-term results. But what they don't understand is that even though most bands don't sell a million or change the world, many of them are wonderful artists who make great music that'll be around forever.

Artists like Alison Kraus, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Doves, Nick Cave, Lucinda Williams, Faithless and The Roots all add huge amounts of sunshine to our lives. OK, well maybe not Nick Cave. But isn't that what it's all about‾

Mobile music is going to be a great way to get our music fix. What a great thing to be able to combine an iPod with a device we carry with us all the time. I love the idea of getting my music on the move, of always being switched on, of being able to act on impulse when I hear a great song, of discovering new music, right here, right now.

And I love the power of the mobile community, sharing playlists and tracks with my friends and proving to them just how cool (or uncool) I am. Like we used to do with mix tapes and CD compilations.

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