On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 06:15:32AM -0400, Dave Phillips wrote:
I wasn't going to add to this, but I just got into the middle of an argument between two friends on this subject on Sunday, before reading this thread.
Indeed, CD's are dead. Kids listen to iPods and YouTube, and they don't spend a dime on music except at iTunes store. The hipper music lovers in their 20's all have record players and buy vynil, which they buy at shows or from the few indie record stores left (this is San Francisco, after all), so there's some music being sold, but not much.
There's a long tail now, and the tail is HUGE, and it includes everything you could imagine, with a diversity that I never would have dreamed of even 10 years ago. The head has shrunk to a vile core of processed Disney acts, but then-- as has already been noted here-- the head has always been vile pap.
Other than that? There has always been regression to the mean, a normal distribution, no big deal.
What's changed in 50 years? The distribution has morphed from leptokurtic to platykurtic.
As a record producer and studio-owner friend put it, "There will never be a massive blockbuster hit record like Thriller again". Indeed, nor even any like its successively-attenuated echoes or harmonics either: Nevermind, OK Computer, or even X&Y. Bands will be small, records will be small, scenes and trends will be varied and diverse, and "blockbusters" will be more like isolated internet memes.
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