The World is Flat

Posted: March 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Thomas Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for The New York Times, says the world is flat. Rather than reiterate all his points (here: 10 forces flattening the 21st century) I’ll focus on one…..

“the personal computer. With the PC, individuals could suddenly author their own content, words, photos, spreadsheets, videos [MUSIC – Bb] in digital form, etc. And once your content can be shaped, manipulated and authored in digital form, it meant that it could be sent to so many more places and distributed in so many ways”

He doesn’t mention music specifically, but music was the first media to really REALLY be affected by this new flat world. It devastated record companies, freaked out artists, and combined with Web 2.0 (MySpace cough cough), it pretty much allowed EVERYONE to become a recording artist. The democratization of music so to speak.

This is all well and good I suppose, but it sure kicked me in the ass. The real problem with this is there is SO much clutter on the flat horizon, you really can’t see the gems for all the garbage littering the landscape.

I guess what I’m getting at is like most other recording bands, we have had to rethink the traditional distribution model and are now joining the online digital music revolution. With some luck we can stand out on a flat horizon.

[UPDATE: Friedman’s cheering on the Iraq invasion made me decide he is a total dick. -Bb]

category: computers,internet,music


2 Comments so far

  1. Peter Anderson April 6th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Hi Bill! I’ll throw in my two cents worth, about the modern music distribution methods. In my experience, has been a great place to download new music. They charge ten bucks a month for thirty downloads (I’m grandfathered in at forty a month.) (Of course, they have higher priced plans that allow you to download more songs.) They have an awesome catalog of progressive rock (tons of Flower Kings, Starcastle, Pain of Salvation, etc.) as well as (mostly indie) music in general. As I’ve perused the pages of eMusic, I’ve always felt that the Mastermind back catalog should be there!! eMusic uses several excellent methods of helping the music lover to become exposed to quality acts they may have never heard of before, which are in the genres of music they enjoy the most. It’s a great way for an artist to have their music exposed to millions (or hundreds of thousands) of potential fans, and to make a few bucks. Through eMusic I’ve downloaded music by Jethro Tull, Rick Wakeman, Penumbra, Nightwish, Killing Joke, Gentle Giant, Epica, Emperor, Mortiis, John Fahey, Sirenia, and the list goes on and on: but not music from MASTERMIND. And all the customers of eMusic are missing out on Mastermind!!!! This is a great travesty that needs to be rectified!!!! So anyway, Bill…I’d recommend trying to get on board eMusic. You’ve got a great (actually, an AWESOME) back catalog. Tragic Symphony, Until Eternity, Angels of the Apocolypse, Brainstorm, Excelsior!, and the first album are all prog-rock CLASSICS that DESERVE to be heard by the MASSES!!!!!.

    OK I’ve calmed down now. See if you can strike a deal with eMusic. Sincerely, Pete

  2. Bill Berends April 7th, 2008 9:05 pm

    A good suggestion Pete, thanks! emusic is not available to the independent artist and I really don’t think I want to deal with an aggregate distribution service (middle men).

    We will be using the artist friendly Mindawn Online Music Service to make our catalog available and will be adding some digital only titles such as unreleased live performances and archive recordings soon. Check it out!

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