Crisis? What Crisis? A debate on the future of the music business

In the January 2004 issue of Word magazine 16 experts discuss the future of the music industry and try to sort fact from hysteria. Amongst those answering questions are musicians Moby and Peter Gabriel, Executives from EMI and MTV and passionate advocates like Nick Hornby and Tony Wilson.

From the future of the album, through how musicians will adapt to downloading, the panel give their opinions on the future of music. Inevitably the iPod comes into the discussion.
The panel was asked “Does the iPod fundamentally change something about the way you listen to music. And if so, what?”
Stuart Maconie (Writer/Broadcaster) – “Today, as I dozed on the train, Debussey flowed into Momus which then begat ‘Ventura Highway’ by America which unexpectedly became The Darkness and then Interpol before mellowing into Smokey Robinson and then finally Vaughan Williams. If you love music, it reminds you how much you love music, and that music is too special to be packaged and demographically targeted in order to sell more Walker’s crisps.”

Nick Hornby (Author, fan) – “I listen much more to compilations than I ever did. The iPod gives songs and artists and albums and playlists equal weight – your hi-fi can’t do that. It only takes a few seconds to make a playlist, and who wouldn’t rather listen to a collection of favourite tunes – or even selections from new albums – than wade through seventy minutes of an album to find maybe half an hour of decent music?”

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