Day 317: We Built This City

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November 12, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on how much the Networked Age has changed the world over the past, what, 10 years?  I’ve realized that we have so much more power than we used to – to design and ideate, and most importantly, to actually create.  We are bound only by how cool of an idea we can come up with; if there’s a will, there really is (maybe for the first time in human history) a way for anyone to build, make and create.  Kickstarter itself is proof of that – networking neat ideas with the people who think they’re neat and willing to step up and support them.  YouTube, iTunes, Facebook are all platforms to connect people with programs like Final Cut, Garage Band and Photoshop that turns kids in their bedrooms into rockstars, artists and directors.  This new power has changed things, especially for the entertainment industry.  There’s been a lot of charged discussion about whether this change has been for the better or worse, and it’s easy to tune out a lot of the noise in the media about imminent collapse of an industrial music machine in an age when best-selling artists start out on YouTube, but this isn’t trivial.  Two artists from the band Story of the Year are now on a journey to the center of the sound – to the musicians themselves who have been working, playing, selling, strugging through and loving the past few revolutionary years in music.  The documentary is called Who Killed (Or Saved) The Music Industry? and it’s an interesting and important question that I can’t wait to hear today’s musicians themselves talk about.  Check it out and back it before November 14.

Fifteen years ago the record business was flourishing. Sales were at an all time high, and everyone from the major label executives all the way down to the roadies were enjoying the success. Today, the music business is largely a working class industry. Record labels have seen dramatic revenue loss, and many artists have seen once lucrative careers diminish, if not disappear altogether. Some blame technology, some blame consumers, still others blame the record companies. This documentary seeks to explore the intersection of these ideas and find answers to the big questions.


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