BAS Message
May 2010

Webmasters Note: This space will (from May, 2009 forward) be called The BAS Message, since it may be written by someone other than the President of the BAS. —Barry

1.  Media consultant Eric Garland says the record industry ignored the internet for years. Napster was just the opening salvo. A popular theory is that the past decade would have been very different if the record labels had gone into business with Napster instead of suing it. Garland's contrarian viewpoint is that it wouldn't have changed much.

"Over the last 10 years, think of how many things were characterized as 'the ultimate response' to the problem of the internet," he said. "Ringtones, iTunes, paid-subscriptions services, DVD audio, MySpace and ad-supported streaming were all supposed to save the industry. But there was no magic bullet because it wasn't about a problem that needed fixing. It was the evolution of the marketplace. Piracy didn't kill the record business as much as frictionless distribution for pennies rather than tens of dollars." Chris Anderson's "Long Tail Theory" posits that the online world's numerous microniches add up to as much collective business as old-fashioned blockbuster hits. But he found the the opposite is true. The internet has been a depressive force on economic opportunity across the board. Only the entrepenurial artists are winning [and not making much money]. Rice University Magazine V66N5

2.  "Classical music is alive and well" David Weininger writes in the Globe. The death of classical music has been confidently predicted to be just around the corner, likewise the imminent demise of the compact disc. Yet by the number and quality of new releases, they're puffing along just fine. If this is what the end time looks like, maybe it's not so bad. Boston Globe 1Ja10.

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updated 6/27/10