Welcome to the New Economy Part Two: CDs are dead

The CD is dead.

When will the record companies wake up and smell the coffee? In one of my earlier posts I spoke of how the new economy was passing the music industry by and that the obsession with distribution networks was denying the industry an ability to move with the times.

Now it seems the media on which most of us listen to music has become irrelevant. I’m talking of the announcement from U2 and Apple that the latest U2 “Best of” offering is not so much two CDs filled with their best songs, but a U2 branded iPod which has over 400 of U2’s recordings on it, including previously unreleased material.

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All I Want is You

What does this mean?

Why go to a record company if you are a young unknown artist? Go to a bank, borrow money, record your album at the best studio in Australia (or if you’re brave, at home on your iMac) and release it online, using sponsorship and touring money to market and promote yourself. Distribution and the record company as “middle man” is over.

Not to say U2 are totally amazing; I’m a fan, but not their biggest fan. I saw them live at Sydney Football Stadium a few years ago for the POPMART Tour (a few months after Michael Hutchence died) and they played a great gig on a balmy night with the remainder of INXS, Kel and Rhett Hutchence and a whole load of other people who were close to INXS in attendance. It was a hot and balmy night, and just as U2 played “One”, the skies opened up, lightening arced across the sky and Michael Hutchence’s face glowed large on the two screens.

A beautiful, hopeful night; the exact opposite of the recorded music industry.

Constantine Frantzeskos

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