January 9, 2008
The "musical middle class"
Over at Hypebot there's been an interesting discussion going on about the idea of a musical middle class. This is the idea that more acts, bands and/or artists are now making a living from music than ever before. They may not not be Rolling Stones-type "rock royalty" but at least they're getting by.
I think this is a really nifty concept for understanding what's happening in the music business. Previously, a lack of access to capital has prevented most acts from even entering the musical marketplace - most were limited to cottage industry, if that. But the new media have reduced the barriers to entry and a growing group has been able to derive income in the market. Some have added a few bucks to their kick and some have been able to make a living from their efforts. Some have even gone on to become "upper class" stars.
But the important thing is that more people have a higher level of participation in the industry, and I think that's a clear analogue to the middle class that grew in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and is emerging in nascent third-world democracies around the world. Of course, the existing upper classes are doing their utmost to block this progress, and that's in keeping with the analogy as well.
Of course, not everyone agrees. The Copyright Alliance posted this piece, which to me misses the point completely and misunderstands what the Long Tail is all about. But it's worth noting ...
It's a good thing and I intend to do my bit help out ...Posted by Hughie at January 9, 2008 12:38 PM