April 25, 2008
The demise of Sonific
It's sad to see that another experiment in approaches to independent music has gone the way of the dodo. Sonific, like a lot of Gerd Leonhard's stuff, was a great idea cruelled by harsh reality.
Gerd bills himself as a "media futurist", which I take to mean that he dreams up a whole bunch of stuff about what the media might be like and then tries to see how each of these futures might come into being. It's a bit like horse racing - any of the horses might be a winner, but which one will it be? Gerd's personal gamble has lost the first leg, though it might come back yet.
Gerd is one of the proponents of the "Music like Water" thesis - a nice idea that is simply impractical in any real sense. Music is NOT like water. People value it for highly personal reasons, not utilitarian ones; not all music is as good as other music; and not everyone needs music to the same extent (or at all!). And so on. Charging for music on the same basis as charging for water will not capture revenue from the sources of value (fans), and will not necessarily distribute the proceeds proportionately to the creators of cultural capital (artists). To suggest otherwise is dreaming of pies in the sky made of sand ...
That said, there's a lot of good stuff in Gerd's "Music 2.0" book and his "End of Control" essays - well worth a read, as long as you keep your filters in place.
And remember that it's all very well to have dreams about how things might be, but to make them that way you first have to deal with how things actually ARE.Posted by Hughie at April 25, 2008 9:39 AM