Big Buzzzzz about TechCrunch as they announce: We Want A Dead Simple Web Tablet For $200. Help Us Build It.
Here’s the basic idea: The machine is as thin as possible, runs low end hardware and has a single button for powering it on and off, headphone jacks, a built in camera for video, low end speakers, and a microphone. It will have Wifi, maybe one USB port, a built in battery, half a Gigabyte of RAM, a 4-Gigabyte solid state hard drive. Data input is primarily through an iPhone-like touch screen keyboard. It runs on linux and Firefox. It would be great to have it be built entirely on open source hardware, but including Skype for VOIP and video calls may be a nice touch, too.
Wow! Sounds Great! But Wait! How is this going to affect the music biz?
My Google Reader is already thick with it. Bruce Warila at Music Think Tank asks; Could The TechCrunch Tablet Be The Final Nail In The Music Sales Coffin?
Imagine every kid carrying one of these around in his or her backpack. Full screen browsing! Go to any music 2.0 site and interact with the full kit; not the watered down version you experience on a smart phone; you get it all: commenting, friends, music players, blogs, schedules, videos, sharing, streaming, etc. What do you need to buy or own music for?
What to do? What to do!!?? How will a musician be able to make a buck? Bruce has the answer.
Music will not be your primary product; it will be a component of your brand. Imagine your blog filling the screen above. It’s imperative that you build your own brand, or become part of a boutique brand on the Internet.
Thats right, the “B” Word. It’s all about branding from here on out kids. Music will not be your primary product, gotta build your brand. Develop your brand.
Screw that. Fuck a bunch of branding. I’m sick of hearing it.
Everyone is worrying about how everything is going to impact the music business, How everything is going to affect commerce.
I’m worried about how all of this change is going to affect music. If music isn’t going to be the primary product, if it’s just going to be a component of the “brand” then, what we will have is a bunch of entertaining bloggers not, musicians.
All of this stuff is going to wash out one way or the other.
Music will be paid for by a monthly tax, imposed by governments, or a monthly fee, imposed by ISP’s. All the music ever released will be available to consumers. All the money will go into a convoluted pool and divvied up by some convoluted system which will give big operators unfair advantages and is subject to be gamed by cheaters. But, musicians who are truly independent and, doing quality work, will be given some incentive to go on.
Nobody gets paid for music ever again, and creative musicians take their collective ball and go home.
It’s going to go One Way not The Other. But, it’s going to take a while. Musicians need to concentrate on music. All of this branding stuff is overrated. It’s for the Radioheads of the world. I’m not saying musicians shouldn’t blog. They should, it’s fun. And, it may develop a “brand” a little bit. But, the best thing musician can do, is pick up the instrument and play, write a song, create something interesting. That’s the best thing you can do for your brand.
Sometimes, I feel the same way a feral pig does when he is looking at a drill press.
That doesn’t stop me from trying though.
Bruce Warila, he’s one of the guys I read regularly in my continued attempt to figure out what music 2.0 is/will be.
Today he discusses the Celestial Funnel.
If I were an aspiring artist today, I wouldn’t spend much effort on promotion (single artist no, multi-artist brand yes). I would wait for the funnel to evolve. Your songs are going to settle into their natural place in the funnel regardless of how much or little noise you make about yourself.
That’s good because, I didn’t sleep much last night and today’s coffee has reached a point of diminishing returns. An eerie quiet has settled over the campground and, I’m restless. So, I’m going to get out of here for a bit. Going to go cook some ribs. Thanks for pointing out the loophole, Bruce.