Shriveled Head, Fattened Tail
Being an avid music and books fan, I find it hard to muster any sympathy for analog culture intermediaries such as record companies, agents, book publishers and store keepers of any size. Tesco or Mom & Pop off the High Street, why should I pay them for the creative work of someone else? From the perspective of information transmission, they're all just switchboxes.
Music and literature is produced and consumed on networked computers these days. I have long downloaded music, buying CD:s that I never actually play as the only available means of remunerating the artists. And I recently read my first on-screen novel, likewise buying a printed copy to pay for the pleasure. But musicians are putting PayPal buttons on their web sites. And one day we'll have decent pocket e-readers, obviating the paperback.
I foresee a future for media with no likes of Madonna or J.K. Rowling, simply because there will be no way for publishers of making the kind of serious money necessary for the marketing behind such great global successes. One day the long tail will be all there is in media, because there will be no way for anyone except the artists themselves to make big money off big sellers. I welcome that change.
[More blog entries about media, publishing, books, music, longtail; böcker, musik, media, förlagsbranschen, skivindustrin.]