Monday, September 25, 2006

Could it be that all is not lost after all?

You could call it a good mood. When the Popkomm trade fair starts today in Berlin, this mood should be a good deal better than it has been in recent years.
Not only because Popkomm's new concept seems to be paying off. Since the fair moved to Berlin from Cologne three years ago (which was sad fpr me, because I had visited it quite often, because my sister lives there), the number of exhibitors has been on the rise and even the major record companies – conspicuous by their absence in recent years – are all here with stands.
After years of steady decline, shrinking sales figures and what looked like certain death, hope has returned to the music industry. Could it be that all is not lost after all?
The crisis in the music industry was never a crisis in music. It was a crisis in music production. And this is exactly where things are taking off once again. For years, if you wanted to talk about something that makes money you had to talk about mobile phone ring tones (!). But now a new buzzword has entered the field: Web 2.0. A chic new term from America roughly translates as: the Internet is changing. It's becoming more interactive, receivers are becoming broadcasters, and in the course of it all, new communities are taking shape.
And there's a good deal of truth to this picture. Just as the Napster music exchange platform played a key role in increasing the popularity of Web 1.0 in the late 1990s, music is also a major force in popularising Web 2.0. A good part of the dynamic that pages like and have unleashed comes from their music content. The communities that emerge on myspace often share musical interests. And one major reason for youtube being so attractive is that it shows music videos no longer being broadcast on MTV.


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