From Publishers Weekly
In what could be one of the most provocative music books published this year, two innovators in music technology take a fascinating look at the impact of the digital revolution on the music business and predict "a future in which music will be like water: ubiquitous and free-flowing." Kusek and Leonhard foresee the disappearance of CDs and record stores as we know them in the next decade; consumers will have access to more products than ever, though, through a vast range of digital radio channels, person-to-person Internet file sharing and a host of subscription services. The authors are especially good at describing how the way current record companies operate - as both owners and distributors of music, with artists making less than executives - will also drastically change: individual CD sales, for example, will be replaced by "a very potent 'liquid' pricing system that incorporates subscriptions, bundles of various media types, multi-access deals, and added-value services." While the authors often shift from analysts into cheerleaders for the über-wired future they predict - "Let's replace inefficient content-protection schemes with effective means of sharing-control and superdistribution!" - their clearly written and groundbreaking book is the first major statement of what may be "the new digital reality" of the music business in the future. (Feb.)
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