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The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution (Berklee Press) Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: Berklee Press
  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Berklee Press; Softcover edition (May 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876390599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876390597
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Lance Brown on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a case of a lot of filler to make what could be communicated in a short essay into a book. The basic message "The music industry has to embrace digital technology." This and a few other salient points are made early in the book and then repeated with different wording ad nauseum. I would suggest standing in the store, reading the introductory stuff and skimming the rest. Too many authors are doing this these days. It should have been a magazine article.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anna Omak on May 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I would reccommend this book to anyone who is thinking of going into the industry. Speaking from a vocalist's perspective, alot of the time we forget the other important aspects of the ever changing music industry in our effors to remain artistic and undiluted, forgetting that they all work hand in hand. This book I feel has enlightened me with sound judgement and speculation. It has also inspired me to formulate a strategy on how i plan to fit in. I now feel as though I have valuable and priceless knowledge on every aspect of that which i love and desire to suceed in-

Music.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Hill on February 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
A stunningly candid source of concentrated, up to date insight about the music business and its turbulent transition into the digital era. This book tells it straight and will make the dinosaurs of the music industry very unhappy.

Like Martin Luther's '95 Theses' nailed to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, Kusek and Leonard drive nail after nail into the sclerotic heart of the old-fashioned music business. Their rational vision of the future of music rests on the idea of unshackling music from the hardcopy product business in a yet-to-be-realized era of open content licensing, facilitating sharing and communication among users, and growing the business to its full potential.

It provides as clear a vision of the future of the music industry as you will find, from two writers with a rare combination: a solid grounding in the traditional practices of the music business, an up-to-the-minute knowledge of the new technologies that are changing it, and the ability to think through the consequences.

I've dreamed about a book like this, but thought it would be impossible in today's hyperdynamic environment where every week seems to bring a breakthrough technology, device, or service. But by digging out the underlying trends and principles Kusek and Leonard get under the news and illuminate it. Along the way they provide a brilliantly concise history of the evolution of digital media.

I can't think of any book more important for artists to get the full re-orientation they need to survive and prosper in the digital era. It's no less critical for members of the music and broadcasting industries who need to consolidate their thinking into a coherent roadmap for the future.

In a word: indispensible.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joseph C. on January 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I am getting into the digital music business. I enjoyed reading it, but I didn't much care for the wording in the book, and I think the authors are overreaching in the sense that they are expecting too much from artists in the industry.

This book clarifies the differences between the record and music industry, and emphasizes the effect of file sharing on digital medias (Limewire, Bearshare, programs) and the record industry. It makes some significant points, and makes the same points again later on in the book. The author states that artists should be able to sustain careers rather easily without "getting signed" and that is not the case today. Artists still need capital for marketing on the internet, and in marketing it is possible, but still costly.

This book is worth reading if you are getting into the business. I don't regret buying it, but I think other books may have a more definite impact on the reader. What it boils down to is opinion, and mine vary slightly in some cases and greatly in others.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gian Fiero on July 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is so brilliant that it makes the vast majority of music industry books that are being published seem irrelevant. It discusses in detail, the reasons why the future of the music industry is headed into the digital/mobile entertainment era. It also provides statistical information that professionals, marketers, entrepreneurs, and educators can use constructively. Both Dave and Gerd (the books co-author), have their fingers firmly planted on current music industry activities and trends. They also possess and display a clairvoyant eye toward the future that offers beneficial insight and foresight to those who may not be aware of what this whole digital (i.e. independent) revolution is about, and most importantly, what it will entail to prosper in it. The book is easy to read, easy to understand and simply brilliant. If you buy just one industry book this year, this should be THE one. Buy it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anna Lee on December 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I got a hold of this book through a friend of mine and I have to say I was impressed. Finally, a book that tells it like it is and isn't a total suckerbait sell out.

The industry is changing, like it or not, which means certain (undeserving) industry players will find themselves either having to embrace the changing times or else find themselves out of a job like so many others these days. But take heed: this provides an opportunity for those who've been shut out of this industry to break in and become major players. When change happens, it's time for those with new ideas to jump right in.

"Manifesto" definitely applies here. For anyone who participates in making or marketing music, this is an absolute must-read, there is no mealy-mouthed BS going on here.

Get this book----YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
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