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

3.9 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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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.

About the Author

Kusek is a musician who has been inventing the future of music for the past twenty-five years. Today, Dave innovates at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass.

Leonhard is a respected music futurist and oft-quoted visionary, a well-known music industry executive and music business entrepreneur, a sought-after strategic adviser and music industry super-node -- and still a performer (guitar), writer, and producer.
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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 (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend anyone involved or starting out in the art of music to read 'The Future of Music" by David Kusek. This book takes you from the start to where music has evolved today in the technological world, and what artist need to be aware of in the "Future Of Music".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lots of good stuff here for music lovers as well as musicians. Not being a music industry insider, my eyes did glaze over once or twice - sorry, guys. But the good parts outweigh the bad, and there is some pure gold here.

Did you know that the artist gets only 8% of a CD sale? This is about to change, since "... music belongs to the people, not to the multinational corporations that have controlled and exploited it over the past seventy-five years or so. The people, both fans and musicians alike, will decide what kind of future we want." Many of the authors' ideas can be applied outside the music business, too.

All in all, a worthwhile read.
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Format: Paperback
As a music business consultant, I was pleased when the publisher sent me a copy of The Future of Music to review for my website, and looked forward to reading it for possible recommendation.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the book's lack of practical how-to information--especially for a book published by Berklee Press, the publishing arm of the well-respected Berklee College of Music. For this reason, I chose not to recommend it to readers nor to even use it as a giveaway.

As another reviewer stated, The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution is basically an essay, drawn out (some might say droned out) to stretch into book form via the use of repetitive text written several different ways to make the same point.

Sure, it's a manifesto. In fact the one positive thing I can say about this book is that it's aptly named...for alas, like many "manifesto"s, it's all talk and no action.

Where's the stuff indie musicians and aspiring music industry professionals are looking for? Where's the practical how to information on how to position and market your (digital)music? Where's the information on how to make the most of digital distribution? Where's the information on how to book a tour without a record deal? Where's the information on what talent buyers are looking for?

In other words, where is the information that actually tells an indie artist HOW TO BE A PART OF what the author keeps stating is so much more inclusive than the previous recording industry?

Answer: it's not there! Sadly for the indie artist who really wants to learn about the new music business, the author is too busy complaining about the old business model and going on about the virtues of the new one to notice the reader.
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