Join Date: Aug 2007
Re: A Blueprint For the Future of High-Resolution, 5.1 Music
Yes, the international music industry has responded negative and aggressive twice in the past decade when faced with new technological developments. They decided to take consumers to court when they started to download music illegally to their PC’s, rather than offering them a legal download facility. Thank you very much, said Apple’s Steve Jobs, who is always quick to see a trend and exploit it. They decided to ignore the fastest adopted consumer electronics revolution ever, the DVD, instead continuing to flog one dead horse, the CD, and inventing two new ones, the SACD and the DVD-A. They should have put that money and marketing effort in promoting the Music DVD, which offers high quality video, surround audio (DTS 96/24 anyone?) and extras. And it plays on millions of DVD players worldwide.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE MAIN ISSUE! When a new movie is made, it is released into a closed circuit first, the movie theatres, where the consumer has to pay to see the movie. (No segway to piracy allowed here, for brevity’s sake, please.) Then it is released onto a paid-for, physical format, the DVD. Games are released and it costs $50 to become a player.
Music is released and immediately mass-distributed for free, no cost at all, to the consumer. FM radio and MTV have their hands around the throat of the music industry. Give us your newest artists, your newest music, or we will not give you the marketing exposure. No movie studio or games producer would accept such marketing ‘partnerships’. You don’t need to buy new music, just turn on your radio, TV, PC. Try making money out of that. No wonder the studios don’t get round to making nice re-releases of their catalogue artists; they are bleeding all the way to the bank on their new crop or artists. Never mind high resolution surround music versions...
Will HD-DVD and BD help this situation? No, of course not. All we want from our musicians is easy tunes, songs we can sing, the joy of recognition, the melody that brings back a memory. We don’t want full albums with pop symphonies and documentaries about what they had for breakfast. That is why iTunes works. For a few cents you can buy a track that you just heard on the radio. Joy delivered, transaction over, pity it’s MP3. So this is the model that High-Resolution, Surround Music should follow. Just without the MP3 bit.
High-Resolution Surround Music has suffered for years by the lack of a dedicated market space: first as SACD and DVD-A did not have the shelf space in the shops (before they were removed altogether to make space for the Led Zeppelin DVD), then by the lack of a dedicated download destination. Without a market space, there will be no revenue for High-Resolution Surround Music. Without revenue, there will be no investment into High-Resolution Surround Music.
And this is where the combined music studios could steal back a march on Steve Jobs, by creating an iTunes equivalent for High-Resolution Surround Music, both for their newest artists and releases, as well as for their catalogue artists that we all crave so dearly. The revenues created will fund nice album releases as well, on any HD format you like. Please feel free to add this to your blueprint for the future of High-Resolution Surround Music.
And please feel free to email me if you want the business plan.
Kind regards, Gerben Van Duyl, former Director of Business Development for Consumer Content, DTS, London (now: Sydney, Australia)