Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Musicians Take Charge

There’s nothing like a good manifesto. Earlier this week at the Midem music conference in Cannes, France, avante-rock pioneers Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel unveiled what they call the Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists. The purpose is to encourage–and…
January 29, 2004

There’s nothing like a good manifesto. Earlier this week at the Midem music conference in Cannes, France, avante-rock pioneers Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel unveiled what they call the Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists. The purpose is to encourage–and empower–artists to exploit do-it-yourself digital distribution, labels be damned. To help the cause, Gabriel’s organization, OD2: On Demand Distribution, announced a new digital music platform called the SonicSelector, which artists can use to sell their music online. By harnessing the power of the Internet, Gabriel and Eno suggest, artists can reach their fans in entirely new ways–uploading, say, a new song as soon as it’s completed, instead of having to wait to put it out on a full-length CD.

More power to them. The Grateful Dead was the first band to see the benefit of thinking outside the corporate distribution box. By allowing fans to record their shows, for example, the Dead vested their audience and, ultimately, became one of the highest-grossing acts in history. Spin-offs of this Grateful economy are now in practice by a family of artists, primarily classic rock and jam bands, including Dave Matthews, Phish, Pearl Jam, the Who, Wilco, Prince, Ween, and David Bowie. They’re doing everything from selling instant live CDs of their shows to distributing their own free MP3s over the Net. It’s good for the artists. It’s good for the fans. And, contrary to the recording industry’s mantra, it’s good for business too.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.