Anthony Wilson: There needs to be an easier system to buy music

From the Royal Society of Arts lecture on music and the internet, given in London by the Factory Records founder

Share
Related Topics

The internet is supposed to remove barriers to trade, and the biggest barrier to trade in the music industry is having to get a bloody bus into town, go to a shop and find the right record. The whole Napster experience, of people downloading digital music from the internet for free, has had a profound effect. It showed there is a massive appetite for music to be delivered at home.

The chairman of a large entertainment company in Japan has remarked that the idiocy of his music company bosses around the world created the problem. There is no industry in the world where senior people are less likely to know how to work a computer than the music business. It's pathetic.

They turned their back on the Napster phenomenon and hoped it would go away. It has not, and Napster bit them up the bottom, and now a company chairman is saying "my music company bosses are idiots" for turning their back on this world.

Their refusal to embrace or to understand digital music created Napster. There needs to be an easier, more elegant system for kids to go on line and get the music. It just doesn't exist at the moment.

I ask people, "If it cost you a quarter of a penny, every time that you hit Google, would you pay a quarter of a penny?" And the answer is yes, you probably would. In which case, how incredibly successful and rich could a company like Google be, as well as everybody else who worked on the internet?

Internet visitor numbers are being held back because there is no proper way of charging for music online. Just think of the work that we do as record companies in actually manufacturing the CD, packaging it, distributing it, getting it into those Securicor vans, placing it in some shops and getting it on the the shelves. And then the shop has to pay its rates, its rent, its staff and all the other costs. If you get rid of all those costs, music can still make as much money as ever for musicians and song writers and yet cost a lot less.

It is simply the intransigence and pig-headedness of the music industry that means this isn't here yet.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron visiting a primary school last year  

The only choice in schools is between the one you want and the ones you don’t

Jane Merrick
Zoë Ball says having her two children was the best thing ever to happen to her  

Start a family – you’ll never have to go out again

John Mullin
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn