Posts from 26th April 1999

Apr 99

Dead Again: MP3s And The Dissolution Of Pop

FT//2 comments • 1,518 views

The mode of the music changes, the city quakes, or at least those blocks of primer-than-thou office space quake that house the HQs of worldwide record companies. The reason, apparently, is MP3 technology, which you all know about and most of you use, and which has been the subject of acres of ruminative, pessimistic music biz newsprint over the last year.

Business reactions to MP3s aren’t what interest me (they’ve mostly been laughably ineffectual, as far as I can see), nor the economic consequences, nor even the theory that MP3 is going to democratise the production and distribution of music and open all our minds to amazing new, unsigned talent (not likely, in my opinion – small record companies are useful and will remain so precisely because they act as quality control, not as a block to the new). What interests me, rather, is the way MP3s will accelerate current trends in the way we’re listening and relating to music.