Monday, November 24, 2014

Personal Media Consumption Habits in the Age of Digital Distribution

I remember the days when I would put a Green Day or Limp Biskit CD in my truck and listen to it from start to finish. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t have to. These days, who wants to listen to the same band for forty-five minutes on the commute home? The only CDs that I listen to consistently are those that contain music that I am producing / publishing, because it affords me quiet time to listen with a critical ear. The rest of the time, my phone is plugged in, and I am listening to my random single favorites.

I still prefer a physical book to an e-book. I get headaches reading chapter upon chapter from a computer screen. Our electronic devices are portable, but nothing is as convenient as grabbing a physical book on the go. Then again, you can’t access social media from a book, so the question of priorities comes up.
In the early stages of this program, I was printing all of the online reading material so that I could study in my traditional way, but then it dawned on me that I was incurring the printing costs historically incurred by a publisher. So, I stopped doing that and forced myself to study in electronic format. I don’t like it, but it’s saving me money. Publishers love it, because it is saving them money.
The IRS tax code used to be the primary force in guiding American behavior. Buy a house - get a tax break. Get married - get a tax break. Buy a hybrid car - get a tax break. However, technology is now competing with the IRS for dominance in the human behavioral realm.
We do things nowadays because technology makes it simple, and that is great. However, is there a trade-off between simplicity and quality? I think that my cohorts on the music team would say “yes.” For every advancement in home recording that occurs, there is an equal advancement in professional recording. A “decent” mixing console these days will still cost upwards of $20 thousand.
I foresee an era of “the single.” The American society is impatient. The immediate gratification generation is bleeding over into the youngest among us. “Albums” or “CDs” are outdated, and music consumers are looking for the next big trend. I would guess that within the next few years we will see artists moving to a “one song per month” model. That situation is what I am gearing up for.

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