Where do you get your music?

How we pay for music, 1983-2014
How we pay for music, 1983-2014

Digital Music News put together a visual showing the mix of revenue streams for music over the past 30 years. CDs, which represented only 0.5% in 1983 grew to the dominant medium in 2003 when it was 95.5% of revenue.

In 2004 downloads appear on the scene (or begin to be counted) at 1.5% and are, in 2013 more than the CD with both downloads and streaming/subscription revenues eating away at CD market share.

2013 Music Revenue Mix

Robot underlords

In 15 minutes, CPG Grey’s Humans Need Not Apply paints a bleak picture for anyone who thinks that the coming robot revolution will free everyone up for more creative pursuits. Trouble is, poetry and painting don’t pay the rent.

Transportation, driving things & people from point A to point B employs millions of people today. What will happen to these people when self-driving transport is perfected? In the Great Depression 25% of the workforce was out of work and unable to feed itself. Pointing to a list of the jobs in danger of automation Grey argues,

This list above is 45% of the workforce. Just what we’ve talked about today, the stuff that already works, can push us over that number pretty soon. And given that even our modern technological wonderland new kinds of work are not a significant portion of the economy, this is a big problem.

This is not something that will happen sometime in the future, this is something that’s already happening. Amazon’s Robot Army was mobilized two years ago. It’s a re-occurring theme, robots taking over and turning against their maker. Coming soon to a theater near you in October, Autómata.

I’m not too worried. According to Derrick Harris (who writes about this kind of stuff)

Building an AI system that excels at a particular task — even a mundane one such as recognizing breeds of dogs — is hard, manual work. Even so-called “self-learning” systems need lots of human tuning at every other step in the process. Making disparate systems work together to provide any sort of human-like concept of reality would be even harder still.

- When data becomes dangerous: Why Elon Musk is right and wrong about AI

Before AI systems can communicate with each other and learn, we’ll need standards. As long as creation of standards remain in the hands of human-based, quasi-governmental international organizations that take ages to agree on anything, we’re safe

Burned Man

I had such a great time at Burning Man last year. It was my first time and my brother-in-law graciously gave up his ticket so that my sister to take me. Mie is a veteran and was the perfect guide in every way. She knew what to bring and where to go but also knew me enough to let me wander around, explore, and take it all in at my own pace, re-living the event through my eyes.

I am not nearly as invested in the burner community as she is but it makes me sad to read the latest headlines about how it’s collapsing under its own popularity. Burning Man Jumps the Shark is the cover story in this week’s Bay Guardian and the New York Times writes about tech elite hiring “sherpas” to set things up and clean up afterwards.

cleopatra

When I saw a Delorean at a Grateful Dead show I knew it was the beginning of the end.  The clean, aluminum lines of the gull-wing doors stood out in stark contrast to the ramshamble chaos of everything around it.

You can’t push out the grime and sweat. It’s an integral part of the experience. Through it you come together and are reborn as part of the tribe.

Eating sushi in an air conditioned yurt is doing it wrong.  Maybe it’s time for another funeral?

burning-man-like

Facebook is Madison Avenue’s new Yahoo

Ever since it began selling ads 10 years ago, Facebook has been combating doubts about its value to marketers. Search engines like Google offer advertisers a direct link to people seeking out particular products, while television remains the dominant way to reach a mass audience. Now, Facebook claims, it can provide the best of both.

- How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil, New York Times

Facebook stock sailed past analyst expectations last month and its stock hit an all time high. It looks like brand advertisers are coming on board now that Facebook has the audience to fulfill the promise of hitting targeted demographics, at scale.

This should be cause for concern at Yahoo (not mentioned in the NYT article) who was the traditional online goto for brand advertisers. The market has since spoken.

FB vs. YHOO stock price

a blog by Ian Kennedy