The turning point creeps closer in music

A couple of follow-ups to my post regarding music distribution.

--"If Aerosmith sold only 100,000 copies on the Internet, we'd make more than selling a million for a big label. No matter how you slice it, everybody's making more than the band." --Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, noting that the band's recording contract is up for renewal after the next album

--The LA Times runs a lot of articles giving the entertainment industry's view of technology. Some of them are a tad...skeptical. But there was a very interesting article today on Pandora, an online service that creates a customized music feed for you based on your favorite songs. You tell it which songs you like; it picks songs that have similar aural characteristics and plays them for you.

I haven't spent enough time with Pandora to decide if I like it or not; in general, I'm not a big fan of listening to music on my PC. But I love the spirit of what its founders are attempting – they want to help people discover new music that they wouldn't have found otherwise. I think services like Pandora will play an important role in removing the middleman from music. If new artists can be discovered more easily, artists will be less dependant on the record labels' marketing infrastructure.

Pandora doesn't advertise; it relies on word of mouth and blog referrals to get traffic. So I'm happy to give them a plug here.

An apology to my RSS readers: You have probably received more than one copy of this post. This is the third time I have posted it to my blog. The first two times, it mysteriously disappeared after a while. I presume this is related to the serious technical problems that the Blogger folks have been reporting all weekend. Their status report includes the not so reassuring message: "The Blogger and Google engineers and ops folks are not just sitting around waiting for the next failure; we’re actively improving our infrastructure to lessen both the planned and unplanned Blogger outages."

I know they mean well, and it's a free service, so I shouldn't complain. But I have to say that I'd expect Google, of all companies, to run a reliable service. It makes me wonder what else might be screwed up behind the scenes.