Brian Eno on records and blubber

This coincides nicely with a lecture I gave this evening at Westminster University to a group of MA Music Business Management students.

In an interview with Paul Morley, Brian Eno says:

“I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn’t last, and now it’s running out. I don’t particularly care that it is and like the way things are going.

“The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you’d be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history’s moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.’’

(Via Pete.)

Here's a question nobody ever asks


Here on New Music Strategies, I’ve been posting the sort of questions I often get asked at seminars, conferences, lectures, and public events, and putting forward the answers I usually give. And then you come in with your perspectives on both the questions and the answers.

It’s a good system, and it works. I hate to buck the trend.

But I have a question for you – and it’s one that nobody ever asks me:

Is it more important that music businesses make money, or is it more important that culture expands, innovates and grows?