Koranteng Got it SO Wrong

So why was the music industry so inert? In my first-hand experience central to this was one report that was produced in 1997, and circulated over 1998, called “Music on the Internet,” by Juliana Koranteng[1] (appears to be out of print).

It essentially supported an event by the FT of the same name that was well marketed, extremely expensive, and for a premium of “a few thousand” you could get the report too. To this conference went all the leaders of the music industry who were getting asked a lot, by various parties, what they were going to do with regard to the Internet.

They left with the understanding - and get this, it is very important - that the Internet will never be capable of delivering the content itself and so the industry should focus on its use as a CD/DVD “e-commerce” sales platform.

And so that's what they did for the next three years, while MyMp3.com, Scour, and Napster tied up the “test case budgets” and resulted was in effect a disastrously counterproductive marketing campaign for peer to peer and illegal piracy, and a polarized stance against the very medium to which their entire audience had moved.

I recall having a conversation with one of the world's top digital media lawyers at the leading London firm, and around this era he said to me that “if it wasn't published through a reputable label, then it wouldn't be worth listening too ...” - I cited the millions using mp3.com to discover unsigned artists, and begged to differ. Ten years later he very politely acknowledges that he, and his clients, would agree they were very wrong. We are good friends these days.

Also, while on this topic, it is worth noting that I only found out about the FT conference because I was contacting events like this to offer them live webcasting services. I have always thought it ironic that we could have webcast their statement that “the Internet won't carry content” live to the world using the Internet.

  • [1] http://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Internet-FT-management-report/dp/184073017X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448556061&sr=1-2
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