Paul McGuinness, arguably one of the most astute minds working in the music industry in the past three decades, wrote a profoundly insightful article on QC UK: How to save the music industry.

Unfortunately it was insightful for all the wrong reasons.

Mr McGuinness basically regurgitated a two year old argument that ISPs should be ‘taxed’ because they are responsible for the theft of music and the industry’s current parlous state.

While I agree that a simple subscription model of a couple of dollars a month for all the music ever released easily accessed is a good idea, it is a practical impossibility courtesy of well established music industry rights licensing models.

I posted the following on the QC website in response to Mr G’s rant:

What Mr McGuinness does not seem to understand is that whereas previously copyright was the monetisable asset for the creative industries this is no longer the case. Relationship is now the monetisable asset.
Old thinking from the old guard.
And FWIW, great artists don’t need great record companies, they need great investment vehicles that don’t have such an absurdly narrow risk spread.

The fundamental issue moving forward for investors is how to make money from an asset – relationship – that they actually have no involvement in or control over. After all, it is the author/songwriter/performer and the end consumer that share the relationship and no-one else.

And while I have you, check out this dialogue between Seth Godin and Bob Lefsetz on the McGuinness article.

[update] Spotify eventually settled this debate, but not without similar push back from the music industry.