Miles Davis & Future of Music on Curagami image

We Love Music, But…

We hate PAYING for music. The web and Moore’s law changed something. We’ve think in SCALE now.

Why can’t we listen to whatever music we want from anywhere?  A “thinking in scale” question. Moore’s Law, Intel Gordon Moore’s “law” about computing power doubling every two years even as costs tumble, mean the best place to store, share and discover music is in a “cloud” somewhere.

The web hates middlemen and inefficiency. The music business was stock full of both. Certain they could stem tide the music industry decided the future could happen all around them but not TO THEM.

Their Ostrich thinking doubled the damage and halved the time. There are many things on my Christmas list EXCEPT albums. Albums are gone. Sadly.

Albums & Experience

Music was a defining experience. Albums with the record worn through by The Who, Miles and the Beatles were sewn into our lives, into our tribe and definition of self.Beatles White Album image

Albums, music and “rock stars” were tactile and present. Albums were traded, discussed and a universal community subject. I went to see Let It Be, the movie about the Beatles breakup, when I was 10.

Dear Prudence defined my first great love, also when I was 10, to Wren Wrendland. Wren, a beautiful older woman, she was 12, had wispy blonde hair and violin playing father.

Wren defined Dear Prudence. When our romance was torn asunder, my father’s company bought by Merrill Lynch necessitated a move to Connecticut, the Beatles’ Dear Prudence was all that remained of Wren.

Has music lost any of its emotional resonance or power? Yes and no. Yes music plays rugby in a scrum with many more players. Our attention will never be as concentrated or singularly fed again.

No because in those few moments when we quiet our phones, lay down our laptops and listen music retains an ability to transform, transport and transfix. When I needed to escape the reality of sitting in the loneliest chair in the world – the chemo chair – Miles Davis via an iPod to the rescue.

Music’s Future Is Merchandised

Bluenote did a cool thing. Bluenote owns treasures. Their masters of jazz masters capture moments impossible to reproduce and so priceless.

How can Bluenote re-introduce their music to a digital generation? Partnering with high resolution music player Astell & Kern is a brilliant blend of old and new, analog and digital:

Astell & Kern Blue Note at

$6K for a music player and music? Most won’t get it, but I would line up and feel lucky to own such a great player so well crafted by one of my favorite music labels.

Distinction and exclusivity is key to marketing anything now. Moore’s Law works FOR the brilliant merchandising teams at Astell & Kern and Bluenote now. The web will make sure, via posts like this from those who wish from afar, those who value such a partnership will purchase the limited numbers A&K and Bluenote create proving the future of music lives in the merchandising and mashup of music, gear, technology and the creation of unique experience.Led Zeppelin III die cut album cover graphic

Yes the cost of “unique experience” has gone up from when $10 could buy a die cut album cover such as Led Zeppelin III or Some Girls by the Stones. Can the A&K high resolution player merchandised so well with notes, books and music replace the experience of cutting your weed on the White Album or knowing music as a common language?

Probably not, but A&K’s Blue Note edition hides valuable lessons for us all including:

  • Make Your Content Relevant & Available.
  • Go to where THEY (your customers) are.
  • Its a social / mobile / connected world and that changes everything.
  • Great partnerships and the merchandising they create are table stakes in this new game of “experience is the new brand” era.
  • When in doubt rinse and repeat faster.

One $6,000 cool thing isn’t going to save the music industry as we and they knew it. That ship has sailed, but A&K’s Bluenote is a great we are willing to “change our thinking” product. Wishing isn’t going to make the old world new again.

Even an Ostrich has to take its head out of the sand eventually. When the music industry wants to understand and learn about what’s next they should look at the partnership between a leading high resolution music player (Astell & Kern) and the venerable keeper of priceless moments in the form of studio masters (Bluenote).

The next big thing? Who knows, but competition for “mindshare” won’t go down. If your children are to care about Miles, Train and Billie Holiday they will need to play on a phone or player near them. The good news, thanks to Gordon Moore’s astute observation, is those who love jazz and can afford to support such a cool partnership will.

If you are one of those special people hope you will let me take a listen if we are ever in the same place. It would make my day to hear how Blue Note shared Miles et al. with Astell & Kern and I’ve got the perfect pair of Shure SE846 earphones paired with DRAGONS so I don’t come begging at least not completely (lol).