Its been too long
Once again I have left it too long to update the blog. Apologies! I hope though that those regular users of MusicResearch.com have been downloading our podcasts (music industry news) which have been more regular. In fact we are due to record very soon!
So what has happened in the music industry since I last posted? In some ways its been a rather retro three months, and the trend looks to continue. Some of the main stories that have made it big include:
The death of Michael Jackson. Clearly a sad and historic moment. Some would argue that we had seen the best of his work, and that all that lay ahead of him was an opportunity to relive that history with him in London. However I think its too early to make that call. It well known that he was working on new material with a range of interesting artists and producers. His record label have said that it WILL be released. Clearly he will have the last word on his career after all, and we shall see if it was just Michael Jackson doing an impersonation of Michael Jackson or whether he was treading new ground. I hope it was the latter.
Meanwhile ironically, but in many ways to be expected, sales of his music have rocketed since the announcement of his passing. Download stores and streaming services have seen his material dominate audience choice. I can speak from my own example, in that one of the first things I did when hearing the news was to go to Vid Zone on my PS3 and choose Thriller. A classic.
Another retro slice of news was one we have mentioned before on this site. Beatles Rockband. The game has now been shown off to the general public and pre-orders are already being taken. I expect demand for this game to be terrific if its not priced too high. The young will use it as a vehicle to explore classic music that they might have heard in passing but never actually owned whilst it will take music games to a wide demographic reaching out to older people who remember the Beatles first, second or third time around (in terms of re-releases of their albums!). It might also fuel an increase in CD sales of the new remastered recordings.
The game really does look terrific and the music has been remastered from the original tapes especially for this release by Sir George Martin’s son. It was pushed heavily by Microsoft at E3, the large games convention in May, but itll be cross platform and I would expect the Wii version to do extremely well.
Lastly, some pretty uptodate news. Well its more rumour than news. Apple is expected to bring out new IPOD Touch technology in September. However alongside the new Itouch and Ipod devices it is believed they will launch their ‘take’ on the tablet format of computer. The tablet has existed for sometime now, so what can Apple do to change things? Well from a technology front, it might have 3G or even 4G tech built in. It will be very thin and probably have multi touch tech on the front like an Iphone.
However it will clearly also have some key content tie ins. One of these is ‘Cocktail’ which some are describing as Apple’s attempt to redefine the album and make a ‘package’ of content valuable again to the consumer. Content to be included would be ongoing video footage, behind the scenes and other extras, which clearly might be experienced better on a larger screen device such as this tablet. However Im inclined to think that even if that content IS included, its not exactly ground breaking. Certainly not enough to make it a reason to buy the device.
Perhaps Apple have looked at the music game market and the clever music making device which uses LEDs made by Yamaha (the TENORI-ON) and thought that the way to go is to make music interactive to the masses. I can see the Apple Tablet having a type of simplified Garage Band built in (software on a regular Apple Mac), and when you download the ‘album’ you also get the seperate instrument and vocal tracks. This in turn would allow consumers to either listen to the studio mix or make their own.
Along with Apple’s recent move into the gaming world via the Iphone and Itouch, this in many ways, would be a nice fusion of their history of wanting to be seen as the facilitators of creative production (hence Imovie, Garage Band, Idvd etc on macs) and being seen as an alternative form of ‘fun’ via their appstore.
Now we just have to wait a few weeks to find out….