Two things have happened over the past week that show the changing face of the music industry.
Last Tuesday, without any word or warning, David Bowie announced that he was releasing a new single and album.
Bowie is, arguably, the greatest British pop star of all time (my opinion only you understand) and nobody expected the Thin White Duke to come out of retirement after a decade with some brand new material.
Within hours the mp3 was on sale online, within two days iTunes had rectified a handful of technical issued that affected its sales data, and within five days it had entered the charts at number six – Bowie’s highest charting single since Absolute Beginners in 1986.
When that particular track was a number two hit there would have been weeks of radio airplay and pluggers going from radio station to radio station and music store to music store asking them to consider their record.
In 2013, the internet takes care of its own promotion, marketing and sales.
While this new way that we consume music – and also watch films and do the rest of our shopping – is remarkable, there are of course some casualties.
HMV has been a mainstay of the high street since 1921. Nipper the Dog and that gramophone logo are icons of British enterprise and are synonymous worldwide with our enviable music industry.
Seven days after a veteran pop star embraced the new way that we buy music, HMV went into administration.
It’s easy to commentate on the way that technology has changed our world.
As much as new advances in technology led to the Industrial Revolution towards the end of the 1800s, a similar thing is happening now.
We all love our camera phones but, ultimately, they have seen Jessops close their doors too.
The human cost of the demise of these great brands shouldn’t be overlooked.
Thousands of people work for Jessops and HMV – as they did for Woolworths.
The world is definitely changing – whether or not for the better remains to be seen.