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Where Do Curators Fit Into The New Order Of Business?

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PBS has posted a brief video clip on YouTube about the history of music, starting in the 1990s. The upshot is that more musicians are able to be independent nowadays, and there's a flood of new artists creating music and music videos. The point that isn't well addressed is how these artists will be discovered by fans -- even though this clip interviews entrepreneurs from music discovery startups. 

What do you think the role of curators will be for the music industry? Is there real money in being the "filter of the filters" that maps out where new music can be found?

initiated Jan 19, 2012 in Business Models by Michael Ho (2,370 points)   10 14 27

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Definitely. Talk to anyone who's quite seriously into record collecting, and they'll talk not just about artists, but about record labels, Warp, Takoma, Deutsche Grammophon.


As well as that, consider the role of critics, of Pitchfork, Lester Bangs, George Bernard Shaw. People listen to their opinions and base their interests on their recommendations.


A curator I'd imagine would be a sort of amalgam of those two roles: not only a passive presenter of new artists like a record label, not only an active trendsetter like a critic, but both at once. Promoting and critiquing the music they come into contact with.

response added Jan 21, 2012 by (280 points)   1 3
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Been thinking about this recently with a series of blogs about what options there still are for the major media companies if they want to take them. Getting the right music in front of the right listeners is still a major challenge and one that the existing players have all the tools to turn to their advantage.

Thnking about Donncha's comment above, it reminds me a bit of the late John Peel, a UK dj who developed a phenomenal reputation (and following) as a champion of new and good music. He also had record labels to whom he would give anything in their stable a listen (and probably vice versa, but his openness was legendary).

At the moment most of my new listening is from my friends recommendations (mainly via social media) and perhaps this is where we'll find our next round of John Peels.
response added Jan 24, 2012 by drew stephenson (3,370 points)   3 10 22

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