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Inventing the Album of 2025

Work in progress for the EmTech Conference
by

Stephen Webber

on 2 December 2015

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Transcript of Inventing the Album of 2025

Inventing the Album of 2025
The Era
Why
call it an
"Album"?

Stephen Webber
Director
Music Technology Innovation
Berklee Valencia

Inventing the
Album
of 2025

Collection of Songs
Artistic Cohesion
Takes us on a Journey
What is an Album?
Visual Component
1940s:

Box Set of
78 RPM
Records


1950s
Mono LPs

1960s

Stereo LPs


By 1969

Stereo LP
STANDARD
and
ART FORM

Many of the most SIGNIFICANT stereo LPs were created in the FIRST few years
1979

CD:
1979
Betamax
and
VHS
introduced
Is there still a reason for the Album to exist?

Let’s Invent the Future

Current
Situation

What’s
Possible ?
The absence of limitations
is the enemy of art.
- Orson Welles
“Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.”
-Steve Jobs


Before the CD, the average life-span of a "standard" format was 11 years
Legacy Catalog
New Mega-Stars
All Other
CD Sales Snapshot
Significant, longer artform
Creatively stimulating for artists and fans
Diversity of product is key to survival
Multi-channel Audio Systems
Apple makes downloading legal
Record labels embrace the new standard
Stereo audio files
are essentially indefensible
2001
Return to a "singles market"
Music
Visuals
Creative artists are doing interesting work...
But, they must re-invent the wheel with each project
Stereo - sent to all your devises
Stems to re-mix
Multi-channel surround
Performance videos
Scripted Videos for Singles
Video diary from the artist
"Making of" - Behind the Scenes
Break Free of the Past
Create a new
"Standard"
A defined "blank canvas" for artists to fill
Visuals
Big budget
Low Budget
Behind the scenes "making of" content
Performance videos of every song
Video Diary from the Artist
Scripted videos for the singles
Every time you set up a mic, set up a camera
The CD has been promoted as a "standard" for 30 years - which is a problem
Why CDs Need to Die
700 MB--- Really?
Lousy Packaging
Digitally vulnerable product
An industry that...
Lots of incentive to keep the party going
No incentive to innovate
Millions of Systems Installed
No Music-Specific Format
Bigger Quality Gain than Stereo
...smells funny
Interactivity
Digital Technology
that
Pre-dates
Reagan
and
Gorbachov
Exciting Potential
Canvases
High Definition, 3D Video
Focused Feature Set
Interactivity
Immersive Environment
50 hi-res Still Photos
Private Social Media Feed
Online community of people who own the album
Special VIP offers
Both Physical and VIrtual
Buying one gets you both
Why did CDs last so long?
Un-sexy physical product
Unique
Immersive
Environment
MMMMMMM
WWWWW
Diversity of product is essential
Full transcript