måndag, januari 07, 2008

The world in 2008

2008 is upon us. So far it's been a rocky little road these first small days of january.

A little insider update for you: Musicbrigade, one of the biggest - at least in employees - mp3 stores in Sweden has gone bankrupt. Musicbrigade got something like 10 million $ in private equity to develop the site. Also, the site Nimson, whose idea was good - combine webmagazine/mp3 store and evolve new ideas as they come - but never really lived up to the idea in practice - closed as well due to financial reasons. Nimsons opposite could very well be the mobile operator 3 that has huge financial power and goes for the mainstream ringtone market rather than small indie acts like Nimson did. The result seemed to be the same though since 3 sacked some 120(according to somewhat uncomfirmed sources) employees in their music department and related departments. The mobile operator that spent a lot of commercial budget to niche itself as a music mobile choice in Sweden now swithches its focus to broadband(again not totally confirmed sources). Whatever the exakt number or what 3 will do one thing is painfully clear: Mp3 sales and the ideas that has come up so far are definitely not creative enough. Nimson, Musicbrigade and 3 is certainly not the world, but they are the world in microversion of some kind. As insiders of the music biz we have noticed that the response of big media 'happenings' in whatever form does not translate into sales of mp3s in any significant form. Nor at iTunes, nor at klicktrack, nor anywhere. Maybe in Norway, but they have cash everywhere there, those oil-hustlin' happy little devils. In Norway even the polar bears & penguins have eMusic accounts and iPods.

So what do we do? Norway already voted out of Sweden way back so we cant cut in on their cash.

One thing is for sure, what is lacking is not more complicated shit for people. If you do not know what complicated shit translates as in the music biz we will give you a short tutorial here. Complicated shit means having trouble copying songs you bought to a friends harddrive or having trouble copying it period. Complicated shit means paying 1 $ or more(since the dollar is worthless nowadays you would pay more in the world that is not participating in fucking things up in Iraq) for 1 song. Complicated shit is paying 1 dollar for each song that you need if you need a lot of dollars for drinking and other things of lifes necessities. If you grandpas ruling the music biz happen to read this we can explain that drinking is the same life necessity to young people as your pacemaker. Close your eyes and think of how much you loved that smoke you got in your rationing pack during WW2. Drinking for young people today is something like that.
Complicated shit is in short having to deal with a business model so out of touch with what you need that you are having serious problems with coming up with something you need so little as the current mp3 store model.

In no other area than the music biz would a business model as the mp3 store look today survive. However, since the ones supplying the content for the mp3 stores have very deep pockets, they can flog that dead horse forever and ever. And another obsticle for change is the hierarchy in the music biz. See, the music biz is run by 4 people. The CEOs of the major label. And those kids don't like each other. The only thing they seem to agree on 100% is that they don't like people that like music that much. They like money though and the goal of them all is to be bigger than Universal and Universals goal is to buy the world.
The CEOs of the major label decided in 1999 that they didn't like Napster and that the best way to handle the new situations was to give a really good shot to turn the world into North Korea. Since then nothing has changed. One of our biggest interest by far is North Korea. We would LOVE to go there. To live there sucks though. We know that because we, you know, read books written by journalists and smart people and stuff. The CEOs of the major label probably read books too. It would just be blablablaing to sit here and say that they don't read books. However, they do not do shit in the real world. Why should they? They are all too busy creating false worlds on TV with fake, useless artists, doing worthless things, and making big bucks of it too! We also think that they have made this anti-stance/war-on-filesharing-thing as a part of themselves. Talking about it at dinners with friends and at parties and conferences with colleagues to the point where they can't change. It's a part of them now. A part of their not so-real world.

In the real world(not mtv) though, people are doing things like downloading songs. Downloading songs is far beyond just downloading. It's the way the culture of the western society is built today. Downloading is how young(and the not so young) fulfill themselves today. Downloading is building legacy. Legacy for artists. It's what is happening in the real world(not mtv).

Music can be sold and bought on the Internet. But only with creative knock-down ideas that flows with the stream of development, using what is happening as opposed to working against it. The ideas need to roll with the chaotic ways music is going on the Internet. It could work, with an idea that has passion and love, sex, money(armani, a-a-armani) and maybe some religion, justice and death. Yup, the PSB wisdom works in all fields. Girls, boys, arts, pleasure. See? It's all there, just up for grabs! NY, NY. Uh-uh.

Thinking about all this and more makes you wonder what advisors some folks have. Like Horace Engdal, the guy that is in charge of the Nobel prize commitee for literature(he spell checked this blog btw, he is such a sweet guy!*hugz horaze*), what was he thinking when he wrote this? Do you call that literature Horace!? The article (non-required reading) Horace wrote contains more or less the same narrow minded view on the phenomenon of filesharing that COUNTLESS other small brains have expressed as soon as someone points out that the current development with more fierce laws and whatnot is not the way to go. Seriously Horace, you're supposed to be a really, really smart guy. You read ALL DAYS ALL THE TIME don't you? Just read, read, read. Your brain must be like really heavy, just growing, growing, growing. Is that all you could come up with on the subject? Not one deep original thought? Maybe we should give you some reading advice? Please contact us if you need a short list of literature tips. We would be more than happy to provide it. You know, Strindberg and Ibsen don't have all the answers to filesharing! Or maybe they do, if you know how to read them properly! We think you need some schooling on this subject Horace. Damn Horace, we like you, you know. Sometimes we defend you. We even like that book you published some years back where you sort of wrote some cut up and unstructured poems/novels about your day and stuff that in reality was nothing more than a personal egoblog but written on a typewriter(you haven't switched to computers yet, have you? our guess). And you choose really good winners for the NP in literature sometimes. We have our office in Gamla Stan at Köpmangatan. It's really close to where you work! Come by sometime and we can talk over some weissbeer and ale.

That horrendous piece of literature Horace wrote was a response to another article by the way. The world is upside down on this issue so some parliament members from Moderaterna, swedens answer to Mike Huckabee(Sometimes), published an article where they said something like "the copyright industry is never content, they will continue and continue to lobby for tougher laws and surveillance when they realize that nothing works, and we don't want that kind of surveillance society". It was a good article in many aspects. Just like Barack Obama pointed out, in the red states, they don't like having federal agents poking around in their libraries!

In other news, the EU-commission has made a statement how to make the music biz develop and flourish. The way forward is of course DRM and tougher laws. Yes! We are gonna party like it's 1999! Ah, the EU-commission. You didn't need this in Sweden can we tell ya! You have a serious reputation and popularity problem here. If we would to vote about the EU again every day for the next 20 years it would probably be 'no' every day. Not that we here at Hybris are that opposed to the EU we should add, hey co-operation is the best way forward. Maybe sounds a bit hippie-ish in these times of individualism, but it's the truth and nothing but the truth. Keep that in mind pretty please with sugar on top EU-commission? Try to co-operate with your population. Trying to master the citizens in this particular issue is a waste of time. The war is lost, if there ever was one. Wasn't it just a slaughter after all. Like David vs. Goliat only David did bring his friends to the party. And a dancefloor just to rub it in your face.

As a round up, we like to share our view of surveillance and shit: the UK got it wrong, the US got it wrong, Saudi arabia got it wrong, Iran got it wrong, North Korea got it wrong, Stockholms Lokaltrafik got it wrong, the EU seems to be getting in line of getting it wrong. Sweden got it right. We were right in having sparse monitoring of our citizens digital and physical doings, having very few surveillance cameras, restricting different government bodies to co-run registers and having strong integrity laws. At the same time we have high transparency in the public sector. All this is very good because the little guy knows what the big guy knows and what the big guy doesn't know. We have said this before, but since no one is listening, we say it again: the less control you apply, the more control you get. The only way to control is by little control. One more time for baby Bush jr types: You can only get trust by trusting other people. You earn it. Not by intimidating and bullying them. Once they are out of high school, they will go to collage, get degrees, run DC-hubs, build torrentsites, start making you clean their cars and make their hamburgers ETCETERA.

In the end it all boils down to this: the current ideas has failed, the current laws and regulations prevent new good ideas to develop. There need to be a new world order, one where the backbone is not made in 1984 but in 2008.

There need to be a Digital Renaissance. Renaissance is the french word for rebirth. It was a cultural movement that brought us out of the middle ages and into the future and then some with a vengeance 4.0 style. The world adjusted to this cultural movement. It is time for the world to adjust into The Digital Renaissance.

Well, if you read this far, you're probably really interested in Hybris, or a bit of a cultivated slacker that reads too many long blogs and that probably qualifies for someone that should be interested in Hybris. This is some of what we got coming for you this spring:

February - TIAC new album!
March - April - The Kid, Rubies, Vapnet and Juvelen with new albums!!!

Soon Biker boy will start releasing singles as well. For Biker boy, this year will be the year of singles. Starting with 'January song' in, yes, January.


Anonymous Erik said...

Nice one!

Anonymous Anonym said...

hear, hear!

Anonymous Damon said...

hey, finishing this article made me feel hopeful,at least we get someone sober and thinking clear-headedly...

I can tell you, in Hong Kong/Chinese Music biz, it is 100% worse than Swedish/Western music biz... People with power in music biz here seem are all retarded... Think awkwardly and stupidly...

Anyway, look forwards to the new releases... How about Andreas Mattsson? Want his news badly...:)


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