The Future of Rock and Roll

Great, great piece in The Sunday New York Times Magazine a few weeks back by Rob Walker writing in the “Consumed” column where he asked the question, “Can the value of music reside in a lamp (or stickers or a sculpture)?"

Walker’s piece to me begs the question should artists get rich by selling stuff just because music sells stuff?

The author asserts that the future of rock and roll is merch.

If he is correct, the record labels are in big trouble because as Pogo says, “I have seen the enemy and it is us”.

The labels are adequate at best with merch and arguably leaving a lot of money on the table because they don't understand the new consumer and their devices.

Walker makes his case by pointing out:

“The Ramones sold more T-shirts than albums (and you can buy a T-shirt that says so). And box sets for superfans have become increasingly elaborate and pricey artlike objects. But merchandise is gaining momentum, and it’s not hard to imagine a time when a fan buys a sculpture, home décor item or other tangible good and gets the music as a kind of free soundtrack accompaniment”.