Does the industry have its head in the clouds again?
Enda Kenny knows the score. During the general election campaign earlier this year, a political correspondent attempted to punk the Fine Gael leader by asking him to explain cloud computing, a topic that had come up at an earlier press briefing.
Instead of stuttering and stumbling for an answer, Kenny trotted out a decent explanation and the political correspondents had to look elsewhere for sport that day.
You would hope that the music industry has a similar grasp of what the cloud is all about for their industry.
Given the sorry litany of setbacks, mistakes and errors that have accompanied music’s interaction with technology over the past 15 years, you really do have to hope they know what they are doing.
After all, the cloud is where it’s at for the industry in the short to medium term. CD sales are on the slide (though three out of four US album sales last year were still on plastic discs) and paid-for downloads are not really going to fund anyone’s end-of-year bonus. Instead, it’s all about streams, subscriptions and other cloud-related activity.
Yet, as we saw recently when a crash at the Amazon Web Services data centre in north Virginia caused outages for various sites it hosts, the cloud is a great idea in theory – and in practice, as long as everything works. But problems can and do occur, which is why many see the Amazon snafu as a wake-up call for those moving their activities to the cloud.
For the music industry, there is also the need for some long-term thinking about what comes after the cloud. But, as we have seen again and again, formulating long-term strategies is not something the sector has been too good at over the years.
Cloud computing: Enda Kenny’s
on top of it