Napster Creator Has New Plan for Music Biz

In a post about hanging out at the home of Quincy Jones, industry gadfly Bob Lefsetz leaks Napster creator Shawn Fanning’s ideas about revitalizing the music industry:

Shawn Fanning blew my mind. The record business pariah talked about the power of gaming. That’s how you get into the mind of the younger generation. Allow them to earn badges, let them feel good about achieving something!

One thing Shawn said was truly brilliant. He wants to quantify our discovery, our dedication. Imagine being able to prove that you were into the band early, before your friends, before everybody else. The Web allows this. That statistic can be registered!

Interesting idea, for sure. As always, nobody’s giving any details about how they’d monetize it. But hey, this is the internet: you don’t have to generate revenue, you just hold out until you inevitably get bought out by Google or Apple.

It sorta reminds me of the Hollywood Stock Exchange, a late-nineties website that allowed users to “buy” and “sell” shares of movies (and bands!) I played the music “market” until they discontinued that part of the site. It was fun for a while, but I quickly realized that the only way to make big “money” was to buy up the equivalent of penny stocks and wait for them to go up a little and then sell them off. “Investing” in good bands was slow and risky. The real music industry learned this same lesson in real life a few years ago, I guess.

Anyway, even if you don’t care about that, you should still read Lefsetz’s post for Q’s great stories about Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and Lesley Gore

5 thoughts on “Napster Creator Has New Plan for Music Biz”

  1. Hey, HSX is around, I use it to get box office estimates. Semi-ironically (given Jake’s comment about holding out), Cantor Fitzgerald bought it, and now uses it to siphon data to Hollywood studios.

Leave a Reply