As Rolling Stone observed in its 2007 series on the music industry’s decline: “it all could have been different.”
In the coming years, will those words also haunt publishers? This panel starts from an (almost) undisputed point of view: at the turn of the millennium, a handshake away from a landmark deal with pioneering P2P music-sharing site Napster that would have kept the service’s 40-million users downloading, the record industry blew it. Of course, it’s not quite that simple.
“The record companies needed to jump off a cliff,” Hilary Rosen, then CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, told Rolling Stone of that seminal moment in the industry’s history, “and they couldn’t bring themselves to jump.”
Panelists address whether a similar cliff may be looming for publishers, what lessons we can take away from the music industry experience, and how, in the age of Google, YouTube, iPhones, Blackberries and social networks, publishers and authors can better position themselves to take advantage of—rather than be overtaken by—the power of the Internet.
Moderated by Andrew Richard Albanese, New Features Editor at Publishers Weekly, this panel featured Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, and author of Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price; Jared Friedman, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for upstart social publisher Scribd; and Nick Bilton, Design Integration Editor and User Interface Specialist at the New York Times.