Early October has seen a rash of exciting pieces of news in the music sector. The Royal Opera House made their first streamed opera available online, and you can watch it here.
Their YouTube Channel contains great 3 minute trailers, where the creatives and dancers explain the story and some of the decisions made in the rehearsal process. Tony Hall’s aim to get the ROH into every living room seems an achievable aspiration! They’re also beginning to use digital media to attract new audiences to participate with their brand, recently commissioning Blast Theory to make a piece of work for them that encouraged young audiences to participate in an online social chase game called You Get Me.
Knocked for giving away their music for free last year, it turns out that Radiohead’s artful album packaging is so popular with fans that some are paying £40 for the ‘discbox’ of an album they can download for free. This reflects the findings in Entertainment Media Research’s latest Digital Music Survey, now in its fifth year, launched yesterday.
“Despite the ubiquity of free music, there’s a real willingness by consumers to pay for music products if the package is right,” said Alexander Ross, music partner at the media law firm Wiggin, which co-authored the study. The poll surveyed 1500 people, and pointed towards the music video being the opportunity for record labels to make money: particularly with the impending launch of YouTube’s new e-commerce shop, that will allow users to purchase high-res music after watching it for free.
Clive James has been advocating the opportunity that the internet and a webcam has given him to become his own broadcast channel. Working with newspaper The Times, James experimented with interviewing high profile guests – chat show style – in his study at home. They work really well – watch here. James particularly notes that on the web, “content matter more than gloss”, and suggests that interviews work better as guests are in a more relaxed format, and don’t have a chance to plan what they’re saying and get nervous about it (they’re not sitting around in makeup and back stage for half a day, they’re in Clive’s front door and on camera!)
The contenders for the Turner Prize have been affirming my theory that art forms and ways of interpreting them are beginning to have far blurrier borders because of the impact of digital media. In their work, digital native artists such as Runa Islam are beginning to pose questions such as “Do you look at a film? Do you read it? Do you illustrate with a camera, or do you write with a camera?”
Last Thursday, the Guardian’s Victor Keegan considered the impact of cheap computers on silver surfers – particularly those just about to retire, part of the “baby boomer” generation. Claiming that cheap PCs will make connectivity available to even poor pensioners, and noting their proclivity to want to stay in touch and be up-to-date, we should make sure that our digital offering speaks in the right tone to our audience members as well as the digital natives.With offerings like the ROH’s opera online, and high quality Medici.tv, older people who can’t get out as much, or who don’t have as much money coming in can still enjoy engagement with high culture.
Vic also reported an interesting site that arts organisations might be able to utilise for projects with silver surfers – thetimesofmylife.com encourages people to upload photos and record video and audio of their memories.