The Music & Media Forum, a convening I attended and reported on back in January, has just released its summary report (available for download from the project web site). The forum gathered about 60 leaders from the worlds of music performance, presenting, and electronic media for five primary tasks:
- Share current ideas about the issues and opportunities for music in a changing social and technological environment
- Consider the emerging environment for media broadly, with an emphasis on what is happening as it affects music
- Imagine futures that might generate great opportunities, pose significant challenges, or challenge current expectations about what lies ahead
- Identify potential actions that participants could take in one or more of those imagined futures, especially in concert with others with similar interests
- Agree to next steps
As I mentioned in my previous post, the forum used techniques of scenario planning to help us all explore not what we knew, but what we didn’t know about the future synergies or challenges of music and media.
The forum web site now offers downloadable versions of the short report, the full report with attachments, and transcripts of several interviews used to frame and inform the conversation. I particularly recommend the long version, since it includes outlines of the eight scenarios developed during the process. Each scenario builds on what the group determined to be ”critical uncertainties” for the future, and projects a world in which these uncertainties are resolved in supportive or challenging ways.
For example, the scenario entitled ”Musical Microbreweries” projects a world in which shifting demographics in the U.S. have strong and broad influence over all musical composition patterns; audiences prefer music as a service to subscribe to rather than a product to purchase; user generation of content is disruptive to existing media players; and new fragmentation in the music industry makes small players increasingly competitive.
While you’re on the site, I also highly recommend the interview with Chris Anderson. It’s brain-bending and useful stuff.