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Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the music category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

The Fashion Model

Following on from the previous post: I’m beginning to think - as Dan Hill originally suggested - that the demise of packaging in music might be limited to the mainstream, with the future of music distribution following the fashion model, so to speak.

As the major labels move toward music download services like the iTMS, they’re beginning to look a lot like the high street. Just as one might now drop a few quid in Top Man on gear that isn’t designed to last beyond the season, so the majors may well begin punting mainstream music as a semi-dispoable commodity; small, lo-fi files unencumbered by packaging for a few pence a pop.

Then there’s the independents. Like a designer’s prêt à porter line, they’ll serve customers willing to shell out a little more for the musical equivalent of a decent cut and quality cloth - the pretty sleeve wrapped around high-fidelity media.

Last - but obviously not least - come the specialist imprints, like our example label Rune Grammofon. These are the couture houses of music distribution, catering to a dwindling band of die-hards who demand the highest quality, most beautiful packaging money can buy.

Okay, so the parallels aren’t exact and I’m using woolly words like ‘mainstream,’ but it does seem to be the way things are headed.

Please feel free to return, laughing, to this post in 20 years time, brandishing a lavishly hand-crafted three-LP marbled vinyl edition of Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 7826.

Posted at 5pm on 03/03/04 by Jack Mottram to the music category.
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