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Our Subscription Future? Part One

In this module, we will focus on different platforms for distributing music. That will start with the great home technology of the early 1900s—the phonograph and the player piano—before turning to radio and the ASCAP and BMI licensing regime for public performances. We then will turn to a failed technology and legal regime, digital audio tape and the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992. We will then switch to MP3 players, from the relatively obscure (the Diamond Rio) to the ubiquitous (the iPod) and to Apple’s digital rights management regime. We will then switch to the issues raised by peer-to-peer software like Napster and Grokster and then close with an examination of the switch from physical distribution media to digital and subscriptions like Spotify.

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