Data Policy Ordnance Survey Thoughts

Geodata suppliers – lessons from the music industry..

I got myself in trouble on a number of occasions with my old boss when I drew the obvious comparisons between the Geodata industry and the Music Industry, and how Geodata providers needed to move with the times..

It is therefore interesting to see that a least one music industry boss is recognising the mistakes of the past/present… to quote Edgar Bronfman of Warner Music..

“We used to fool ourselves…We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won.”

Remember this is not always about making information free, it is about making it accessible..

There is a lesson there for leadership of a number of organisations don’t you think ?

Written and submitted from Starbucks, Horseferry Road, using my three 3G modem.

22 replies on “Geodata suppliers – lessons from the music industry..”

There were friends in the industry way back when the Napster debate blew up (just before they got shut-down) — and in one of my typical abrasive ways of putting things, I believe I came up with the mantra, “If they’re worried about the direction of the industry based on file sharing, then they should take a long look at their BMW’s and immediately realize that there’s a way to turn that into an Aston Martin.”

A couple years later, we saw iTunes, which was essentially the same approach I was beating into people’s heads — the same pay-per-tune model. Well, so at the end of the day though, we know who missed out and who didn’t then. And the Artist is still getting relatively screwed in the deal — which is why it’s a no-brainer that they’re setting up their own methods of distribution. (Refer to: NIN, Saul Williams, Radiohead)

The major problem in the industry isn’t with what mistakes can be learned — it’s in realizing they’re not fair in practice. I guess though, it’s no different than any corporation in existence that doesn’t pay its employees well — only in the music industry, if you sign a contract, expect that all the debt comes right back on you as an artist — and expect to be on the road for the next couple years trying to make-up for that debt through merchansizing and shows. It’s a scam way of business and artists are reacting accordingly — and because they’re basically sick of being second-rate in the food-chain when it’s their creativity that’s on the line and generates product.

Anyway… Man, Ed. I’ve been in quite the little ranting mood lately, yeah? Sorry about that.

I wonder how many could be mapping @ the newcastle event without the constraints of HR work recording HU counts etc.
Next there will be tales of folk turning up @ an DC event wearing a OSM T shirt.. or has it already happened 😉
Some really interesting thinking going on as to what constitutes geodata and to what and how it is referenced


No keep going I think there is a new career waiting for you in Talk Radio !!

Seriously though I think you make an excellent point, technology has developed to the point that the old content distribution models are no longer relevant, everybody recognises this apart from those running the old distribution models..


Good point, in Open Source software development, many contributions to projects come from developers paid to do so my their employers..

There is no reason why it should be any different with Open Source Geodata, and then the OS then could be paying the guys and girls in Data Collection to work some of their time on OSM.

That would of course be a different OS to the one today, but with vision who knows ?

I had a meeting with Get Mapping PLC three weeks ago with the MD and some of his team, nice guys but when it came to innovation and widening their channels distribution they had their heads buried in the sand. Its very sad a good British company with a potentially bright future beholden to traditional views that are fast reaching their sell by date. Their share price says it all!

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