A Swiftian Moment: Google Becomes the Music Biz

April 16, 2011

My broken leg and ankle notwithstanding, I want to take a moment to call to your attention a Swiftian idea: Google opens its checkbook and buys the entire music industry. Good stuff. The idea is that Google or its executives have enough money to buy the entire music industry. Yep, Arrowsmith to Nikolaj Znaider.

First, whip out your dog eared copy of Cliffs Notes for Gulliver’s Travels or click here for the free version. Second, scan it to get the drift of the satire. You will recall the Queen’s dwarfs, the former top dog of Lagado, and, of course, the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms. Third, point your browser at “Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry.” Once in the Googleplex, Google can be a player on iPods, Android devices, and elevators worldwide.


Once that Google check is cashed presto chango!

Google has power to push which could launch music consumer services on Android users and contracts with darned interesting terms on the likes of Amazon, Apple, and (why not?) Microsoft, the motion picture industry, and the pesky cable and TV industry. Each of these is annoying because Google’s objectives are either slowed, blunted, or derailed by these entities and groups.

If I were taking one of those required classes in the English Department, I suppose an essay comparing Jonathan Swift and the author of Open Source, Open Genomics, Open content’s article. However, this is the rough and tumble world of poobahism, punditry, and pontification. The idea is a good one because it would have flashed through the minds of such outstanding executives as Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Pierpont Morgan.

Nothing negotiates like power and money, or is it money and power?

My view is today’s financial climate might entertain this idea. The problem is that some would object to pragmatic capitalism applied in this manner. The method works quite well in such US sectors as telecommunications, railroads, and politics, music hits a particular chord. The “hooks” are set deep.

Alas, another solution to Google’s music woes may have to be found. Either a solution emerges or Google will face another China maneuver. At this time, China is a big, juicy, complex market. Google appears to be playing a minor role. Is music the next Middle Kingdom for Google? Makes no difference to me. I am hard of hearing. But noise I usually detect.

Stephen E Arnold, April 16, 2011



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