American author Clay Shirky has penned a blog post titled ‘The Collapse of Complex Business Models’ which, although focused on the TV industry, should hold plenty of interest for music biz execs too. He refers to a theory by Joseph Tainter about why civilisations like the Romans and the Maya collapsed. “When societies fail to respond to reduced circumstances through orderly downsizing, it isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s because they can’t.” And he relates this to the current arguments around paying for content online, paraphrasing what he thinks tycoons like Rupert Murdoch are secretly thinking: “Web users will have to pay for what they watch and use, or else we will have to stop making content in the costly and complex way we have grown accustomed to making it. And we don’t know how to do that.” Source: Clay Shirky Blog

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