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SXSW 2008 & Opinions on R.E.M.

SXSW 2008

Jim and Greg always return from the annual SXSW Music Festival with more than new favorite bands. They always get great insights into music industry trends. One issue that has been coming up for years now is how the music industry will survive in the digital age. This year Jim and Greg heard an interesting solution. Jim Griffin, a veteran music consultant, has proposed that Internet service providers charge an extra fee to compensate music copyright holders. Jim and Greg disagree about how effective this plan will be, but it's certainly nice to hear solutions coming out of the music industry, rather than whining.

Another major industry figure to speak at SXSW was Ticketmaster CEO Sean Moriarty. In a panel led by Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith, Moriarty discussed how Ticketmaster will adjust after Live Nation severs ties and takes away 15% of its business. The ticketing company has plans to get in on the secondary ticket market, which prompts the question: What's to stop Ticketmaster from holding back hundreds of tickets to an event only to re-sell them later at hugely marked up prices? The answer, according to Jim and Greg, is nothing. And for consumers who have already been treated unfairly by the ticket monopoly holder, the future does not appear bright.