This is just cool.
From the Wall Street Journal’s The Game column:
Like the Early Music Industry, Today’s Apps Are ‘Made’ By Marketing, Sales
They were 20-somethings emboldened by new technology. If they were shrewd, they just might get rich.
These inventors and wheedlers, dreamers and hucksters, were making the all-powerful software apps of their day: popular songs, sold then as widely distributed sheet music and phonograph records. They even had something of an addictive “Angry Birds” app back then: Irving Berlin.
More than a century from the birth of the modern music industry—which coalesced around a few Manhattan blocks known as Tin Pan Alley—a new generation of entrepreneurs has become entranced by the possibilities of software apps. Consumers have downloaded 30 billion iPhone and iPad apps to date, and Apple Inc. alone has already paid out $5 billion to these developers. It’s all growing very, very fast.
Much separates the Sousa era from our Shazam moment. And yet the two somehow belong together, a prelude and coda in the clanging symphony of markets in action.
The hardworking staff recommends you read it all.