Interview: Nancy Baym on Musicians, Fans and Music Industry

About ten months ago, while still a Ph.D. intern at Microsoft Research New England, I did an interview with the media scholar (and my co-mentor at MSR) Nancy Baym about the topic she’s currently focusing on – the transformation of music in the age of social media. Originally intended for publication in Czech, here’s the audio version of it for my English-speaking friends and colleagues.

Nancy Baym’s definitely one of the most sharp-witted and entertaining among new media scholars, which makes this interview a lot of fun – of course besides providing deep insight into the topic. And being a (former) music journalist and (active) musician myself, I was also very much invested in the conversation. In the course of 70 minutes, we touched upon the death of MySpace, crowdfunding, Amanda Palmer (how couldn’t we!), Lana Del Rey, the myth of authenticity, the questionable heritage of the music industry, musicians’ struggle to incorporate social media in their practices, the fate of music journalism, new ways of selling music and many other things.

Give it a listen here:

P.S. My original intention with the interview was to introduce Nancy’s latest work into the Czech context. The piece ended up being published by the Czech rock/metal magazine Spark (to which I’ve been contributing since 2001) in its October 2013 issue. I took the photo in the Microsoft “NERD” building in Cambridge a couple of days after the interview. I happened to have a Velvia film in my camera which made Nancy look more red that in real life. Sorry!

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