It is likely, no matter what Dave Allen does for the rest of his life he will largely be remembered for one thing: helping create the seminal punk band Gang of Four. But what if he helps create a new, more robust music industry? That’s what he believes is possible with his new job.
On Tuesday it was announced that Allen signed on to star-packed new music streaming service Beats Music as the Director, Artist & Music Industry Advocacy. He described his new role like this:
I will act as an ambassador for Beats Music, reaching out to artists and the recorded music industry to find common ground and debate real issues and real problems, problems that can hopefully be solved without resorting to rhetoric that inflames rather than assuages doubts.
Allen has been an active voice in the streaming music debate. In October, he wrote an op-ed for The Guardian defending streaming services in the response to his contemporaries — David Byrne, Thom Yorke, Mike Mills — who are searching for different solutions.
The heart of the debate is how can the music industry profitably move forward in the digital, broadband, peer-to-peer file sharing age. Are you a musician? What platform offers you the best chance to share your art? Are you a listener? How are you getting music these days?