Index of papers Phil Gyford: web | email
Spring 2000
Futures Methods II

Scenario Building


PDF version


[ Scenario 1 | Scenario 2 | Scenario 3 ]

For the record industry, 2010, GBN method.

An online chat transcript from the computer of Natalia, 15 years old.

<pINCH> I can't find nuthin good today
<Natalia> yeah lastweek was so cool
<pINCH> yeh I can't find any cool tunes this week. Nothing new :(
<RaZiNg> im gunna see you there
<Natalia> didja here the new one from Iraiza....its crazy
<pINCH> you mean Kaji? he's old like two weeks..... Iraizas boys are all the same...cutey winky boring... he cant designf or shit
<Natalia> Kajis so rip he still souds new. Zane's got a whole band coming out next week- Dals seen them and says they move so real
<RaZiNg> see ya there
<pINCH> wowowowow Dals so cool nat your lucky! Zane hasn't got a gf so i'm day he'll be mine!!!! :)
*** rosie_glow has entered the room
<Natalia> yeah Dal was hangin in this world Lindz is making and htey've got all this cool music nshit... yknow real real new shit
<Natalia> HEY ROSIE!!
my bodys sayin yeah
<pINCH> EVERY1s talkin bout it nat. you seen it?
<Natalia> naaaah its like real secret and its only guys in Lindzs band... neway they found this new server and theres all this shit there theyve never heard
<Natalia> loads of its shit yeah like always but they got this real new Zane stuff like prototyp[es..... Dal said its sooooo cool
<pINCH> Dal always knows the newest stuff....... he rox
<Natalia> =)
<pINCH> I wanna work fro Zane itd be awesome. I did this like japanese woman last week and 100s of people played her
<rosie_glow> ugh omg my dad is such a freakin a-hole
yeah she was cool pinch - I played her like monday lunch
<pINCH> uh but I finished her last week
<Natalia> oh........... well she was still cool =)
<pINCH> thanx nat
<RaZiNg> boredboredboredbored
<rosie_glow> hes like buying all this music. he thinks CDs sound better
<Natalia> duh hes a dad rosie
<RaZiNg> mmmmmm whos got Harmony pix?????
<rosie_glow> my dad sez the only real music is the music you buy
<Natalia> Lindz duznt like fx music. he sez it duznt have ne soul but hes like 22 or sumthin. but like millions of ppl listened to the song he made at the w/e
<pINCH> Just cos its *real* doesnt mean its good Nat :)
<Natalia> yeh but some companys going to sell his next song on early release next saturday.
*** RaZiNg has left the room
<pINCH> yeh some real musics cool but its so cheesy. I can wait to hear it free on Saturday afternoon :) Zanes it. Ive bought all his figures
<Natalia> r u gonna get his new memory stick?
<pINCH> of course!!!!!!! yeh some things you *have* to pay for!!! but its gonna be like so cool i'm gonna play it for days!!!
<Natalia> bring it to school so I can here it pinch! Dal sez you can copy music from the sticks now
<pINCH> noo not these ones they changed them again
<Natalia> hmm.... well I can wait - someonel'l crack it again soon and I can copy yours then...... pleeeeeeze!!!
<pINCH> LOL sure
<rosie_glow> have u got n e new Hazel Ray?
<pINCH> no..... nat you were into her
<Natalia> No I think she's gone now. Haven't heard anything for like 2 weeks. She was like so big for weeks and weeks and weeks!!!
<rosie_glow> yeh I thought maybe she was over.
<Natalia> Harmony's really like her tho, you'd like her rosie. shes on the same site too
<rosie_glow> I haven't heard her. she new?
<Natalia> well, like a few days. keep up rosie!!!!


  1. Identify focal issue or decision
    What alternatives to selling CDs/cassettes/records should the industry be looking at as sources of income in light of the Internet, MP3s, etc?
  2. Key Factors for success or failure in local environment
    • Consumers.
    • Musicians.
    • Labels.
    • Retailers.
    • Distributors.
    • Secure digital music formats.
    • MP3.
    • Ability to control illegal digital distribution.
    • Ability of illegal digital distribution to evade control.
    • CD sales.
    • Advertising.
    • E-commerce.
    • Enthusiasm of consumers/fans.
    • Profit.
    • Ability to cross-promote music across media.
  3. Identify driving forces
    • Rising total CD sales, especially to 35+ consumers.
    • Drop in sales to 15-29 year olds.
    • Increasing e-commerce.
    • Increasing illegal online distribution of digital music.
    • Increased interaction between fans and other fans or the musicians.
    • Increasing media industry consolidation.
    • Increasing variety of media (radio, TV, movies, online streaming, portables, WebTV,
    • Increased sales of soundtrack albums.
    • Increased sales of R&B/Gospel.
    • Sales from non-record stores increasing their market share.
    • Consolidation among large retailers.
    • Sales of singles dropping.
    • Increasing numbers of older people.
    • Growth of the Internet.
    • Increasing consolidation of companies.
    • Rise of large ŒGeneration Yš cohort.
    • Failure of traditional advertising to succeed withŒGeneration Yš.
    • Fragmentation of traditional media channels.
    • Increasingly tech-savvy audience.
    • Rise of legal alternative distribution for musicians.
  4. Rank driving forces by importance and uncertainty
    • Most important:
    • Generation Y stuff - drop in sales, failure of traditional advertising, tech saviness.
    • Increasing illegal online distribution of digital music.
    • Increasing e-commerce (and rise in CD sales?).
    • Increasing numbers of older people.
    • Most uncertain:
    • Generation Y stuff - drop in sales, failure of traditional advertising, tech saviness.
    • Increasing illegal online distribution of digital music.
  5. Selecting scenario logics
        Gen Y prove loyal to traditional brands, advertisising, music, etc.    
    Illegal distribution is controlled. (I) (II) Illegal distribution cannot be stopped.
    (III) (IV)
        Gen Y are fickle, disregard most advertising.    
  6. Fleshing out scenarios
    (IV) - 2010: Generation Y are fickle and disregard most advertising, while illegal online distribution of digital music cannot be stopped.
    • Crazes for bands begin 'underground,' by distribution of MP3s/whatever among fans looking for new music.
    • CD sales dropped.
    • Less tech-savvy, the wealthy, and those with less time to spare, still pay for original, official music, eg, Boomers.
    • Huge stars are created and then disappear in short time frames.
    • Increasing sponsorship and less upfront methods of promoting music.
    • Music companies co-opted illegal distribution forums, eg Napster, Gnutella, as a new means of distribution.
    • Music companies using illegal distribution forums as test-beds and ways to begin promotion of new artists.
    • Companies make more money from selling merchandise, websites, games, movies, access to stars.
    • Computer-generated stars, fine tuned to today's tastes. People are fans of CGI stars' creators, rather than the stars themselves.
    • Music which is brand new isn't available via illegal methods, so people will pay for the truly cutting edge stuff.
    • Secure music formats succeed if they tap into a current fad?
    • Gen Y are now aged 16-31, voting, buying houses, starting to have children.
    • More non-domestic stars.
    • Too much music available - how to choose? Word of mouth, recommendation agents?
    • Shoutcast-style personal broadcasting very popular. Very diverse stations, 'broadcast' to many devices.
    • Knowing about something really new and obscure is a mark of status.
    • Emergence of style leaders, opinion formers.

[ Scenario 1 | Scenario 2 | Scenario 3 ]

Index of papers Phil Gyford: web | email