Though it alliterates nicely, content is no longer king. We are now in the throes of a full-blown Digital Renaissance and have entered a new reign. The good news is, it still alliterates:
Connection is King. Quality is Queen. Mission is Massive... and Intent is Everything.
So in reality... content is merely a courtesan.
Think about it... should a musician's core purpose be to record tracks, and print tee shirts? Or is there something bigger? Are they really there to make life more meaningful; to hold up metaphorical mirrors for the rest of us to reflect on and in?
I read a an article that once described musicians not as vocational service providers, but as psychological paramedics. I couldn't agree more. When you hear a song that moves you, it's because it heals emotional wounds you may not have even known were there. Whether seated in an auditorium listening to Beethoven, or slamming heads and elbows in a mosh pit... we are all programmed to connect in, around and through music. Concerts can be seen as communal rites of devotion - there to connect and heal us.
So if music does that, content cannot reign supreme. Our connection does. It's that relationship which has been unleashed by this Digital Renaissance - the ability for all of us to feel directly connected to, and responsible for, the vitality of the very things we love; those things which make us feel purposefully, fully alive.
You can sense it at a concert, that communal expectation. Everyone knows that each person is there for for one purpose, to connect with all in attendance, artists and audiences alike. The clearer the communal intent, the stronger the reaction. And that commitment to connection, that mission in music, that intent to elevate everone's emotions, if only for just a little while... it can all result in content, but it doesn't exist in the service of it.
So to all I say, "The King is Dead! Long Live the King!"