Speaking of business skeumorphism, Elliot Jay Stocks had quite the interesting take on how to reinvent the business model of music:
So, musicians, I suggest this: release small and often. Put out a track — or small collections of tracks like EPs — on a regular basis. Seed them directly to your fans. Release sketches and demos and rough mixes and experiments. We no longer need to toil away for months or years at a time crafting a ‘finished’ album, because digital media — by its very nature — has destroyed the hitherto-held understanding of what ‘finished’ really is. We don’t need glass masters. We don’t need to go to press. The music industry is in such dire straits because of the same ‘skeuomorphic business models’ that Craig Mod blames for the magazine industry’s decline.
The key to industries is to understand why the business constraints came to be. In publishing it was the time it took to print and distribute the publication. In music it was the time it took to mix, stamp and distribute CDs, which could take ages.
Once you understand the history, you can turn things upside down. There’s no reason why artists can’t release songs more often in non-album formats.
The iTunes store was simply step 1 of allowing us to buy exactly the old-school CD in digital form. What’s next will be completely different.