Everyone knows who murdered the record labels. Not Professor Plum in the study with a wrench, but Napster on the internet with piracy.
Although this case was solved over a decade ago, I’ve been scouring the cobwebbed files and I believe Napster had an accomplice that got away scott free. Who is this accomplice, you ask? The end of obsolescence.
Once upon a time, if you liked a musical artist you purchased their records. Then eight track players came into fashion. Then cassette tapes. Then CDs. Even when you had the CD, it could get scratched. Then you bought a new CD. Then came iTunes.
This allowed consumers to purchase a perfect digital copy that never degrades and never needs replacing. I downloaded Steely Dan’s opus “Aja” in 2006 via iTunes. Six years later, the sweet jazzy rock of “Deacon Blue” sounds just as good today as it did the first day I bought it.
Ostensibly, the hole in the dam that was music piracy is largely plugged. Yet, record labels have never really come back. Their power has been usurped by touring juggernaut Live Nation . Why? In part, because labels have lost the reoccurring revenue from new musical formats and Live Nation profits from a perpetual stream of concerts.
While I have bought “Aja” only once, I have seen the Dan live four times and will happily shell out another $80 next time they play the Gibson.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page