We have heard all sorts of allegations from the big boys in the music industry, the most extreme of which is that they are destined for the workhouse. As I have pointed out peer to peer file shareing is just one more nail in the coffin of the music inductry (if they are to be believed) that started with reel to reel tape recorders in the 50s. To misquote Mark Twain – the death of the music industry has been greatly exadurated.
Of course the problem is that it is not the assertions – which are rediculous of course – which is the issue it is the question. Has the music industry actually suffered from the evil of peer to peer that has beset it, and where is the evidence?
It appears to me that the music industry has never been healthier. The number and quality of the musisicians, the origonality of the music being produced is is great now as it was in those helicon days of the mid to late 60s which we all took to as a period of unprecedneted creativity. If this is what peer to peer has done then more power to it.
Let me give you a for instance. About five months before Norah Jones debut solo album was launched she put out the seminal “Come Away With Me” on free file sharing sites. The record label released the album without much fan fare but people all over the world rushed to buy it on the strength of this pre-released song. It slowly took off and eventually became a best seller around the world on not much more than word of mouth and “illegally” shared songs.
The irony is that the very practice that the big boys in the game are trying to shut down could be a huge revenue spinner for them if ony they asked the right question. Instead they are trying to strangle the goose that could lay the golden egg for them.