This Is The End, My Friend…

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… Well not quite. But it does reek of the death of the middleman and the music industry as we know it. The RIAA lawsuits look like they’ve run out of gas (follow the fun Here). There are now two mainstream online music stores that sell DRM free music, with more rumored to be on the way. Radiohead has decided to skip the industry altogether. Prince is following a somewhat similar path. It will only take a few new bands, uncompromised by the industry, to break out on the net, then look out!

[youtube BiB0VgOKojg]

OK, “KILLED” is not the right word. Outgrew maybe is better. This is somewhat like the challenge the horse drawn carriage manufacturers faced just after the turn of the twentieth century with the advent of the automobile assembly line, which changed the horseless carriage from a luxury item, a hobby only for the rich (referred to as an “automobilist“), into an affordable utilitarian device for the average consumer. Once this genie was let out of the bottle, there was no way of stopping it. Adapt or die, the saying goes. William Durant was one of the few of the horse-and-buggy set that had the foresight to ditch his old industry and tie his already considerable fortunes to the emerging horseless carriage industry.

I suspect that more people already use the internet more that listen to the radio. Doubt that it’s happened yet, but at some point more people will listen and acquire music over the internet than they do via standard broadcast radio and brick and mortar record stores. The ease at which data – and music – are share over the web is frightening, yet it is a natural byproduct of an internet-connected world. Instead of embracing the changing world, the RIAA chose to fight against music sharing, thus battle against the very nature of the internet and the inevitable increase in data proliferation inherent in the new medium. In trying to hold on to its old outdated ways of controlling content and trying to maintain a “business as usual” model, the record industry may be on the verge of paying dearly for its shortsightedness.