June 16, 2001

Some interesting analysis of the music industry.

In earlier years, Napster may have garnered much less attention- people could have been disgusted at the many poor or incomplete files, people could have ignored the whole thing knowing that they could buy the real CDs at a real store.

But in the modern world, the consumer cannot do that: the pressures of the music business have led to a wild constriction of consumer choice in mainstream retail outlets, on mainstream radio- in every respect. The degree of control is so extreme that it's no longer possible to buy stuff unless it is mainstream, and record label execs forthwith proceed to study the market and try their level best to produce composite, synthetic musicians and bands that can appeal to the largest or most profitable sections of the market.


But- as illustrated by what happened to the Electronic genre- the Internet is not a physical store. Given the capacity to copy music at no significant cost from any of a million different storage places, the natural tendency for any consumer is to begin the process of differentiation. Once this starts it doesn't stop- the person cultivates their own tastes and pursues additional differentiations among what is available to them.

posted by dru in politicsoftech