The biggest challenge facing the music business is not necessarily piracy or the competition of attention for fan’s money and time, it’s making an experience joyful for people.
People used to go to Tower Records on a Saturday morning, and leave with a three foot stack of LP’s. There was a visceral pleasure in that act.
Totally agree. I used to camp out at stores for midnight album releases. Or I’d wake up early before school to get to a store when it opened for a new CD I wanted.
Music as an artform hasn’t fundamentally changed, so why has that changed? Shit products. Or, more fairly, products turned to shit by a terrified music industry.
That’s why there’s so much excitement surrounding Spotify. It wasn’t built from the ground up to appease the record labels. It was built to please music fans. And that’s why it’s been such a pain in the ass bringing it to the U.S.
Hopefully, that’s about to change.
I’d also argue that the reason iTunes took off is because Apple is the only company with the gall (or nerve) to not fully capitulate to the labels and still get some of what they want. But even iTunes is/was far from perfect. Notice how it took years before they got to kill DRM, after iTunes was already a huge success and they had leverage. Now we’re starting to get the cloud…
Google and Amazon have been battling for what they want, but so far, they’re not getting it. And there are no signs of that changing anytime soon.