Space Ramblings

The Real Threat to the Music Industry

While the RIAA does its usual pissing, moaning and terrorizing over illegal filesharing, complaining that piracy is the greatest threat to the music industry, by which the RIAA of course means itself, the real threat may simply be its own irrelevance. The RIAA’s membership continues to be hooked through the bag into an outmoded business model and taking out its frustration on the random users that its Media Sentry or FileSafe minions point out to them, does nothing to address that.

Madonna’s defection is one of the harder strokes for them today, not because her defection represents some sort of people power but because it increasingly represents a new distribution model, one which cuts many of the RIAA’s own out of the loop. As ticket agencies begin to represent musicians and promoters become agents and recording studios, the chaotic and shifting marketplace gets a lot shiftier. With monopoly concerns dormant under the Bush and Clinton administrations, it’s now increasingly possible for music industry players to reconfigure themselves into wilder and more improbable shapes and business models, as everyone grabs their own piece of the action. Technology and the collapsing industry makes it not only possible but inevitable.

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