Originally posted by bangstudios
In addition, I can see a band like "Pearl Jam" (who just got out of their record deal) buying into iTMS big time ... a few of those, and iTMS as a distribution label is a reality. Add a section for GB musicians, and you've performed a coup.
... as great as it would be if Apple could create a "slash-dot" for music, and make it pay ... the problem is the major labels are scared stiff of any such thing, and would do everything possible to crucify Apple if it tried.
... all-the-while, over on the side lines is Uncle Bill smiling, shaking hands, and handing out business cards to the effect that - "hey, we want to turn the home computer into a closed appliance, with full DRM everything - ain't this exactly what you big media content guys want anyway? All you've got to do is buy into OUR WM format and OUR DRM - and look, Apple just screwed you! - so what have you got to loose? C'mon, get a clue guys, you're more or less a monopoly, and we're definitely a monopoly ... if we don't work together to keep everything the same, there's no place to go but down!"
The truth is, with the power of a G5, and a few tens of thousands of dollars (not many, just a few), anybody with a decent garage and a half decent sense of taste - and a bit of time on their hands (let's be generous and say, one person in 100 who buys a MIDI/DigAudio system hoping to be a star), can put out stuff as good or better than any of the major labels can ... and - shock of shocks - with some means of internet distribution, make a living at it, no big labels required!
It's not like the big labels don't know this.
Suddenly in North America alone, you'd have at least 10,000 good new acts - in just about any style of music! - to choose from! People setting up their own Internet radio stations, distribution networks, (based on their own agreements that cuts out the dinosaurs) ... and the major labels would be reduced to simply picking winners from a pool of artists who would have far more clout/leaverage/independence/income than those now, who - comparatively - have a choice between continuing their careers in landscaping/dry-wall/hospitality, or signing away their souls for the chance of doing what they love full time, and maybe one day getting paid for it.
So, do the arithmetic - if you're a media dinosaur, and see your justification for existence being threatened (or even if you just identify with this group - like say, if you're Uncle Bill, and fear the independence P2P gives - which is the unspoken multiplyer on the other half of the equation that makes computers/Internet more than just worth while) ... then action must be taken ... and it has!
Whoever it was that bought MPG.com, (Polygram? Vivendi?) has - just short of the very words coming out of their mouths - made it very clear that they bought it just so they could shut it down. Why? was it failing? Was it a money pit? No, they shut it down becaues it was working! Even the internet archive - an open , well funded project, independent of the music bizz - offered to archive the contents of MP3.com, all that they wanted to do was get an archive of all the tunes - crappy or not - on MP3.com. No way said the parent company - so (apparently) the hard drives have been wiped, and years of independent artistic community work - that was making a profit AND starting to give a few artists a reasonable chance at an independent living - dissappeared.
You can just hear the labels collectively breathing a sigh of "Whew, that was close!"
Look, there is a huge revolutionary system that could be tapped into - but it would take time, and it would take incredible risk - such that Apple would find a way to offer it's DRM to small independent artists, and create a kind of MP3.com of it's own ... ensuring that Artists got paid, and that cut out the big media gate keepers.
But it's such a huge risk, and the price Apple would pay by pissing off the big media it depends on to give it's format and DRM legitimacy, makes it rather unlikely.
(At least for now)