William Warren wrote:
> I'll cut to the chase -- the P2P battle is just the trampled grass
> surrounding the ring in which the industrial elephants from the old
> and the new entertainment worlds are doing battle.
> The old world entertainment companies, panicking at the thought of
> losing their choke hold on the production and distribution of enter-
> ainment media, are waging a FUD campaign to dissuade you and me from
> using our computers to bypass their monopoly on the management of
> popular culture.
Yes and no.
The same thing was said about the Internet and 24/7 cable news vs.
traditional newspapers. Now newspaper reading has indeed declined a
bit but many predicted they'd be gone by now, made obsolete by newer
technologies. Indeed, the introduction of television in the 1950s was
said to kill off the motion picture studios.
The introduction of new technologies usually does cause established
industries to make changes. Market share is lost. But old industries
do not disappear if they evolve.
Television did help kill off some classic magazines like LIFE and the
Saturday Evening Post. But the magazine world is still quite busy.
Indeed, LIFE magazine is somewhat still with us, only in a different
form called People Magazine, same publisher, and doing very well. (We
don't like to think of LIFE as being about celebrities, but a big part
of it was Hollywood and curiosity "freak/oddball" coverage). Maybe
local TV viewing is down, but local TV news is now a profit center,
years ago it was done at a loss as a public service.
Certainly some new music will be distributed by electronic means
outside the traditional channels. But the old-stype distributing
complex--the record companies--shouldn't go away.
When I was a kid I went to a record hop party and the DJ gave out 45s
to every guest. They were demo records prepared by aspiring artists.
He had tons of them. They weren't very good. The point is that there
are lots of aspiring artists out there, but most just aren't up to high
standards to "make it" nationwide. The record companies and radio
stations, like book publishers, perform of necessary function of
weeding out and polishing up new artists. By the way, there are plenty
of artists who become "one hit wonders"; they'll do one song that will
popular for years yet they'll never do anything else despite being
Popular music isn't about purity or talent. Music lovers don't like
groups like the Backstreet Boys or N Sync because they were
artifically "invented". That is irrelevent. Popular music is what
the word says, "popular". It's what sells. Frankly, as a listener, I
don't care who the Backstreet Boys really are; I happen to enjoy
listening to their music. Conversely, I don't care about Eminem's
struggle as a poor white kid trying to get into rap music; I don't
like the sound and don't listen to it.
Radio stations live and die by ratings. The people decide for