You missed the point, sorry if I wasn't clear. There's alot going on in the music industry. (And, why be nasty? No percentage in that, and it makes you seem juvenile). First, people are indeed shutting down from listening to music and moving onto other forms of leisure activity. Sorry, but it's true, and in my business, I see it every day. Second, exposure is only it's own reward in a fantasy world, and it only holds for non-serious "musicians". Serious musicians actually need to make money. Third, if you can listen to/stream/rent/download a jillion or so songs for about $4.99 per month, the cost per song is statistically zero and artists cannot make a living. When you have real competition in the marketplace, and there are sufficient rewards available, innovation/excellence occurs. But because the playing field is leveled, i.e., there are very few ways to get heard above the fray and make a decent living no matter how amazingly great, innovative and skilled you are, why innovate? What's the reward? Why not just vomit out whatever you like and see what happens? And, if that song doesn't work, because it's so cheap and easy, why not just throw up more "demos", over and over again? Why bother practicing if you're going to get the same "reward" whether you do or you don't? Fourth: we do need filters, we need standards of excellence in art. Otherwise, as what's happening now in music, everyone could do it! There is a difference between a "prosumer" (nod to Alvin Toffler) and an "artist". But those lines are blurring because of the death of excellence standards. Oh, there is so much more on this topic, and so many POVs as well...but this is a small forum. And...You can disagree with me if you like, and that's all good, but again, it doesn't help your view if you just turn on the nasty.
I would make a distinction in your analysis between tech start-ups and music. Music is art, tech start-ups make functional stuff. Much more importantly, the ratio of music offerings to the number of tech products out there is highly skewed to music offerings. It's a REAL glut. Here are a few problems w. music glut, and there are many: 1) because anyone at any age now can make "music" extremely easily (w. virtually zero cash needs), and throw it up on Youtube, and, because we have no reliable filters, the music merit bar has been deeply lowered; and 2) many have given up listening, because it takes too much time to sift through the bad crap and find the golden nuggets; and 3) music has been devalued to zero (see: Spotify; $4.99 for jillions of songs); no more competition driving need to be good - all music presented at same playing level. Alternatively, too much competition, overwhelming the market and driving value down, so serious entrants can either 1) not spend enough time on perfecting art b/c they have to market; or 2) not get into the market b/c rewards are much less. Whew. There's more, but I'm done for now.
Mike, I was there and you were great. I thought the discussion you had with Gary Shapiro was one of the most informative of the day. Some others were very much less so, boring and repetitive, in fact. Eric Garland was good as usual, but why oh why are we STILL talking about record sales as if they are important? REALLY? It was stunning that one panelist, early in the day, stated that the recording industry has done so much for consumers and consumers "fucked us". WHAT? I figure he was a Republican, because they are fond of revisionist history. The panel you speak of in the above article was wild, to be sure, and showed the recording industry's fatally flawed thinking. One of the major topics missing, IMHO, in the entire day's discussion was the issue of conduit companies (like Comcast) buying content companies (like NBCU) and potentially barring entrance to many of these panelists' bright and shiny new services. Locker here, subscription service there - it will all be meaningless if network neutrality dies.
Answer to the question posed by the headline: Same reason that they sent my indie outfit not one, but three, copyright infringement notices for offering for download our wholly-owned master recordings.
Call out the Langoliers.