How The Music Industry Has Resisted Technology Historically

from the sense-a-pattern? dept

A nice article from my alma mater pointing out that the music industry has a long history of fighting new technologies – from all the way back when sheet music publishers tried to outlaw the phonograph (it’s evil! it’s theft! how will all those musicians make a living if we can’t sell sheet music!). The article points out that the dominant medium for listening to music is chosen by the listeners, and it’s pretty clear they want digital music. The article then goes on to praise iTunes as “paradigm shifting”. I don’t agree that it is, though, it is (clearly) a step forward. It just seems like a small step – and one that’s a long distance from where the music industry should be with regards to digital distribution. Still, history has shown (repeatedly) that despite the struggles against new technology, we do get there eventually – and when we do (amazingly enough) the markets always seem larger, and the amount of money in the opportunity is always much greater. It’s just that people making money are set in their ways and like to keep making money the way they always have. What they don’t realize is that if the market shifts out from under them, they won’t be able to do that no matter what.

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