The Ongoing Fragmentation Of The Downloadable Music Store World

from the not-good-at-all dept

We've discussed many times the fact that there are simply too many downloadable music stores with too many formats out there. It's not that we don't think competition is good, but all these different formats, with all these different restrictions, and different rules about which devices they can play on is making a huge mess of the industry. It's leading to increasing confusion and resentment from music fans who are pissed off that the music they can supposedly buy from one store won't work on the music player they own, or can't be mixed into a playlist they bought at another store. It's as if ever retail music store in the world had their own format for selling music. If you go into Tower Records they'll give you a CD which can only play on a Tower Records CD player, while in Virgin they give you a special cassette that will only play on special Virgin cassette players. Any marketing person with half a brain would realize that the market would be much, much bigger if they settled on a common format with fewer restrictions. First, the industry couldn't figure out how to embrace file sharing, and now they're doing their best to muck up download stores. It's amazing the recording industry functions at all. It seems to function in spite of itself.
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