by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 21st 2008 4:58am
Over the past few years, you started to hear people in the recording industry claim that they were now "embracing" online music, but they were doing so in the form of iTunes. Even though they hated Apple's dominance in the market, they still felt that selling downloads was the key to the future. Not so fast. As plenty of folks have been pointing out for years, free downloads have always been the ones really dominating the market. No, it may not be legal, but to ignore that market reality is simply asking for trouble. So, it should come as no surprise that despite whatever "advances" have been made in pay-for-downloads lately, the percentage of music listeners paying to download is shrinking, while the number using file sharing systems (despite all those lawsuits and bogus "education" campaigns) has remained constant or grown. Given that we're seeing musicians both big and small use free music to make themselves plenty of money, isn't it time that the industry as a whole started to recognize the opportunities?
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