Isn't it ironic that we're talking about an industry where a majority of the time, the people who created the product, don't even end up owning the rights to make money with it, or do anything with it all? I know so many people who have had to buy their stuff back, so they can at least sell two dozen copies to faithful fans or whatever. The record company, after not adequately promoting it, would have just let it sit in a vault somewhere and die. So I mean, who's stealing from whom?
You are right, this is only a threat to EXISTING companies. Those companies have been doing such a piss poor job. I think it went south when they never really came up with a decent replacement for the forty-five. One hit wonders were just what they were. You bought one hit, and that was it. To get someone to buy an entire album, you actually had to make a decent, or dare I say it, great one. And guess what? Those artists still have decent selling catalogues. Chances are they were nurtured along a little too. Elton made better albums over time, at least the first ten years anyway. Most of today's pop acts won't even produce a catalogue because the music won't stand the test of time. They got greedy when they knew they could force us to pay $14 for the single, or one good tune and nine crappy ones. Why does everyone think the NOW... MUSIC series does so well?
They are blowin' it big time. They should analyze the service and do it better, faster. And don't give me this bull about teens not being able to afford it, or not respecting the music. When I was 18, I gladly forked over my portion of the cable bill every month because the "free" channels were just not gonna cut it for me or my roomates. And it was my waitressing money, not my parent's, paying for all my living expenses. Now I pay for satellite because basic cable doesn't cut it, and I want better service than what my crappy cable company seems to want to offer. The jury is out on the service quality of the satellite companies, but one can see my point. Which was also your point. The file sharing experience has much to be improved on.
The current record companies have the means and the power to make such awesome downloading sights. They could provide access to so much of what they're already sitting on, and turn a profit on stuff that's already been recorded. They had to digitally remaster everything they've been willing to reissue on CD, why not make the entire motherload available?Why not make it a goal to make everything available, to design a sight that is convenient to use and affordable? Do it better.
I mean, when I was fourteen, it didn't take me long to figure out that my own copy of EXIT STAGE LEFT or whatever was better than my friend's cassette recording off her stereo. I wanted my own copy, with the words and the art and all of it. That could all be incorporated into a web site. I think the record companies have lost sight of how to make things appealing. Everyone sees through the BS. People think they are being ripped off, and if you bought a CD in the last ten years hoping to have ten or twelve great tunes to listen to, or a great concept to check out, chances are, you were.
Thanks for making some great points!