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ARSCLIST  May 2007

ARSCLIST May 2007

Subject:

Re: Record Business vs. Music Business: The Shakeout Continues.

From:

Dismuke <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 11 May 2007 04:05:31 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (147 lines)

--- "Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:


> 
> > *As with news reporting ,the internet has greatly
> changed the way music is
> made,and distributed.In both cases,the power has
> been taken away from the
> big,globalist corporations.This is possibly the most
> exciting development,of
> my,and many other people's lifetime.The old way of
> doing things has been swept
> aside,and big boys at the corporate borg do not like
> it one bit,which is why
> they are trying so hard to control the web.



That - along with the Internet in general - is
certainly one of the most exciting developments in my
lifetime as well.

This is a subject that I find fascinating - and one
that has been very much on my mind a great deal with
the recent attempts on the part of the RIAA to try and
kill Internet radio because of the threat it presents
to the FM radio audience concentrations the major
labels depend on in order to generate mass market
hits.  Independent record labels can make money
without mass market hits - but the major RIAA labels
cannot and the visibility of independent artists and
niche genres on Internet radio is a bigger threat to
their remaining viability than even the illegal
downloaders.  Since I own an Internet radio station
(www.RadioDismuke.com) this is a huge issue to me and
has led me to become much more knowledgeable about the
state of the music industry in general.

Regardless of what the RIAA attempts to do with the
political pull it is able to purchase with the revenue
streams that still come in from its legacy activities,
these people are modern day buggy whip manufacturers
and their days are happily numbered.

Consider this:  manufacturers have recently placed on
the market 1 TERABYTE consumer hard drives.  You can
get one at Best Buy for $399.   That is enough space
to hold just under 1,500 CDs - and by that I mean
actual CD audio tracks and not compressed mp3 files. 
Think of how much storage space that many CDs would
take up.  By my calculation, that is roughly the same
amount of music as 19,960 ten inch 78 rpm records.  If
one is ok with high bitrate mp3 files, that one
terabyte hard drive will store approximately 250,000
songs - or roughly 125,000 78 rpms.

Now consider this:  that one terabyte hard drive is
likely to become pretty standard very quickly and
higher end hard drives will probably have even more
capacity.  The reason that the terabyte hard drive has
a market now is because people are starting to store
video on their hard drives in the same way that they
have stored music on them for a while now.  That trend
will only grow.  I have read  articles about new
technologies that they expect will eventually result
in 100 terabyte hard drives.

I don't know if anyone has ever calculated how many
recordings have been issued commercially since the
1890s - but I think it is a pretty safe bet that,
whatever that number is, they can very easily be
stored on 100 terabyte hard drive with plenty of room
to spare.

Imagine a world where it will be possible to store
every song ever recorded in an ipod, on a cell phone
or in a flash drive - and where it would be possible
to quickly make a duplicate of such a collection for
any friend who was interested in having one.   The
question is would anyone even want to.  For example, I
certainly have zero desire to own every rock recording
ever made or even a handful of them for that matter. 
If bandwidth is wireless, ultra high speed and
universally available, there would be no need to
actually own files.  Any recording ever made could be
instantly streamed - all you would do is program a
playlist into your cell phone/computer/entertainment
center or some other appliance.  If you wanted to
discover new music recommended by someone else, you
wouldn't tune into a music radio station - you would
simply import a playlist that someone else put
together for you.

If gold were to suddenly become as common as iron and
oil were to become as common as salt water, what would
happen to their monetary value in the marketplace?  
That is exactly what is starting to happen with sound
recordings.  My guess is the artists themselves will
be the ones who will finance their own recordings and
they will basically beg people to take/and or listen
to them in the exact same way that companies today are
eager to pay for and hand out their brochures,
business cards and advertisements to as many people as
possible.

As we enter such a world, the RIAA is still obsessed
with and has desperately been trying to pretend that
people will continue using plastic discs that take up
shelf space and only hold 700 measly megabytes of
data. The joke is on them - and if they didn't have so
much political pull, it would actually be funny.

By way of contrast, look at how the photo industry
which has been similarly impacted by the digital
revolution has reacted.  To the best of my knowledge,
Eastman Kodak has not demanded "royalties" be paid to
film manufacturers for every digital camera and memory
card that is sold.  They have not attempted to outlaw
PhotoShop or demand that ISPs track and stop their
customers from sharing image files - a great many of
which are protected by copyright and are being shared
and even used without permission.  I am sure that the
changes in technology have been VERY painful to their
bottom line and to the bottom line of many of their
top photo processing customers.  If they have whined
about it, it has not come to my attention.  Instead,
from what I see, Kodak has simply faced reality and is
in the process of phasing out certain product lines
and they are now focusing on new product lines. 

Had the RIAA embraced mp3 technology back in the 1990s
and priced the new product accordingly instead of
trying to boycott and kill it - well, a lot of the
problems it has had since with illegal downloading and
such would not have come about and it would be far
ahead of where it is today in terms of having a chance
at finding a way of being viable in the future.

Personally, after the little stunts the RIAA and its
puppets at SoundExchange have done in recent years to
make sure that the only music that is able to be
played on Internet radio is the same sort of limited
stuff one currently hears on FM radio - well, I
personally look forward to the demise of the RIAA and
the labels which are part of it.

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