-Hannah Mead, MCPP intern, 2008
…we’d still be riding in horse-drawn carriages and wearing homespun, hand-stitched clothing.
Ever since I was a young child I’ve had little respect for the music industry. The RIAA is one of the most backwards organizations I’ve ever encountered. For years they tried to eliminate online music sharing, getting all indignant that young people should violate the law when the incentives were clear: pay $20 for one song, or right-click-save-target-as. Clearly, no amount of cracking down was going to stop the mp3 revolution, but the RIAA stuck to its guns and sought to shut down online music distribution.
Finally Steve Jobs showed them that they could actually embrace and hugely benefit from easier music transfers. The whole thing was like watching someone lead a horse to a pond and hold its big ol’ long face in the water until it finally drank.
Now, the music industry is once again technophobing away, utterly failing to recognize a huge boon when they see it. It’s really hard to tell what’s going on what with the whole thing very bureaucratized, but Pandora, an internet radio service that lets you customize “stations,” may face extinction due to a royalty hike. Maybe Pandora is whining and just seeking what the rate-hike-proponents call a subsidy, I don’t know enough about how this all works to know.
But I do know that Pandora and other customizable internet radio stations going out of business will not help the music industry. As Coyote notes, most of us who listen to Pandora end up buying way more songs we’d never have even heard if internet radio hadn’t introduced us to them. I know I’ve got a good list of about 20 songs I need to buy next time my lappy is in wireless range.