The Downward Spiral Of The Record Industry
Columbia Records recently did a survey of youths, and the alarming consensus was that they don't consider downloading music without paying for it stealing. The majors aren't oblivious to this problem; they're trying desperately to figure out what to do about it. But while this problem is foremost on their mind, everyone's going to suffer in that every label's primary goal these days is not to make good music, it's to make music that will *sell*. When a record label's livelihood is on the line, they won't take chances--instead, they'll just rely on what they can do to make money. So what you're going to get is a downward spiral--the labels are just going to continue to churn out product that they know will do well, at the expense of doing something bold and new. Ultimately this will wear down the consumer, who will become disillusioned with what gets put out there, and will stop paying for music altogether.
Add to this the problem that is created by the iPod; now, your entire music collection is at your fingertips, and it's easy to maintain music collections of thousands and thousands of albums. In the past, whenever you got tired of listening to your latest CD, you went out and bought a new one. Now, with every album you ever bought at your ready access, it's a lot easier to satisfy your craving for new music by simply listening to OLD music that you bought back when music was still bought.