Damn. The Rolling Stone is speaking some free-range truth:
So who killed the record industry as we knew it? "The record companies have created this situation themselves," says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. While there are factors outside of the labels' control -- from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs -- many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels' failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. "They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster -- that was the moment that the labels killed themselves," says Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of management company the Firm. "The record business had an unbelievable opportunity there. They were all using the same service. It was as if everybody was listening to the same radio station. Then Napster shut down, and all those 30 or 40 million people went to other [file-sharing services]."Yep. This is what I've been saying for years--finally, people are starting to come around. The fact is, Napster was pretty damned good for record sales. N*SYNC's sophomore album was leaked far and wide, and that shit did record-breaking biz. Radiohead's Kid A success, while not in that league, was still pretty surprising to just about everyone: leaked on the web, the record still hit number one its first week of sales. Pretty unexpected for a record of glitchy laptop noodling.
Then, Napster was brought down, and basically overnight, record sales went right in the crapper. Not a coincidence. To the tar pits, then. And deservedly so.