Monday 19 March 2018

Post-millennial tensions: how the music industry changed

John Meagher

John Meagher


Peer-to-peer sharing site Napster is created – and indoctrinates users in the notion of the free sharing of music. Metallica's Lars Ulrich is widely derided for criticising Napster, but his predictions of how the industry would be damaged have come to pass.


The MP3 age is born with the release of the iPod (it's unveiled in this part of the world the following year): while other players predate the Apple's creation, this is the gadget that spells the death knell for portable CD players and, some would argue, the compact disc itself.


The launch of YouTube is both a blessing and a curse for the industry. On the one hand, it helps create such viral sensations as Justin Bieber – whose mother posted clips of the then adolescent Justin doing his thing – but, on the other, it makes the smartphone generation think "why purchase songs when I can listen to them free whenever I want on YouTube?".


The closure of HMV shows that even venerable music retailers are not immune to changing times, but alternative providers are not without their problems: last week, Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich pulled their music from Spotify. "The reason is that new artists get paid f*** all with this model," Godrich said. "It's an equation that just doesn't work."

Irish Independent

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