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IT-Director: Will the music play again for Napster?

May 24, 2000, 14:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Unicorn)

"The law suits are hitting the headlines, but the real issue is whether music should be controlled by the existing large publishers or whether new models will dominate."

"The traditional music industry grew up around difficult and expensive technology. Creating records and compact discs used to require complex equipment that few could afford. The companies have created a model in which they control most aspects of production and distribution. The musicians received a royalty from sales, but most of the price to the consumer disappeared somewhere in the supply chain. This system worked well for musicians who could command vast sales but less well for others."

"Internet distribution opens up new opportunities. A popular model using the Internet is for the musician to create a web site that provides for free download of recorded music. The web site forms a special interest group and derives revenues from advertisers and from the sale of complementary goods and services. For many musicians, this approach generates at least as good a revenue stream as royalties from a traditional music company."

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