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iTunes has worked just as I expected it to…

August 30, 2008

According to this article, some “artists” (Kid Rock, in this case) refuse to put their music on iTunes because it allows people to download single songs instead of buying the entire album. Poor baby. Apparently he doesn’t like the fact that consumers get a choice – and that he needs to create albums that are good all the way through, instead of having a couple of good songs and ten dogs.

I predicted this way back when iTunes started. There were lots of predictions about how it would “change the industry,” and it has – but to me, the most important point is that consumer choice would rule. Since the days of the LP record album buyers were forced to buy everything on the album, whether they liked the tracks or not. No longer. Some artists have stepped up and released consistently great music. Some have not. The record labels liked to release albums or CDs with a couple of great tunes on them, knowing consumers would buy them for the two or three songs they wanted, but would pay full price. There was no pressure to make all the music on the CD of a consistently strong quality.

iTunes has provided that pressure. It only makes it better for consumers. If musicians have to work harder, I say -as a musician myself – that’s a very good thing. Sometimes the commitment to quality comes from within. Sometimes it has to be imposed from outside!

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