“NBC’s Jeff Zucker says Apple destroyed the music business. Wrong, bucko. Hanging on to overpriced CDs and Album-Oriented-Rock destroyed the music business. Apple singlehandedly rejuvenated digital music. If not for the iPod, we’d be dealing with Liquid Audio, SDMI, and Sony rootkit nonsense, while the labels tried to sue their fans to success. Digital spending would be a fraction of what it is now, and, you know what, CD sales would still be tanking.”
David is completely right, and Zucker is showing just how backward some record industry executives are over the switch to online delivery. Apple is probably the music industry’s best friend right now, but if you listen to their rhetoric, you’d never believe it.
The music industry has a choice: adopt the ground rules that Apple has set (minimal/no DRM, consumer-friendly approaches) or try to turn things around to the way they used to work – ripping off the consumer at every opportunity. If it goes down the first path, it has an opportunity to transition to new business models where record companies add value beyond simply controlling the distribution medium. If it chooses the second, the record companies will be disintermediated out of business.