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The Fate of the Music Industry – A Musician’s Bedtime Story

the web wizardOnce upon a time, there was brilliant and wonderful wizard who created a magical technology called the internet. The great minds of the time were so excited about the new technology, they decided to join forces and work together in harmony, for the good of the people. There job; to make the internet accessible to the working class and to discover a new way of connecting villages throughout the land. The collection of great minds hailed their breakthrough as, The World Wide Web.

Just as the great technologies before it, many artisans, musicians, craftsmen and businessmen saw great opportunity for wealth, at a time when there was none. They created games, digital music boxes, moving pictures, and knowledge gateways. They launched magnificent and wondrous portals into the human experience. A wave of renaissance spread through the land as the people shared technology and ideas. There was a long and prosperous period when a vast number of new businesses and people flourished. In time, many businessmen grew wealthy beyond their dreams.

Then one day, behind closed doors, the wisest few had come to a decision to expand the business for more profit. They began to pool their resources to make the technology faster and smarter for those who craved more. They rewarded smaller businesses handsomely as they acquired new technology. They searched the land far and wide for the best of the best; luring the top minds with promises of gold, the finest linens and priceless treasures.

Their plan worked, as a multitude of people began abandoning the old technology for new. The people were happy as they went merrily about sharing music, watching moving pictures and connecting with new friends from all classes, kingdoms, backgrounds, ethnicities and age groups.

The wise men began to see more opportunity to increase their wealth. So they decided to sell services and goods to the people; who were more than willing to buy in the name of convenience. They made private deals with the business from the old establishments. The wise men promised opportunity and shared prosperity to artisans, musicians, craftsmen and small businessmen who did commerce under their banners. They also bought and sold shares to the elite class to increase their influence. Unbeknownst to the people, wealth beget wealth. Profit beget profit taking. Soon shadows were cast amongst the land…

medieval warsIn time, the wise men grew corrupt and greed spread like a plague amongst the wealthy- slowly pitting one against the other. To bring swift conquest, they purchased patents, rigged the battle field and bought favor from the highest lords and judiciaries of the kingdoms. Using the law of the land as their sword, they brought perpetrators to justice and swiftly squashed competitors who dare mount any kind of resistance.

As the duels ended and the dust settled, and with victory at hand; the ones left standing were still not fulfilled. They wanted more. Their thirst for wealth still unquenched, they set their sites on the people.

The people cried out as they were burdened with increased taxes, tariffs and fees. The people cried as new restrictions were place on their freedoms. The people cried out as the quality of technology they once enjoyed disintegrated before their eyes. The people cried out as the wealthy businessmen (Music industry, Big Oil, Energy Monopolies, Wall Street, Big Pharmaceuticals, Health Care, Internet Infrastructure, The Cable Monopoly, Big Banks, and Phone Communications) crushed their will. The people cried out as rulers of the kingdom fought amongst themselves to divide the spoils.  The people cried out as rulers of the kingdom ignored their pleas.

The End – A Musician’s Bedtime Story

The web is just another form of entertainment medium like the newspaper/magazine, radio, motion pictures and television before it. Technology is always changing, but the basic fundamentals of the business model stays the same.

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