You talk to anyone in the entertainment biz and they'll tell you that 'the record industy isn't doing well'. Everywhere companies are cutting back, and the blame seems to go back to 'the old Napster issue'. The more I think about about it, the problem with the recording industry is that they aren't making good music these days.
I'm always tempted to think that I'm long out of the demographic that buys music, but that isn't the case as I do spend quite a bit on my iTunes. However most of what I'm buying isn't coming from large labels. What's funny is that these large companies don't see the product itself as the problem. In fact they seem dead set to crush creativity where ever they see it. In the below New York Times story the Recording Industry of America went after a DJ for mix tapes. In the good old days inteading of arresting this guy, they would hire him (or even bribe him) to play their music:
"In the world of hip-hop few music executives have more influence than DJ Drama. His “Gangsta Grillz” compilations have helped define this decade’s Southern rap explosion. He has been instrumental in the careers of rappers like Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne. He appears on the cover of the March issue of the hip-hop magazine XXL, alongside his friend and business partner T.I., the top-selling rapper of 2006. Now DJ Drama is yet another symbol of the music industry’s turmoil and confusion.
On Tuesday night he was arrested with Don Cannon, a protégé. The police, working with the Recording Industry Association of America, raided his office, at 147 Walker Street in Atlanta. The association makes no distinction between counterfeit CDs and unlicensed compilations like those that DJ Drama is known for. So the police confiscated 81,000 discs, four vehicles, recording gear, and “other assets that are proceeds of a pattern of illegal activity,” said Chief Jeffrey C. Baker, from the Morrow, Ga., police department, which participated in the raid."