The price of CDs has finally come down: Part of the reason file-sharing took off so fast ten years ago was because we wanted more music than we could afford to buy. And yes, CDs were too expensive. That’s all changed today. Market forces 1, high prices, 0.
The price of singles has gone back to levels not seen since the ’70s: Buying a 7-inch single back then cost anywhere from 99 cents to $1.29. What are the a la carte prices on for digital singles sold on iTunes and elsewhere? Ninety-nine cents to $1.29 — or, in some cases, even lower.
They still make turntables: Towards the ends of the ’90s, every Christmas was framed as “the last time you’ll ever be able to buy a turntable.” Vinyl coughed up a lung and lingered in the ICU for a few years, but now it’s been reborn. Good thing a number of manufacturers kept the faith.
Box sets: People will spend money on something that’s perceived to have good value. Sure, you can BitTorrent Neil Young’s entire oeuvre for free, but nothing downloadable can match the richness of his Archives box set.
The Internet: In the old days, people got their music from radio, magazines, friends, video channels and the guy at the record store. That still applies today, but now we have Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, RapidShare, streams and an infinite number of BitTorrent sites. Instead of someone filtering the music for us, the entire universe lays open. Infinite choice is sometimes frustrating and scary, but would you have it any other way?
MySpace: I know it’s fashionable to bash MySpace as people sing the glories of Facebook, but if you’re an artist anywhere in the world, the cheapest and most efficient way to make your music available to the world is to have a MySpace Page. If you’re in a band and you don’t have a MySpace page, it’s like you don’t exist. I can’t tell you the number of bands and songs I’ve discovered this way.
DRM is dead, dead, dead: The thing for which I’m most thankful this year. It seems quaint and laughable that the recording industry demanded digital locks on downloads and restricted the number of times we could burn a purchased track to CD. Consumers 1, DRM proponents, 0.