Here's a snapshot of what the music industry looked like when Napster first arrived in June of 1999.
CDs accounted for 89.4 percent of overall recorded music sales, according to the RIAA. Cassettes still accounted for roughly 7.6 percent of the total, LPs were roughly 0.2 percent, and album downloads were essentially nonexistent.
There were 5 major labels: Warner Music Group, EMI Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), and Universal Music Group.
The major labels were in the middle of their best year ever. This was the year the Diamond Award was created to honor sales of more than 10 million albums.
The iPod was an unknown name. In fact, it would be almost two years until its introduction.
Justin Bieber was 5 years old. Justin Timberlake was 18. Daniel Ek (CEO of Spotify) was 16.
Most artists had no idea what had arrived. In a lawsuit filed in December, then-Puff Daddy said, "I couldn't believe it when I found out that this Napster was linking thousands of people to the new Notorious B.I.G. album, Born Again, a week before it even hit the streets."
The Backstreet Boys' Millennium dominated the album charts for most of the month. It went on to become one of the best-selling albums ever, with worldwide sales north of 40 million.
MySpace was still four years away.
Other prominent album releases that year included ...Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, The Slim Shady LP by Eminem, Things Fall Apart by the Roots, Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 100% Ginuwine by Ginuwine, and Slipknot's debut studio album, Slipknot.
Hilary Rosen was chairman and CEO of the RIAA. After leaving, she later criticized her own organization's handling of the Napster problem.
Carl [Nimbit] Friday, December 02, 2011
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
@stevesaccone Friday, December 02, 2011
@MusiCole79 Friday, December 02, 2011
What would labels do now?
LilO P. Saturday, December 03, 2011
Look up the 360 deal. They basically have acces to every penny that comes into the artist pocket. Before they only took a share of the CD's sold. Now they take most of the share of the tickets sold per show, merchandise with the artist's name, face, etc. It's a shame.
mdti Saturday, December 03, 2011
Invest in mobile french fries vendor trucks....
mdti Saturday, December 03, 2011
or hot dogs (to be converted in ice cream in summer)
Old Guy Saturday, December 03, 2011
That year (1999) one of my best buddies had his fortieth birthday party. All the guests where music biz professionals, many from the majors. He had a guy at the door taking musical requests from the arriving guests. Then later in the evening when all the requests had been played, my friend gets up from the table and explains that all their requests where downloaded from Napster in less than the time it took to have the pre dinner drinkies. Most of them had never heard of Napster and some of them flat out refused to believe him. From there everything went stright to hell (with the biz, not the party) that is :)
Wilhelm Reuch Saturday, December 03, 2011
This article is very far from the truth. The music industry was very well aware of the coming change from CD and had been for many years (most of them sold-off/outsourced CD-manufacturing in the early 90s', at least in europe).
And remember that the services the record company provides is financing (paying advances so you can finish the songs), rights management and promotion. The media it is distributed on have never been important.
I still remember the discussion in the industry in the late 80's. Everyone was aware that the next thing was downloading (even though this was before the mainstreaming of the internet) and some sort of re-writeable hardware (disk, memory stick, whatever). One main spot of the discussion was payment and privacy - systems to handle payment without "big brother" knowing exactly what you listen to, they didnt beleive the public would accept what they today obviously are accepting.
What we are seeing today is the disappearance of mass-culture and replacing it with highly commersialized entertainment controlled by the ad -buyers. A small percentage will leak/leap from mass-culture to more exclusive culture (that is not under threat since there exist more deicated listeners). The internet plays a big part in this and especially Google which today has a monopoly to finding anything on the web - Googles refusal to index any site that has a businesmodell the does not benefit Google is a big problem here.
Negotiator Saturday, December 03, 2011
AS a person who has been in negotiations with all the major labels on bhalf of telcos and various tech companies since the turn of the century, I can tell you that you are completely wrong about this. While they may have been aware that a change was coming, they never understood that it would completely change the power structure and drastically reduce their distribution power. The arrogance and attitude they all displayed just when they should have been trying to stay ahead of the curve was considerable. I guess a good comparison is how people go into denial about the impact of global warming.
So Sunday, December 04, 2011
This sounds about right,
MP3 technology was theorized in the late 70's and recieved it's first grants for r&d in the early 80's. The writing was on the wall.
As far as how the industry handled it, it's kind of amazing how poorly it all went down. Another thing to remember is this happened relatively right after the Format change to CD, where an entire population literally replaced the majority of their already purchased content with the same thing...in a new format.
I believe the denial is now on the part of the consumer and the entire industry on the whole, as it's content creators that are finding themselves in the precarious position right now...
More on that here..
JMK Monday, December 05, 2011
All too true. What is potentially optimistic is how creative musicians are getting with the brick wall of the label system. I see indie musicians finding other ways to "brand" themselves - doing workshops, integrating with writing programs and educational outreach - in short, they're doing all the same things that musicians from all genres are doing to find ways to make a living.
And I agree that the writing has been on the wall for a long time - the blip that was huge sales in the industry was simply that, and it's gone now. We're back to an industry that has never really been financially viable as a corporate enterprise. This is something that music history teaches us but we don't want to hear (especially the label execs).
mdti Sunday, December 04, 2011
exactly what i saw, and couldn't beleive they couldn't understand or project themselves in the future....
@Jjkrazy Saturday, December 03, 2011
lol... seems like a lifetime ago.
@alias_eitel Saturday, December 03, 2011
sweet memories, I assume ;)
@JonathanPCohen Saturday, December 03, 2011
one word: wow
Visitor Sunday, December 04, 2011
hmm...i must've been an early adopter. i remember having mp3s for the slim shady lp AND the britney spears single.
then again, i remember when one could visit an angelfire- or geocities-hosted page and click on a plain old "a href" to an mp3 stored on *their* servers.
Me Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Yeah, I remember that, too. MP3s were already out there on different sites like Angelfire and Geocities (which were basically the precursor to MySpace). But, it wasn't until Napster came along and made it so easy to share music and for everyone to have access to a seemingly endless amount of music that the game shifted.
What's funny is that if the major labels had been the ones to create Napster instead of some punk kid, things might have played out differently. Instead, they were caught snoozing.
mdti Sunday, December 04, 2011
I remember in 1996, has set up (one of) the first french website with audio, strictly for uncharted artists.... real audio, lol... In that time, it was sooo easy to get authorization from DA and producers even in major labels, for their smaller or personal projects... a few month/years later, came mp3.com, napster, and that became a completely different picture... napster - or more exactly mp3 - is like the meteorite that extincted the dinausors... :-D
@FlyLikeDove Monday, December 05, 2011
Seems so long ago.
Griff Monday, December 05, 2011
Imagine a world with no new music.
We're headed there, for there is getting to be no incentive to create for most artists.
Think not, look back and tell me where are we now. If you're an Indie like me, you know.
AllanM88 Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Nostalgia is the killer of innovation.
Dribbly Saturday, December 10, 2011
What does that even mean?
@apocalypse2007 Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Chris B Wednesday, December 07, 2011
The record companies claimed CDs were more expensive to produce hence the high price. Yet even when CDs fell to pennies (or cents) to produce, their retail price did not drop. No wonder the record companies was enjoying such healthy profits :) Bless them...
@MasterMarsh Wednesday, December 07, 2011
ahhh... I remember the days well.