I disagree with this intelligent and well-written article:
The details of how this will work, who will bill the end-user, the sorts of restrictions that will be appliedâ€”all this remains to be worked out, but the idea of a flat fee payment for access to (nearly) all recorded music has won the conceptual war. Ad-supported streaming and paid single downloads will continue to exist, but neither model seems able to change the behavior of music lovers who have grown up using P2P to discover new tunes.
The most radical of such schemes would see some kind of monthly payment made in exchange for total access to music. Those who pay could legally use any ISP and any P2P network to share music legally, with the money being split up among artists based on the popularity of their music.
The problem with this is that competition is inherent to life and business. Artists want to do better if more people like them; they want the feedback, and the glory. And the reason we have people rushing into music is so they can do a winner take all.
What no one wants to mention, but is obvious, is the problem Hollywood, the book publishing industry, and the music industry all face: they were based on novelty, or the idea that something being new and different could substitute for it having eternal qualities that would make people want to keep it around at any time.
Literally, they’ve scammed us for so long they can’t stop. Paying four morons to make a rap/rock record is cheaper than finding a classical musician, folk musician, prog rocker or honest niche musician to make a quality record. So they build a business model upon having flavor of the month, but now that people can sample it in advance, they’re learning that the magic doesn’t last — all these innovative musics, uplifting books and daring movies all resemble each other once you’ve seen, heard or read enough of them — and so their business model has fallen apart.
A subscription service won’t save that. Technology is requiring them to both move forward and move “backward” to the quality levels of previous times. I guess some values are just eternal, huh.