It’s For Them

Over the months that I’ve been an eMusic subscriber, I’ve seen a lot of recordings in which I felt no interest whatever, and an increasing number of recordings that I already own on CD (or that I have pre-eMusic digital versions of). I’m pleased, though, to observe that performers such as Al Green and Joan Jett have released their back catalogs on eMusic, and in so doing have appeared consistently among the top downloads charts.
I understand that Bob Dylan, for instance, may expect that he stands to gain more by withholding his recordings from eMusic than he would by releasing his catalog through them. But what about the hundreds of mid-listers, some of them exceptional musicians, whose market profile more closely resembles Al Green than Bob Dylan? If they think they’re going to milk the hard-copy music industry for another promotional push, they’re quite likely deluded. So do not ask for whom the clue phone rings — it rings for them.
(Speaking of this topic, I’m very pleased to share space with Tom Matrullo’s prescient article on Napster in Dan Bricklin’s intriguing, provocative, insightful new book, Bricklin On Technology — Tom’s on pages 106-109, my hesitancy about “tagging” appears on 98-100). If someone had listened to Tom ten years ago when he figured out Napster, or if someone had commissioned me to work on Disseminary ideas when in 1999 I sent my first memo on “The Imaginary Seminary” to a handful of theological decision-makers, we could have galvanized those worlds. Much thanks to Dan for recognizing Tom’s contribution on this topic!)

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