Variations: Music (and Games)

Much as described for journalism, the economics of the music business also remain highly problematic. The revenue pie for recorded music is a fraction of what it once was, and artists/creators complain that they are seeing only crumbs out of what little remains. At the same time music is more available—and artists are closer to their fans—than ever. The problem is that most listeners pay little, if at all. In fact, music was the first major content industry to face serious disruption by digital (“Napsterization”).

Music could benefit greatly from FairPay, but the complex, centuryold supply chain of the mainstream music business makes change difficult. The independent music business might be the easiest ...

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