iBook Store Features Leave Indie Publishers Behind
Or rather, they’re welcome to sit in obscurity in any way they like. The RIAA is NOT a music industry. It’s a promotions industry. They exist to make music famous, a process which costs a vast sum of money. And until relatively recently, it was a profitable business model, which never went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
If they’ve managed to take hold of the most famous platform for music, that’s just what they do. But opening it more for indies isn’t going to make them famous, which is what they crave. They can be ignored in iTunes with equal vigor to the way they’ve been ignored on youtube (and, for that matter, in bars and cafes) for a long time.
The Long Tail is a dream sold to small artists. The technology means that they’ve been able to raise their income from “nothing” to “next to nothing”. Because the thing to remember about the Long Tail is that it’s very, very, very long, and you’re sitting out there somewhere in the middle of it. You wanna sit on the bigger hump, you spend money to do it. A _lot_ of money.
The independent market never “thrived”. The artists were, statistically speaking, all starving. Even some extraordinarily talented ones making great music.
Technological change may be able to kill off the RIAA’s fame-producing industry, but it’s not like indie artists are in some sort of close second place raring to take over first.