the straws that broke the riaa’s back

well, the riaa may have won a round in the courts this week, but they are starting to lose the war overall.

first, it was radiohead dumping the label for the distribution of their latest album, rainbows. it was received very warmly by everyone. then yesterday trent reznor and nine inch nail did the same. not even 24 hours has passed when oasis and jamiroquai followed suits.

between apple and amazon pushing for the death of drm, and now the revolt from the acts, it’s clear that drm is now dead.

but that’s not all. it may soon be the end of riaa and the labels as we know it. most of the major established acts are going to follow the path very quickly if the model proves profitable. and the declared four isn’t stupid enough to throw away money just out of spite for the labels. they must have done some math.

maybe the new acts still need the record company to do promotion and marketing, to get name recognition out there. but once they do, what are they going to do? go indie and keep control of their destiny. and with social networks, last.fm, etc. giving bands a way to market via word of mouth, i don’t even know if they need the big push from the labels.

the web is killing off another intermediary that didn’t change with technology and redefine its value proposition. can’t feel sorry for the riaa about that. now if only we can get rid of the realtor monopoly next…


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