Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Music Business Heads Into Virtual World; New York Times; 12/16/09

Brad Stone and Claire Cain Miller, New York Times; Music Business Heads Into Virtual World:

"It seems likely that the idea of music ownership will never go away, and that newer methods of accessing music will exist alongside old ones. Bobby Mohr, a 23-year-old music fan from Brooklyn who has accumulated 100 gigabytes of songs, keeps some of them on free Web-based storage services, so he can download tracks when he travels and burn them onto CDs to play in the car.

But Mr. Mohr is hesitant to abandon the idea of owning music altogether, citing the unreliability of wireless networks and the fact that his collection would be inaccessible at his job at a police oversight agency, where he is not allowed to use the Internet.

“I like having external hard drives that are troves of my music,” he said. “You just collect it, you have this library. You discover new genres every year and you go through it and look at what you have, and that’s nice.”

Bob Lefsetz, who writes an influential music industry newsletter, the Lefsetz Letter, acknowledged that some people bristle at the idea of not owning their music, but he compared them to people who once said they would never rent a videotape.

“If you ask anybody today, they’ll tell you, ‘I need to own it.’ But once you have these services, you get to the point of, ‘Why would I own it, because I have access to everything?’”"

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