The Way the Music Died

posted by Jason Kottke   May 30, 2004

The Frontline special on the music industry covered a lot of ground, perhaps too much for just an hour. The main theme of the show was that music hasn’t fared too well as an industry. Media companies, including the big five record labels and the radio station chains, have lost touch with their customers, marketing what will sell instead of providing a good product. Big media blames the industry downturn on free music availability on the Internet, but as Michael “Blue” Williams, Outkast’s manager, puts it, the labels have gotten lazy and are pushing out crap; he says if the labels “started putting out good records, quality records, the public will buy”.

If you missed it, don’t worry; the entire episode is available on the PBS Web site in either Windows Media or Realplayer format**. Also on the Web site are all sorts of additional interviews and information.

** Go PBS for putting episodes online. As taxpayers, the shows are ours anyway…we should be able to choose when and how we watch them. This way, we don’t need to go downloading illegal copies of missed episodes of our favorite shows.

(Oh, and I tried looking for the weblog world’s reaction to the show, but all three of the blog search engines I tried — Daypop, Blogdex, & Technorati — were down, so you’ll have to dig that up on your own. Will someone make a reliable weblog search engine that doesn’t suck? Hello, business opportunity!)