Red Herring brings us Umair Haque’s Music Industry: Stop Shirking, which makes the argument that the music industry’s job is to sort through all the music and find what people want. I think that’s basically true. The article then goes on to say:
Many people were more happy to spend time searching for new music on the Net and compiling their own collections – a service previously performed by recording companies – than they were simply buying the goods the industry selected and promoted by the record labels.
I don’t think that’s quite true. If you look at what’s most popular on Kazaa, it’s the same stuff that’s popular elsewhere. Sure, there’s a wider variety of things being exchanged, but the files that appear most are the ones that people are listening to on the radio (and, in some cases, even buying on CD!)