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Record Companies Embrace Napster Sorry,

Record companies embrace Napster

Sorry, you ain’t gonna see it. Never - not even after “Turkeys embrace Xmas”. No matter how much of a “community” it might gather or how badly consumers want it.

Napster is about downloading songs (particularly obscure singles from the 70s and 80s that are only available on expensive compilations now). When you can download individual songs, you don’t need albums anymore. And albums are what record companies sell (because, as recently reported, the market for CD singles is now tiny). That’s what they employ people to do - create, produce, package, market and sell albums. (In fact, they prefer to avoid the expensive, risky creation and production stages as far as possible, by repackaging existing songs and marketing new albums, such as compilations.)

But when you download something you want from Napster, you don’t require an expensively marketed plastic jewel case and pretty sleeve - and by extension, the people who made them and sold them. Sure, you might still want to buy actual CDs from your favourite artists (ideally, directly from them via or wherever), but given that most albums now consist of 80%+ filler, you’ll probably mainly want individual tracks. Bye bye, record companies. Or not. Not without a fight anyway.

But don’t fantasise that they’ll want to offer Napster-like services anytime soon.