It does not take a rocket scientist to hear about the recent internet shakeups. With business' like AudioCafe.com now gone and Brandwise.com closing it's cyberdoors while technology stocks tumble, you could think all doom and gloom. Fact is, business has never been better. In fact good ol' Napster recently gained $15 million in assets as their average daily unique visitors for the week ending May 21 has gained nearly 150 percent as compared to only a few weeks earlier! No doubt due to all the publicity from their recent pending lawsuits. So what does this possibly say about the internet.
In my humble opinion the internet is the true future. In fact over ten times more mail is sent via e-mail than through normal snail mail today. When people want to gather information on a product, many of them first head towards the internet for assistance. Mainstream audiophile print magazines simply can not achieve the timely delivery of information as is done daily, even hourly, on the internet. Within a few days of this being available on the internet the Frankfurt Germany audio show will be in full swing. While photos and information will, as always, be available here on the Enjoy the Music.com website, how long until you see anything within a print magazine? Back to retail sales for a moment.
Internet/Mail order-based music retailers such as Acoustic Sounds, Red Trumpet, CD-Now, mp3.com and others have been experiencing greater sales figures today than months earlier. We are no longer limited to the music selections available at our local brick and mortar store. In fact the town i live in has the poorest selection of music i have ever experienced with prices that average $16 for a CD (and no vinyl to speak of). So why should i pay those over inflated prices when there is access to a much larger selection at lower prices? As for folks like mp3.com (and Napster), i can get music for free! Nada, nothing, at no cost. While mp3.com offers legal titles, the folks at Napster seem to thrive by its users offering more popular titles. Yes, this is illegal though we must agree it is a fact of life.
The music industry has been dragging their feet about delivering popular music on the internet for so long it was only a matter of time before the likes of Napster happened. In fact it has been reported that Napster is the fastest accepted music technology on the internet to date! If the music industry does not hurry, they will simply be like the proverbial dog chasing it's tail. The internet moves faster than any law making body or congressional hearing. This brings up another interesting debate. Why is the internet seemingly being held hostage by America laws? What is someone lives in a country where US laws are vastly different? Just a thought.
In any event, the internet itself has opened up new horizons to both the consumer and businesses worldwide. Businesses can take advantage of their newfound audience and the audience can simply vote with their dollars, yen, lira, shillings... It is a good time to be alive as twenty years from now we can say we were here when it all began. As always...