Half of you might be saying, “dude, why?” and the other half might be saying “well, duh”.
iTunes was revolutionary in that it was the version of Napster and Limewire that should have been. Finally record labels wised up and decided to license out their client’s music. It makes sense. At that time mp3’s and iPod’s were growing in popularity. While there were other methods to upload music to your new device, there wasn’t really any way to download the music. Here comes iTunes.
iTunes was made in conjunction with the iPod. You could buy music there, download it straight to your iPod, and avoid going to FYE. Really genius idea.
Until it wasn’t.
See, part of what the labels didn’t realize, and hey, maybe even Apple didn’t realize this, is that the consumer no longer wanted full-length albums. They wanted singles. This essentially changed the entire game. Seeing as the consumer wanted the single, and not the album, now artists had to cater to that. Here comes every catchy hook and chorus you have heard in the past 15 years or so. The music industry forced the artists to stop being artists. What was already difficult just became more difficult.
Now, instead of concept albums, it was who had the greatest hit single.
Of course I am not naïve and recognize every album wasn’t a concept album (unfortunately – they’re my favorite kind) but still, that died out.
It became mechanical. Making music for these established musicians was no longer about the art, it couldn’t be. The average consumer wanted something catchy, something they could bob their heads to. I honestly believe this played a role in the growth of hardcore (not to put down hardcore though – I’m a big fan of the genre and sub-genres, typically).
So for that, yes, I hate iTunes. With a passion. Granted they just found a way to make money off of the business model Napster and Limewire provided but they also killed a part of the music industry. And for that, I cannot forgive them.
What is interesting about this though is the consumer. See, prior to iTunes, Napster, and Limewire, consumers didn’t bitch about buying the entire album because it was all they knew. Then, free downloads came and they saw the benefit. Now, I know very few people who continue to buy full length albums. Why bother? They saw the music video, they like it, but why spend the extra money on the rest of the album?
Fools. All of them. Absolute fools. There is more to an album than it’s single.