For those of us who work in digital music, this week has delivered a nasty one-two punch to the gut. First David Pakman (eMusic, N2K, MyPlay) posted the text of his testimony during US Congressional hearings on his blog. It focused on how prohibitively expensive it is to license music from record labels. Then Peter Kafka, one of the best writers at All Things D, was incredulous that anyone would even bother starting something new in the music space at all.
I’d argue that both of these very smart guys are obsessed with the wrong problem and, on this topic at least, they are as stuck in the past as major labels are.
They both make the mistake of focusing primarily on start-up business models that revolve almost exclusively on getting publishing or performance rights to stream or download music. And by getting tangled up in that mess, they miss the forest for…
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