Jon Healey and Jeff Leeds at the LATimes are reporting (htm) that Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, Viacom and Amazon are all planning to offer new music services a la iTunes, possibly by the winter. So it looks like the music industry is coming around, starting to see online downloading for the commercial opportunity it is:
Music executives hope the new players will help the industry reverse its sales slump.
"I think the whole thing is a revolution," said Doug Morris, chairman of Vivendi Universal's music operation, the world's largest. "Yahoo has an enormous number of people coming through all the time. Amazon sells a ton of content. MTV certainly is an enormous bull's-eye for people who like music. This is an amazing moment."
"The technology has destabilized us, it has hurt us," said Doug Morris, the chief executive of the Universal Music Group, a unit of Vivendi Universal and the largest of the five major record companies. "But now it's going to take us to new heights."
It's about time. But will they still go after students who make Google-like applications (taking their savings accounts)? It seems so punitive for an industry that should be putting its efforts into more positive ventures like those mentioned above. In the meantime, Eric Olsen of Blogcritics talks about (htm) Pearl Jam's exit from Epic:
...can the Pearl Jam organization get enough recorded music out there through its Web site, fan club and independent distribution to make a go of it without major label distribution?
The dinosaurs will be watching closely.