Writing on the MTV website, Gideon Yago comments on the US record industry’s remarkable attack on individual consumers by suing thousands of file-sharers for $150,000 per song, per hard drive, per download. He writes:

“While the major labels and their lobby, the RIAA, continue to pump millions of dollars into a legal campaign aimed at seeing 16-year-olds in handcuffs, there is an easy, low-cost solution to their financial woes, one that doesn't involve alienating a generation of loyal buyers. Stop making albums. They cost too much and they aren't worth the price tag”.

Yago describes albums as a bloated, outdated, overused, unnecessary idea. Thanks to the fast-forward buttons, today's listeners go cruising from track to track in search of a sucker cut. Consumers are hesitant about spending $16.99 plus tax for an entire record that might turn out to be utterly disposable. Yago complains that, to recoup the money invested in marketing big hits, record labels tack on a dozen filler tracks that nobody wants to hear and sells it as an album. But, he asks, what if the record labels gave less and charged less? If the record industry tightened its product, offered greater diversity and focused its album efforts on music compilations, it might be able to make it out of the business world alive.

The IPKat comments: “Yago’s suggestion is superficially attractive. How many of us have bought the whole album and found the star tracks outnumbered by the dumb ones? But the suggestion may be too little, too late. Too many victims of album abuse have now become practised downloaders and will not easily give up the habit”.

Find out about the RIAA here
Take a stand against RIAA here
Buy the worst albums ever made here
Possibly the worst album ever made here
This week’s album charts here
Free album download here

THE DEATH OF DOWNLOADERS -- OR OF ALBUMS? THE DEATH OF DOWNLOADERS  --  OR OF ALBUMS? Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, August 25, 2003 Rating: 5

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