I just get fascinated everytime I try to evaluate the business of art - what fascinates me is that there is so much creativity and self expression out there - it is awesome - yet, that very supply of self expression and originality makes it challenging to try to create a business model that promotes the artist and art while serving the needs of the consumer, without diminishing free expression and originality or commoditizing the artist.
If major labels are to be entrusted with the title of experts, then it seems that they are saying that the consumer just wants to be spoon fed with similar sounding songs that appear to be mass produced with a common structure. Maybe it is true. Maybe that is just a way to get a tight ownership of a demogrpahic group, so advertising can be sold, with total disregard for the music.
I wonder just how large the market is for free-thinking consumers that want something different - something unique, and not necessarily boxed and packaged in a "made for radio" format? I'll bet my life that this group is more loyal, a better consumer group to target, and more valuable to niche marketers than the mass market currently targeted by radio.
This is the best time ever to be in the industry if you are starting- as the rules are changing and the democratization of music distribution is opening up opportunities for new ways of presenting the art.
At the end of the day, it is only art if it is perceived as art in the eye of the beholder.
Cheers for all who are making sense out of the business side as the changes take place - best wishes and looking forward to hearing new sounds and new art in the 21st century!