I do not yet know whether the ultimate delivery model is subscription, ad-based, unit-sale based or otherwise. I have my theories, which are no better than, and perhaps worse than, anyone else’s.
I do know that down-sizing in sales revenue from CDs is a
huge problem for the corporations that profited from those sales. Yet I remain convinced that the consumer will find herself/himself with more choices in this newer world than in the old way.
I remember when digital watches moved from 200 dollars/unit to less than 20/unit. Yet watchmaking corporations stayed in business by offering marquee products and added features. We see a very similar evolution of the business model now in digital cameras and other consumer electronics. The issue for unit-sale or subscription sellers is “what value will we add to get buyers to pay the fees we wish?”. The “value” of shelf hegemony and distribution control, which was adverse to the consumer, proved inadequate. This is not a tragedy. It’s a refreshing example of technology destroying a market hegemony
using free market principles.
The question now is what a wide-open market will let more innovative
companies and individuals do to get more music released.