Deciphering Culture

The struggle against innovation: the recording industry’s “appetite for self-destruction”

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Examples of industries that fight innovation are not hard to find but it is hard to match the history of Luddism of the recording industry. Kyle Bylin of summarizes that history well:

In a desperate attempt to preserve existing cultural and social norms or potential damage to the current social institution, the traditional record industry has gone to war with everything from the phonograph to player pianos to home-taping, claiming that these new technologies would effectively kill of music.

All of these innovations, only re-engendered enthusiasm for music.

That quote is from an excellent interview with Steve Knopper of Rolling Stone, author of Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age. Knopper and Bylin discuss the often bewildering responses of the recording industry to innovations that they could have seen as opportunities. Well worth checking out.  


Written by Jeffrey Callen

August 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm

2 Responses

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