NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- At Billboard, Glenn Peoples makes a reasonable argument that digital music sales (downloads) are not dying by drawing a worthy distinction between album and individual track sales.At the outset of his article, Peoples says The data should create the narrative, not the other way around. I argue he's doing exactly what he accuses other journalists of doing, but just to make his favored point. I'm one of the guys who, according to Peoples, misinterpreted what's happening with music consumption. I recently wrote an article citing a Rolling Stone blurb that didn't contain the context Peoples was looking for.
Q: Do you have a goal for when you can throttle back on expenses and become profitable?
Our strategy is very, very clear: We're focused on long-term returns for investors. And to throttle back on investment now would be shortsighted. When we have less opportunity, that will probably happen. But as long as we have lots of opportunity, we're going to continue to invest commensurate with that opportunity in a very disciplined and methodical way, but in a long-term context. To do anything else, we believe, is irrational.That exchange, by the way, took place in freaking 1999. About 427% ago. For the record, AMZN stock is up 427.3% since June 1, 1999 and a whopping 20,061% since going public. Crappy strategy, I know. Anyhow, as Bezos indicated more than 14 years ago, the Amazon strategy cannot work nor is it appropriate for every company. It works for Amazon because Bezos isn't fooling himself, his co-workers, his investors or the general public when he speaks of the long-term opportunity Amazon has. Contrast this to Reed Hastings who takes a similar perpetual startup approach at Netflix (NFLX - Get Report). Hastings makes a risky, unsubstantiated bet on Netflix's long-term potential; Bezos absolutely does not. I'm comfortable using the last 14 years as evidence to support my contention. That said, the music industry -- thanks in large part to Internet radio -- has massive long-term growth and diversification prospects. They're real. They're spectacular. And they're on par with Amazon's. So why waste your time clinging to the way things are today?