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Musicians: Don't Blame Apple or the Internet For Your Problems

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It boggles my mind that so many otherwise intelligent people appear to see the world through cloudy goggles.

They're too busy casting heroes as villains to not only recognize, but take full advantage of the most exciting time the music industry has seen in what feels like ages.

I'm referring to the music industrial complex's ongoing and orchestrated campaign against Internet radio. Where Pandora (P) once absorbed the brunt, Spotify now routinely gets taken to task by a set formation of usual suspects.

All of a sudden, cats such as David Byrne and Thom Yorke feel the need to regurgitate their visionless views on the state of the music industry on a schedule that makes it less likely I'm a conspiracy theorist and more likely there's a concerted effort to discredit streaming radio.

Given the history and reality of the music industry the vendetta these guys wage makes zero logical sense. I'll never understand how Internet radio serves as pretty much the sole target of their misguided and ill-conceived scorn.

First and foremost, when you start assigning external forces the blame for your or somebody else's perceived lack of success or earnings (or whatever), you have taken step one in the wrong direction. But, if these guys are going to hold anyone responsible for the horribly imprecise assertion that artists aren't getting paid, they should go back before the Internet radio boom and look at Apple (AAPL).

The music industrial complex put its faith in Steve Jobs. That would not have been a bad idea if the record labels and other factions of the apparatus were ready, willing and able to move as nimbly as tech companies such as Apple can.

But we know they can't. And they don't. So they fall behind, point fingers and fight the trend before feebly chasing it.

Steve Jobs took the idea of the record album and murdered it when he started selling individual songs for 99 cents a pop on iTunes. And, unless you're a massive name selling huge amounts of downloads -- newsflash -- you're not getting rich. Apple is. As always.

Then Internet radio came along. Apple decided to straddle both sides of the fence between downloads and streaming. Once again, the music industry agreed to whatever arrangement Apple put in front of it on the false hope that the combo of iTunes and iTunes Radio could keep downloads from dying.

It won't. Downloads are dying. Soon to be dead. And streaming -- as personalized radio and subscription on-demand -- will rule the day.

Either way, Apple wins and the music industry loses because winners and visionaries staff Apple while a bevy of losers comprise the decision-making establishment at the labels and other cogs of a deteriorating record industry machine.

So, for the last 5-10 years or so, Apple has, in a major way, dictated the fate of the music industry.

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