Legal downloading of songs from services like Apple’s iTunes, the rethought Napster and offers from the various music industry players are quickly becoming the standard by which the latest music is being distributed.
To many music listeners, and artists, providing a MP3 version of a single or album for legal download is not a trend but a fact of doing business in the modern market place. This is being further supported by a recent success of the band Gnarls Barkley, who’s recent single Crazy is now the #1 song in the UK. Not only are they sitting atop the charts at #1 but they did this amazing feat though downloads only. The CD will not hit shelves till later this week.
This song is a history maker for one very important reason, legal downloading works! The RIAA would like everyone to believe that their slumping sales figures – which have been openly debated – are a result of Peer 2 Peer file trading, and illegal downloading. But this one song has produced such a success in such a short period of time that it almost silences the record industry’s argument. It is even more astonishing when you consider that the recent change in the way the charts are calculated. They allow downloadable versions to be considered when the song becomes available within a week in a physical format.
I applaud the achievement of Gnarls Barkley and hope the industry takes note of this success. MP3 is the new standard in which music consumers are demanding their music, now if we can only get the industry to provide this content without unreasonable technology restrictions.