Traditional music publishers have held a tight grip on distribution, promotion, and deciding who will become popular! The British television show Pop Idol, and now the American megahit American Idol, have turned this on its head, letting a potentially infinite number of ‘votes’ decide who will become popular, for whatever reason! A stroke of genius by Simon Cowell and his associates.
Beyond American Idol bringing infinite competition to pop music, the distribution of music now has an infinite number of channels, with a huge number being illegal and unstoppable. Otherwise law-abiding people think nothing of ‘burning a CD’ of someone else’s purchased CD, or downloading music from some questionable web site, often bringing viruses or worse onto their computers.
We now have infinite artists, with infinite distribution, to infinite consumers, and it is an infinite cacophony of sound! And of course, video too… Andy Warhol would be proud and smiling.