Music Icon Decides to Help Tech Industry Destroy the Pop World

By Moses Avalon

Once Rolling Stone Magazine was the masthead of a generation. One that was inspired by and contributed to musical trends. Now they have reduced their standards of “fair & balanced” to the level of Fox News. In the process, they have sold out the very audience that built their brand.

In June of this year Rolling Stone published an article, “The Record Industry’s Decline.” Filled with out of context quotes by “anonymous” sources and former head of the RIAA, the article predicts the end of the record business within a few years. The journalists (who seemingly took the path of least resistance for their research) focused on record company short-sightedness in dealing with Napster, but completely ignored the realities of the complex licensing dilemma that existed at that time.

One example is this quote taken from the article’s text (as opposed to a quote by a source), “Even worse, the record companies waited almost two years after Napster’s July 2nd, 2001, shutdown before licensing a user-friendly legal alternative to unauthorized file-sharing services: Apple’s iTunes Music Store.”

This implies that the labels had control over when Apple created “safe” DRM friendly software. It also has errors of fact regarding the label negotiations with Napster in regard to why they could not reach an agreement in 2002.

Naturally, the piece jumps on the media bandwagon of “declining CD sales” as its tent post, ignoring the fact that CD sales revenue has not only been off-set by other new revenue streams, but that current CD sales are only down to 1991 levels, which was one of the best times in the record business.

(For more on off-set revenue streams from new media see “Making Life Choices in The Music Business.”)

While one might expect this sort of one-sided journalism from one of the other main-stream press outlets, it’s very sad to see it from a periodical that made its bones on the backs of recording artists; now selling them out and helping the tech industry brain wash the public into thinking that resistance to the Tech-World’s DRM-free campaign is useless.

(If you don’t understand what I’m referring to read “The DRM Manifesto.”

I wonder if a perusal of Rolling Stone’s most recent advertising acquisitions and drop-outs would reveal anything about their motives?

The Moses Avalon Company mourns the death of a great American magazine and wishes them well in their voyage to the dark side.

Moses Avalon


  1. fthead9 says:

    Sadly true, Rolling Stone went from a teenage must read to barely an after thought. For anyone who loves the movie Almost Famous and knows the story behind, the current version of Rolling Stone is sad reminder of a dream lost.

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