How Things Have Changed in the Digital Music Landscape

I follow an RSS feed of Apple’s press releases, and for some reason, this feed recently regurgitated a whole bunch of old releases. This morning, checking my RSS reader, I saw headlines like:

  • 100 Million iPods Sold (April 9, 2007)
  • Apple Announces iPod Hi-Fi (February 28, 2006)
  • Apple Announces iTunes 1.1 With Support for Over 25 Third-Party CD Burners (February 22, 2001)
  • Apple Introduces iPod mini (January 6, 2004)

But what struck me was this one:

The Beatles Now on iTunes

Dated November 6, 2010, this release was the sign that digital music had finally made the big leagues. The Beatles had been recalcitrant in the early years of the iTunes Store and other digital music retailers, unwilling to license their music for sale. Apple claimed that this would be “a day to remember,” but a bit more than six years later, does anyone really remember when it was any different? When you couldn’t buy digital music, or even stream the Beatles, or just about any other artist?

Sure, there still are some recalcitrants, but this disdain of digital sales and streaming now means that artists are forgotten.

It really wasn’t that big a deal back in 2010 when the Beatles came to the iTunes Store; at least not to Apple’s core demographic of younger people. But it was a big deal to Steve Jobs, who’d been a Beatles fan for a long time. And now? It’s just a spot on a timeline, to be forgotten until a reminder comes up, like today.

2 thoughts on “How Things Have Changed in the Digital Music Landscape

  1. Like D-Day, this event is both underrated and overrated. For both, the trend was irreversible, and the ultimate result was clear, but that actual moment when the event would take place was still in doubt, and the accomplishment significant.

  2. Like D-Day, this event is both underrated and overrated. For both, the trend was irreversible, and the ultimate result was clear, but that actual moment when the event would take place was still in doubt, and the accomplishment significant.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.