IN 2006 EMI, the world’s fourth-biggest recorded-music company, invited some teenagers into its headquarters in London to talk to its top managers about their listening habits. At the end of the session the EMI bosses thanked them for their comments and told them to help themselves to a big pile of CDs sitting on a table. But none of the teens took any of the CDs, even though they were free. “That was the moment we realised the game was completely up,” says a person who was there.
However it’s not really the whole music industry. Given the fact that most artists were given bad deals, paying their own marketing and production costs and netting little from music sales, they aren’t suffering. Their agents who book tours and keep their charges working aren’t in trouble. Nope it’s the music executives who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on “fruit and flowers.”