The music business defies the American business model of free-market competition. The Sherman AntiTrust Act has been violated for years. Economic competition has not been preserved in the music industry, and the consumers have suffered.
The music industry has always been a battleground with companies fighting over marketshare vying for which format audiences would adopt: radio, vinyl, cassette tape, 8-Track, CD, DAT, MP3, and most recently online streaming. With each format, questions arise surrounding copyright and ownership, fair payment, accessibility, and all questions concerning how to profit from a creative and collaborative medium.
As technology of sound quality improved, music labels grew. They became the entity that produced the creative product… the music. Their collusion in the marketplace began in 1958 with the “Payola Scandal.” They have fought technology tooth and nail ever since. Today, in efforts to keep their share of the marketplace, labels continue to collude and challenge the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, veering dangerously close to what appears to be monopolies.