Are record companies useful?

Interesting article in The Grauniad by Laura Barton who claims that 2005 has seen a decline in the monopoly control of the marketing departments of music companies:

This has been the year fans have increasingly taken music into their own hands, rejecting the over-processed diet served up by many major labels in favour of something a little more homemade. In the process they have notched up numerous high-profile successes, including Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Spinto Band and Nizlopi.

It does seem to me broadly right that it is in the interest of songwriters and performers that people should be able to share music, rather as many of us did with cassette tapes many years ago.

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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