David Ellefson Explains How The Music Industry Changed By Referring To Metallica’s Napster Case
Megadeth bassist David Ellefson opened up about the future of music during a recent appearance on Do You Know Jack? Podcast, and revealed that the change in the music industry towards online streaming and releasing started all the way back when Napster became popular.
Napster is a music-focused online service that was founded in 1999 as a pioneering software that emphasized sharing digital audio files, mostly audio songs, encoded in MP3 format. It made it easy to download copies of songs that were otherwise difficult to obtain and it paved the way for streaming media services, however, as the software became popular, the company faced legal difficulties over copyright violation.
As you might remember, Metallica filed a famous lawsuit against Napster in 2000, due to copyright infringement after the band discovered a demo of their song named ‘I Disappear,’ when the song was leaked to numerous radio stations before its release because of Napster.
During a recent interview, David Ellefson opened up about how the music industry became digital over the years and has been evolving extremely fast since it first became available through Napster. Ellefson also stated that since Napster, music has been streamed and released through various online applications and websites such as iTunes, Spotify, and Youtube.
“The music business, and especially with the Internet, boy, things change every six months — the speed at which it develops. The old formulas, of course, and the old guard of the music business were challenged in the ’90s with Napster. That was the first time the devil horns of the Internet reared its head and said, ‘Hey, we’re going a different way.’ And, of course, the old guard of the record business, who had gotten comfortable in their methodology, they got left behind. And the ones who adapted and got onboard — obviously, Steve Jobs, largely, with Apple, pretty much saved the day for the existing music business. But, obviously since iTunes, now we have Spotify and the digital streaming services and YouTube and all these things.”
In addition to talking about the origins of online music, Ellefson also stated that the future of the music industry and stated that even live performances are going to be different due to social distancing and limited seating due to the coronavirus pandemic thus will affect the bands and musicians when it comes to live shows.
Here is what he said:
“And I think when all this stuff does come back online again, it’s gonna look very different. Even the concert business, there’s gonna be some social distancing and limited seating, and there’s just gonna be some stuff we’re gonna have to work around now. And they’re saying, look, COVID is now here with us forever. Hopefully, we’ll get ahead of it and be able to manage it better than what we’ve done in the last year or so. But, look, it’s here. It’s kind of like the flu — it’s here now. So it’s gonna be something we’re gonna have to be paying attention to, and hopefully, it doesn’t keep rearing its head as it has, but if it does, all of these big large gatherings and things, they’re the first thing that’s gonna be affected. And that affects all of our lives, those of us who are live performers.“
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