In a high-tech conference held February 3, BMG CEO Strauss Zelnick predicted the death of the CD and the rise of digital downloading, according to “Variety.” “Digital downloading is the holy grail,” quipped the CEO during the Variety Interactive Summit’s keynote address.The CEO also predicted that the consolidation of the music business would continue due to cost-saving concerns and the aging CD business. He also predicted that there would not be a standard format for Internet music downloading and storage. History has proved otherwise, as the market did not support both Beta and VHS videocassette formats; did not support mini (3″) CDs and standard-sized CD formats; and in the computer industry, the attempt at bringing the price down on Macintosh computers by licensing the chip resulted in a slew of imperfect clones that never functioned as efficiently as the original, sizing the Mac market back down to domination by one company. Zelnick believes that
digital downloading will revitalize the music industry, much as the VCR did for the film industry. BMG promised heavier promotion of its artists, digital downloads online, and new e-commerce initiatives. BMG distributes Arista, RCA, and Jive, among others, and artists under the BMG umbrella include Puff Daddy, Whitney Houston, ’NSYNC, Sarah McLachlan, and Annie Lennox.
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