Andy Baio thinks we’ve seen a phase change for creative endeavors:
Digital distribution subverted the monopolies held by physical distribution, bypassing distribution deals with record stores entirely, allowing artists to sell directly to fans. Social media and online music services changed the way people discover music, making the payola systems of MTV and radio airplay feel quaint. Production costs dropped dramatically as computers became more powerful and audio editing software got dirt cheap, along with new services for printing on demand. And, finally, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms offset the financial risk to artists.
Most importantly, each new platform let artists find, communicate, and sell directly to their fans.
I want to believe, but whenever these transformational moments involve transition for mega-corporate concerns (if not outright downfall), I have this thought that there’s still an Empire Strikes Back chapter to be written.