See, I think you are completely, 100% batshit fucking wrong.
Wow, I should just start every post with that.
You are looking at it like the industry is pushing digital, and I take it the exact opposite way. They were pushed/pulled/dragged into digital distribution and did not want to go there.
They sued, like everyone. It's been covered to death. Don't want to dwell there.
But here's my take.
In the 90's, relatively speaking, they had a bit of a heyday in their system. Big phat fucking studios cranking out music on CD's...a beautiful little system of being cheap as borsht to produce top quality results. MTV cranking out a generation of kids that lived this shit like no other. It wasn't "buy the new Elvis record" it was "buy Backstreet boys AND No doubt AND N*sync AND spice girls" Even better..the parents that got THEIR parents the jobs at EMI are still buying. Plus concerts.
Great time to be alive.
So why would someone change it? They were gods in their own demain. Fuck, once a year they even get on tv and celebrate how fucking awesome they are.
So Napster/metallica/internet/riaa/kazaa/ happens. I just summed up 7 years of entertainment news in one sentence.
Do you think they are now going to say, "oh gee. You were right. We were unfair. Let's all play nice now"
Music for the masses now has the staying power of a television commercial. It's white noise. Sure, some make it to the top, but think about the 1 hit wonder. It's now so common, its unreal. No one really cares. Push out a bunch of shit and see what sticks.
Some go up and become bigger, but a lot just fizz out.
We have AI and X Factor pumping out 2 new singers a year, plus a couple out of the finalists branch on their own.
So the game now is cheap out. Why create an album of b-sides? Just release a track, and if it goes somewhere, release some more.
I think eventually it will turn around, much like grunge was an answer to 80's hair bands, there will be a new spin on the whole thing that will hopefully be based on quality.
(I'm talking mainstream music here...I know you can name 50 bands that are 'tite' and all, but I'm talking the masses of music consumers...teenage girls, mid-20's type buyers)
And if my case hasn't been made... will.i.am and the black eyed peas. Perfect example of mass marketed fuzz.