Such releases, though usually unheralded, are nevertheless spelling trouble for a record industry already plagued by online music trading. While Duets Volume I isn’t free, at $6.93 it’s still a lot cheaper than most anything in a music store. “And,” says Albert, “I’m trying to get people to discover my music, so it’s nice to be able to price it.”
As the Internet becomes a medium in which music is not just stolen but also legitimately sold, its implications for the music industry are unclear. For his part, Jeff Albert is cautiously optimistic. “I think on some level that’s where the future is, but I’m not sure if people are ready for it. People get nervous about the technology.”
For the big labels, that nervousness comes with good reason.