I’ve heard that Jobs isn’t doing too well. I doubt death is on his doorstep, but like all of us, it can’t be too far away.
I’m sure Steve Jobs, a person who’s had a mystical experience, understands that change is constant. From life to death, Windows to Apple, MySpace to Facebook, British Empire to the American Empire, the one thing we as humans know, is that change is constant.
The Apple Empire will fall. When? Probably when Steve Jobs dies. He is the face of Apple and the spirit of all its innovations. Who else is going to make those awesome keynote updates? But at issue is not his death but rather how it will impact musicians? Meaning how will it impact iTunes, the single biggest digital music store in the world. A place that is very popular, and makes a lot of musicians a lot of money, even if it does have detractors.
If iTunes fails, is there anyone who will step in to provide a coherent system for digital music to be sold?
Ummmm I don’t think so. Google Music (lolz), Spotify (streaming/not the same), Amazon, and other pay-ish models have not arrived, been embraced, or have even come close to the market share that iTunes has.
So who could step in? In theory, yes, Google could, but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe Facebook could. They definitly have the market share. Perhaps if it was done as a side deal with Spotify, as a pay download for those who want to “own” music. Something like that would work.
This brings us to another massive change happening to musicians: Downloads die as streaming takes over.
The cloud is the final frontier for music. Streaming is the future, but without Jobs to hold the direction and vision for iTunes, the future of streaming would be wide open.
So to answer the question, if Steve Jobs dies do musicians lose? Yes, in the immediate future if Steve Jobs died it would harm musicians because the single best thing about iTunes is how ubiquitous and understood it is as a music player and purchasing tool for digital music.
If iTunes went away it would cause a lot of people a lot of confusion. Not you, you’re hip, I’m talking about your less tech savvy family members. Those other people wouldn’t immediately know where to look for digital music. That would mean less money for musicians. So live Steve Jobs because a decade into the digital music revolution, and no one has figured out how make money from digital music except you.