However, for the majority of NON-blockbuster artists (aka, the musicians who have a small but passionate following), mp3 distribution has allowed them to reach an audience far wider than they would have been able to reach without it. Thus the industry is seeing the rise of tiny local groups to more mainstream visibility.
Kid Rock recently took the argument one step further. He's boycotting iTunes, the #1 online music retailer, because of the DRM'd chokehold they have on the industry, and how it's simply a replay of the old system where the rich artists get richer, and the poor ones get nowhere.
"Now, in 2008, Kid Rock is boycotting iTunes because he says that artists are not getting their fair share of the revenue generated by the Apple store. He is annoyed at this ‘old system’ “where iTunes takes the money, the record company takes the money, and they don’t give it to the artists”. Kid Rock crucially talks about how the Internet should’ve been a “great opportunity for everyone to be treated fairly, for the consumer to get a fair price, for the artist to be paid fairly, for the record companies to make some money.”"
He wraps up the interview with this tongue-in-cheek rant. If you're an illegal mp3 downloader, don't stop at music. STEAL EVERYTHING!