Did MJ ever talk about the rise of Napster/MP3's and the decline of physical albums?

Zack44

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There is something I've always wondered about:

Circa 1999/2000, Napster arrived on the scene and and brought on a big fundamental change in the record industry. Since anyone could share and download mp3's of their favorite songs for free, the number of physical units of music (CD's, cassettes, etc) drastically started to decline. Even though the RIAA and every record company eventually forced Napster to shut down and pretty much shamed anyone who took part in internet piracy, it was too late. Pandora's box had already opened and there was no going back. After all, why continue to buy a $15 CD when you can just get the music for free?

It wouldn't be until the launch of legal mp3 stores like Apple's iTunes, and eventually streaming services like Spotify, that the record companies could start profiting from music over the internet. Still, they don't make NEARLY as much profits now as they used to when the consumer had no other choice to buy an album or CD.

Anyway, I've been thinking: Michael was the kind of artist who attributed much of his own success on sales figures of his albums (i.e. Thriller selling 100 million copies). 20 years ago when Invincible came out, Napster had already come and gone. The fans usually attribute Invincible's poor sales either to other factors, such as Sony under-promoting it, sabotage from Tommy Mottola, Michael choosing not to tour because of 9/11, or other things like that. However, no one ever seems to brings up the fact that by 2001, the entire record industry was completely topsy-turvey and didn't know how to adapt to the new changes. When Michael died in 2009, most of the newer audiences started listening to him through iTunes downloads, not by buying a vinyl or a CD at a store.

My question is, was Michael aware on how much of a game-changer that Napster truly was? If he were alive today and releasing music on Spotify, would he be able to adapt? Would he be able to mentally cope with the fact that no one buys physical albums anymore, and that "success" is driven by individual streams that each only earn a fraction of a penny? Did Michael ever have any opinions on the rise of internet mp3 downloads while he was alive? He might have been a savvy businessman in the music industry, but I think it might have been difficult for him to cope with these changes, considering that he flourished so well from people buying his CD's and records.

What do you guys think?
 

mj_frenzy

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Michael Jackson did talk about Internet music piracy and illegal music downloads (such as, the Napster), when he stated in 2003 that it was wrong to illegally download music from the Internet.

Also, in one of his interviews while promoting his 'Invincible' album in 2001, he encouraged people to buy his new album in physical format, implying that he was against people listening to it via MP3 downloads from the Internet, or via other illegal streaming services.

If Michael Jackson was alive today, he would have been able to adapt to his music being released on Spotify (or, on other legal music streaming services).

Like they already did some other very successful artists who although flourished in the past when people used to buy their physical albums, now these artists quite happily release their music on Spotify and in that way they now see themselves being placed on the list of the most-streamed artists on Spotify (such as, Shakira, Elton John, etc).
 

madmijack

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I remember Michael was extremely angry when came to know that "Xscape" has been leaked and was spread by one famous MJ-fan website and Napster. He called his crew, Darkchild, so that they explain him, how it all works and how come it came to a leak. So his was quite aware of that new technologies.
 

analogue

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IIRC. He said didn't like people illegally downloading music, but he also said he didn't think people should be thrown in jail for it.
 

issabreakofdawn

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"I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans in jail for downloading music. It is wrong to illegally download, but the answer cannot be jail. Here in America we create new opportunities out of adversity, not punitive laws, and we should look to new technologies like Apple's new Music Store for solutions. This way, innovation continues to be the hallmark of America. It is the fans that drive the success of the music business." - Michael Jackson (Press statement July 21st 2003)
 

KOPV

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Michael spoke on it, he encouraged people to buy music but did state that he believes the legal reprimand for illegal DL's is too harsh.
 

issabreakofdawn

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In 2006 "Visionary" Michael Jackson iPods were given out, and in 2008, Thriller 25 iPods were also given out. Both of these were limited edition models. So Michael was aware of it for sure.
 

Prince Of Pop

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I remember Michael was extremely angry when came to know that "Xscape" has been leaked and was spread by one famous MJ-fan website and Napster. He called his crew, Darkchild, so that they explain him, how it all works and how come it came to a leak. So his was quite aware of that new technologies.
Same thing happened to Hold My Hand.
 

dam2040

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In 2006 "Visionary" Michael Jackson iPods were given out, and in 2008, Thriller 25 iPods were also given out. Both of these were limited edition models. So Michael was aware of it for sure.
Always wanted one back in the day.
 

Prince Of Pop

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What year HMH was leaked?
Mid to late 2000s I believe. Michael was still alive when that happened, and he wasn't happy about it. But from notes that were found after his passing, he wanted it to be on the next album he was working on...thus the reason it was the 1st single off the Michael album.
 
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