On Monday I posted about how people need to make it small, on their own, before someone comes along to make them big. This gets me thinking about the larger implications of this pattern of business, and I wonder if it will result in greater choice, and thus more interest, among the general population.
Here's what I mean. Take books, for example. If it's important to have people already following what you're saying to get a book contract (or at least it helps), this might strike some as unfair. It seems like the old adages of you need money to make money or you need experience to get a job that will give you experience.
But, in today's exciting world of the interweb (btw, I still type "www" in front of URLs, just so the computer knows which web I'm talking about), just about anyone can post just about anything. This makes for a much more competitive, open market for ideas. As a result, people who had ideas that previously might have been ignored, and thus effectively stifled, by traditional publishers, can now find a following on their own. Once they have this following, then the traditional publishers will move in quickly.
As such, this opens up book publishing (and music recording and inventing) to more people.
Also, the increased competition should produce "better" products. I use quotations because I don't mean better in some sort of critical sense, but rather appealing to popular tastes (which, obviously, may not be well-received critically--again, see Rebecca Black).
This increased appeal of books, recordings, inventions, and so on should thus increase the size of the market for them, no? Ultimately, the fact that people can initiate their own writing, recording, or business products should increase the amount of sales (in whatever form) for their products.
If this line of thinking holds, then the internet should actually increase book reading and music listening and so on. Now, whether traditional book and music companies can make more money is a different question, but they should have more potential customers to court.