Charging $20 for a CD is what did it. I can buy a full stack of blanks for less than that. They would sell a lot more discs if they sold them for $10 each. Viola problem fixed.
The Record labels have been gouging the consumer for decades and it's finally caught up to them with the advent of iTunes and every downloadable content provider out there selling by the track. I don't have to buy the whole album, just songs that interest me.
Bands make up the difference with their concerts, but even then they get bent over by ticket outlets who take a huge cut off the top. Then they have to pay their crews, the arena costs etc. Makes one wonder how Pearl Jam lasted so long in this corporate environment. Well not really cause they used their success to fight the greedy bastards. I may not agree with their politics but I do agree with that issue. The bands should make more than the Label. They are the people making the music after all. I don't see any record execs selling out concert dates in a matter of minutes. Most execs are complete unknowns.
The only good thing that came out of Metallica suing Napster is that the eTailers have to give something back to the artist, imho. If it had been 100% free(no advertising either) I doubt any artist would have been bent out of shape. After all the Dead encouraged
bootleg copies. Figured it would get their music into the hands of the masses and their legacy would grow. It's too bad that model is lost on the rest of the business.