But this article is fascinating in that in details how revenue streams can be created that are both significant and economically viable. It appears that record companies are making more money off fan made mash-ups and lip syncs than actual music videos. It's not surprising, because if you have ever made video you know how much time, energy, and effort goes into 3:30 of video. By monetizing the ads on those fan videos and collecting the revenue (since they are the copyright holder) record companies are in fact capitalizing on a new market and revenue stream made possible by digitization and the democratization of tech.
The caveat is that the article is comparing the revenue of music videos, which was never a big part of revenue in the first place. So while this is encouraging it really does not give us any reason to believe that the loss of revenue from direct sales is being regained.
This is why we are seeing more and more book subscription services this year. Publishers are trying to circle the wagons and monetize their catalogs using a Netflix model. The problem is that the market is too fragmented and volatile still. Either way it is not good for librarians, as the digital model for books is moving away from our model of "one book, one patron" towards a streaming, subscription model. In this way a number of things are happening that are not good for libraries:
1. We cannot afford to subscribe to entire catalogs.
2. Our model is being rendered both obsolete and outmoded.
3. The Freegal, Hoopla, Zinio et al model is not sustainable once enough content gets digitized.
We still need a better answer than what is on the table.