Back in 2010, a man declared that, “The internet’s completely over.” Ordinarily this would not have been newsworthy but the man was Prince, he was wearing white silk trousers, and he backed up his words with actions.
He shut down his website, refused to distribute his music through digital platforms like iTunes, and became involved in multiple lawsuits against YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay because he felt that they promoted piracy.
This past March his record label filed a copyright complaint against Twitter under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, over eight Vine clips that featured his music.
And within the past two weeks? Prince sent his first tweet, then his second, and then his third:
He then sent a tweet that combined a few of his least favorite things: online music downloads, YouTube, and his own website. Oh, and he also released the cover art for his new single, which looked like this:
Back in 2010 when he declared his dislike for the internet and all things digital, Prince was quoted as saying, “Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”
While some are hailing Prince’s appearance on Twitter as proof that Hell has frozen over, it may be as simple as those numbers. When you make a living on the number of records, tickets and merch sold, numbers can be very important. Some numbers to consider:
Global music sales rose by 0.3% to $16.5 billion in 2012, driven in part by digital downloads. This is the first time the industry has grown since 1999.
Download sales represent around 70% of overall digital music revenues.
The number of times PSY’s Gangnam Style video has been viewed on YouTube, helping make it the 3rd best-selling single in the world, in 2012.
A man can buy a lot of pancakes with those kind of sales.