Steve Albini has been in the music business for years, and, as transcribed by the Guardian, he sees the future as bright:
In short, the internet has made it much easier to conduct the day-to-day business of being in a band and has increased the efficiency. Everything from scheduling rehearsals using online calendars, to booking tours by email, to selling merchandise and records from online stores, down to raising the funds to make a record is a new simplicity that bands of the pre-internet era would salivate over. The old system was built by the industry to serve the players inside the industry. The new system where music is shared informally and the bands have a direct relationship to the fans was built by the bands and the fans in the manner of the old underground. It skips all the intermediary steps.
This was sent to me, I think, to counter some of the arguments I made in my piece on music streaming, but although we disagree on the particulars, Albini’s arguments and mine are broadly similar. The big record companies will be fine, and it’s a great time to be a good independent musician. (But you may not want to be in the middle.)