?Yes, it's a lousy time to be a [major record label]. CD sales are down nearly 30 percent since 2000, digital distribution has rendered the labels' once-coveted relationships with brick-and-mortar retailers (the ones that still exist) increasingly less valuable, cheap recording technology has made big advances unnecessary, and online promo avenues like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube have leveled the playing field for acts without access to marketing dollars. In fact, Radiohead's release and Madonna's deal were merely the highlights of a remarkable month of developments that all pointed toward the seemingly inevitable--if perhaps unnecessarily hasty--conclusion that major labels are the buggy-whip industry of the 21st century.? I believe it was the late John Lennon who said, ?Evolve or die.?