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Prince says he was right about the Internet being over

Technically Incorrect: The dapper, diminutive singer says no musician has made money from the Web, just as he predicted.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Prince says he was right. But what good does being right ever do?


It was a day engraved in my mind.

That day back in 2010 when Prince declared the Internet to be "completely over."

Five years later, the man who proved that height isn't might, insists that he was correct.

In an interview with the Guardian, the suave Minnesotan singer addressed the meaning behind his 2010 statement.

"What I meant was that the Internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that," he told the newspaper.

In 2013, Prince did succumb to creating a Web site called 20pr1nc3.com, but this site doesn't appear to exist anymore.

Perhaps he couldn't make money out of it.

"Tell me a musician who's got rich off digital sales," he told the newspaper. "Apple's doing pretty good though, right?"

The music business -- indeed, the whole of business -- has changed a lot since, say, 1999. Artists make their money in various ways, from concerts to advertising deals. Actual digital sales are just one part of it.

Artists such as Adele and Taylor Swift have been very adept at using the Web to promote their music and, of course, themselves. Adele released just one YouTube video for the whole world to be talking about her song and her flip phone.

You can understand Prince's lament, however. Music used to be important. The release of a new album would be a news event, something that fans looked forward to months in advance.

Now, musicians drop tracks with unpredictable regularity. Not even Apple has worked out, for example, how to make people care about its own music service.

This is less the Web's fault and more ours. As technology has allowed easier access to more music more instantly, music itself has been devalued. People seem to find more amusement in making playlists than in listening to one specific song or artist.

The occasional tune or album might break through to gain wide respect. But there's too much music -- as there seem to be too many books -- around for any one oeuvre to really matter anymore.

Prince's disdain for the Web can be traced as far back as 2007. He had been one of the first to realize that the Internet could be a wonderful distribution tool. But he soon realized that there was a musical hell in the making.

By last year, he was railing against technology as a whole during a concert. At a hush-hush Hollywood Palladium concert, he sang: "Put your phone down. You can't get down with technology in your hand!"

Still, the Web has its uses. Prince announced in August that his next album would be streaming exclusively on Tidal, the service that Jay Z and his fellow stars thought would put them back in control.

You can't, though, stop technology and money wreaking havoc and often wrecking what was once precious (and lucrative).

You don't see many gorgeous people in Little Red Corvettes anymore, do you? They're all in Teslas.