Music companies seriously need to send Pandora a gift basket or something. Pandora is a streaming music radio service that "learns" your preferences based on thumbs up/down ratings, and my experience so far is that it is impressively accurate. I created a channel based on Digitalism [Warning: spammy myspace page]. Great band in the electronic/techno vein. I proceeded to thumbs up/thumbs down (mostly up) about 10 songs or so, and now, about the worst Pandora produces is "tolerable", and I've bought several songs of Amazon.
This is what discovering music should be like. You indicate preferences, and something mixes your favorites in with potential new discoveries. Don't like one? It is skipped, on to the next one. Like one? Get a high bitrate copy of your own immediately, DRM free.
I picked up the Digitalism album off iTunes on the strength of the badass song Idealistic and the fact that it was itunes plus, so no DRM. Now I'm following from those songs, via Pandora, into the Chemical Brothers, and songs like Weak in the Knees by Bender (I couldn't even find a site). That latter song was like #eleventymillion in popularity on Amazon, but I *love* it.
The e-book, TV, movie industries have a lot to learn from how to get value from consumers.
This winning combo has me delightedly trying out new music, with a great "hit ratio" (unlike traditional mass-media radio), and makes it easy to buy a song I want. Bravo, Amazon and Pandora.
You can't legislate this sort of success - you can only earn it by serving the needs of consumers better.