How “Head First” Became the First Digitally Downloadable Song 20 Years Ago

Although Universal offered little support, the three got David Geffen’s blessing. Geffen understood that the music industry wasn’t going to emerge unscathed from the oncoming Internet, even if Universal and the other record companies wanted to pretend otherwise. He told them, “If you can figure out how to kill the industry before my enemies do, I’ll live,” Griffin remembers. It was prescient, comprehending the need for a business model that would willingly cannibalize the past for a shot at the future.


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