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Does Steve Jobs Deserve a Grammy for His Contributions to Music?

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Apple (AAPL) co-founder and late CEO Steve Jobs will receive a posthumous Grammy for revolutionizing music’s distribution and consumption model, announced the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Recording Academy said that the tech legend "helped to create products and technology that transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies, and books. A creative visionary, Jobs' innovations such as the iPod and its counterpart, the online iTunes store, revolutionized the industry and how music was distributed and purchased.
Indeed, the iPod and the iTunes store have transformed the music industry, as physical CDs and full-length albums slowly but surely get phased out and replaced by digital downloads.
However, does Jobs deserve accolades for what he did to the music industry? Supporters assert that by offering individual downloads at low prices in a convenient, easily accessible format, Jobs and Apple helped rescue an industry that was ailing from massive MP3 piracy. (Apple, the company, was awarded a Grammy for technical achievement back in 2002.) The way that we understand and conceive of the music industry as it is right now, they will say, is entirely due to the influence and action of Jobs.
On the other hand, naysayers argue that Jobs did not invent the portable MP3 players -- they existed before the iPod. He simply charged more for them. They claim that Apple’s strategy of selling singles at 99 cents devalues albums, which are typically more expensive, and sounds a death knell for the music business in the long run.
Regardless of which side you might take on this issue, there can be no doubt that Jobs’ iTunes has accelerated the growth of digital music distribution, with digital sales projected to overtake CD sales by 2013 at the latest.
Jobs will be honored with the Trustees award on February 11. Other Trustee Award honorees include musician Dave Bartholomew and recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who worked with jazz musicians such as John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
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