By Kyle Bylin, author of Promised Land: Youth Culture, Disruptive Startups, and the Social Music Revolution. Studying people’s music buying habits used to be simple. You handed a person a stack of postcards and told them to send you one the next time they bought an album. They wrote down what they purchased, why they purchased it, where they purchased it, how much they paid for it, and sent that postcard back to you. Russ Crupnick, managing partner of research group MusicWatch Inc., says the rise of file-sharing clients and streaming music services has made it harder to track where...

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