We are all currently witnessing something that traditionally was thought of as a service transform, through the magic of technology, into a good. And it seems that the trend might render music as a person's livelihood into something truly rare, and something reserved for the relative few.
We didn't think it would happen with 78 records, LP records, or tapes, but the transistor radio and the Walkman made it extremely enjoyable to listen to recordings while being out in the world (i.e. not at home), and listening to music became something private and personal. The quality of the CD and the quality of the technology that has gone into recording music on one end, and "spitting it out" on the other end has come to the point where rendered "readings" are even preferable for reasons of balance and of accuracy to natural ones.
The change has sure put a lot of musicians out of work over the past hundred years or so, because in places where musicians once provided the desired ambience, recordings do it for a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of the price.
You can buy a CD for $15.00, and play it a thousand times without paying a cent more to anybody (and you can download the files for even less). The guests at your party, the people eating in your restaurant, or the people shopping your store will be bathed in its ambience, and the people who made the recordings, if they are still alive, will never even know. If you sell enough of these to enough people, the world will be flooded with electronically-generated sound with nary a musician attached to it. Oh yes. It already is pretty much that way with the "classical" kind of music.
I have been wracking my brain, and haven't found anything in current life or in the life of times past to compare this transformation of service to good with.
UPDATE: I finally found one on-line discussion about this matter, and then another discussion about the question of whether music is a product or a service. If Jeff McDougall (the person who wrote one of the articles that started the discussion) happens to be reading this, I would love to have his take on this question.