Business Week reports that book publishers are learning to love the web because they have no choice. They have resorted to new business practices in recent years, as evidenced by the popularity of electronic readers like the Amazon Kindle. Possible new tactics include "Netflix-like online book rentals, sales of individual chapters, and placement of ads alongside digital books."
Anyone can be an author now (like for example, me). You do not have to convince a publishing company that you're going to sell a million copies, you can self publish, and get it on Amazon yourself.
Since it's easier to be an author now, there are lots more of them. Same is true for music. A colleague of mine has created a published a fine album without ever talking to a record label. It's on iTunes and every other online music store.
Of course my book competes with millions instead of the few that Newton competed with and my buddy competes with an endless supply of musicians instead of just Bach and Mozart. Everyone's A.D.D. and only the consumer wins - if he can navigate the endless choices he faces.