the fact that "quick and easy" isn't always better is neglected itt. just because people can get their hands on any imaginable type of music through the internet right now, doesn't equate with "better". when faced with a vast myriad of options, most people become confused and shut down.
and besides, what comes easy, goes easy. you have to make no effort, financial or mental, to obtain it, and you have no qualms when it goes away. people just don't seem to assign the same collective personal and cultural weight to music anymore as they did, it's a different time. again, i don't care either way, i am merely interested in the phenomenon.
but regarding the music business, i would argue that the whole record company mechanism forced bands to fully commit to being exceptionally good at making music, and coming out with their absolute best. someone mentioned Queen - they made A Night At The Opera after changing management and being told that they will be pushed hard on the promotional end, so their job is to go into the studio and produce the best fucking record of their lives. they worked very hard, and they did. what are the odds they would have tried as hard if Brian May had a macbook and some mics in his basement?
i think it's worth arguing that the cutthroat nature of the business then perhaps added a few more editorial steps to the creative process, threw more professionalism into the mix (as a band had to go into a proper studio and work with a producer), and that made artists feel like if they come out with less than their absolute best, they would not be able to make music for a living anymore and go back to having a day job. and that is completely absent from today's musicians, who make their shitty music on a laptop and release it without a second thought. on paper, a good and liberating thing, but in reality - often not so much, and encouraging the negative kind of whimsicality.