I read that part, and it led me to take the rest of the article less seriously.
In 1996, a ProTools rig itself (not the microphones, etc.) would set you back ~$20,000, between the A/D/D/A converters, the 10K SCSI disks, and a PC fast enough to keep up. Nowadays, you buy a setup with far better sound quality for about $500, and run it on commodity PC hardware. For established artists (who are perhaps still using the same studio gear they bought in 1996 with the royalties from that one hit that got used on the soundtrack of a Michael Moore film), this might be a small factor, but for fledgling musicians recording in their bedroom, it's a big deal. Many people track and mix on such setups (perhaps not Lowery, who may think it's crucial to have that $20K tube preamp to get that 'warmth' when he screams and caterwauls into the mic, but many other people).
It's also worth noting that in 1996, paying DiscMakers for a run of 1,000 CDs of your first effort was a daunting cost. Now you can upload to bandcamp for free, provided you're willing to lose some of the revenue in fees.