Highly recommended reading:
When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of Record Industry Suicide.
I am not a huge music fan. I used to buy the occasional CD, occasional becoming even less so due to my frustration with a)Finding any music I liked b)Price of said music found. A good part of my old music collection is stuff that I recorded on radio or copied off of friends because I wasn’t going to pay for collections that were steaming piles of crap wrapped around one good song. It didn’t help that the only way I was going to find out about the crap was to buy the album, because I don’t listen to the radio – they are not going to play most of what I buy anyways. The last two CD’s I bought were from artists who directly burned their own stuff and collected all the profit as a result. Previous CD’s were from MP3.com – which was an early victim of the music industry’s heavy handed tactics to maintain control.
I see direct sales at concerts and over the internet as the future of music. Rather than a few artists getting stinking rich, many good artists will earn a good living. The internet can never take away the revenue streams from concerts, t-shirts and the *modest* revenue derived from initial sales of music. Any song that has been around for years should effectively be free. At least I can hope things will end up this way. I want to pay for a service that helps me find lots of good music, not $0.99 for each song I download. The more music I can find, the more per month I’m willing to pay for this service. Oink sounded like it was that kind of service. Too bad it got killed.
The sooner the major record labels role over and die, the better. Their business model pretty much has no room in the new world of easy music sharing, where there is no physical media to own.
Coming back to the article referenced above, he suggests 4 points in order to kill the current regime as quickly as possible so that a new model of music distribution and business can establish and flourish:
1:Stop buying music from major labels. Period.
Check. I don’t think I’ve purchased anything in over ten years now. Easier for me than some people, as I find most popular music uninteresting anyways. That goes for iTunes as well – or any download service dictated to by the major labels. You don’t want any of your dollars going towards propping up a model of music business that should have been dead five years ago.
2: Support artists directly.
Check. I only pay for stuff where I know the artist gets a large direct cut of what I’m paying. It’s still too much of a pain in the ass sometimes to pay though – I’d rather pay for a service that lets me get what I find what I want and gives money to the artists for each download from that pool. Once we get the record labels out of the way, the market will decide what a reasonable amount is to pay for music.
3:Get the message out.
Check. Thus, the posting. But don’t forget those not on the net – they should be encouraged to at least support the alternative artists out there, even if they only know music that is in a store because they are not on a computer. Go see an artist live and just “borrow” the CD from a friend and learn to copy it if you can, always buy the CD from the artist if they sell direct.
No Check. Yeah, I should get off my butt and complain, but I’m lazy too. At least here in Canada things are not so bad, but writing your local MP and letting them know how you feel will certainly help keep the backbone of the government up to the music industry that would like nothing more than to come in and try to intimidate you from stealing music that they own – by making examples of kids, grandmothers and other ordinary people in order to dissuade you from downloading that one “Bon Jovi” song you like.
Here’s to hoping in ten years we will be talking about the big record labels in the past tense. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to happen that much quicker.