Monday, 24 September 2012
Am I destroying the music industry?
within a matter of hours I have sourced around two and a half hours worth of music from blogs and then set about creating a cohesive playlist for burning onto CD (if only my girlfriend's car still had a CD player instead of the current tape deck and slim choice of Phil Collins, Chris De Burgh and Disney cassettes).
It is an 80 minute masterpiece that runs the gauntlet of folktronica, unexpected cover versions, codeine hip-hop, bootlegs and a smattering of other down-tempo hybrid genres.
and I did not pay a penny for any of it.
this is the strength of the music blog, with it's ability to expose multitudes of people to brand new talent through tidbits and tasters offered up free of charge.
and in this strange no-mans-land that the music industry has found itself in, it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell if this is the right thing to do or not
for all of the success of iTunes, it seems to me that we are still living in the shadow of napster, and the uncertain value of music to many people
ham-fistedly stealing whole albums and back catalogues via torrents still seems wrong to me, and in my old fashioned way, I would much rather pay for a physical product if I feel the music is worth it, yet releases and remixes by smaller artists seem to be worthless
there seems to be a number of reasons for this, firstly may be my placing in the music business as an occasional critic and journalist, unwilling to offer up my opinion on music unless it has been provided to me gratis, and as an unpaid journalist, so should it be... if they want the exposure provided by me, then the music should be my pay-off and my reward.
secondly is the uncertainty of the musical landscape, where some artists and labels have seen the changing tides and decided to swim with the current, providing music for free if it means that artists and songs reach the right blogs and the right people, before crossing over into the paying mainstream, yet how can we be certain which free mp3s have been co-erced and given the blessing by the sanctioned provider, and how many blogs are just towing the line that music is free and effectively stealing from the creator.
and so it is that I seem willing to exchange currency for the upcoming Muse album, a major label release from an already established band, and yet paying for the wares of far smaller artists seems to be somewhat unjustified, as if their art is worth less.
the music business is still clearly in a state of flux, as almighty majors now suffer and new ways and mean of reaching an audience and turning a profit are still being tried and tested in the wake of file-sharing.
so am I getting my own personal views on paying for music the wrong way round?
am I destroying the music industry?