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Old 05-06-2003, 02:49 PM   #1
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the future of music

I've noticed that in recent months there have been a number of articles in major publications that adress this exact theme. Just today in USAToday was an article about the whole file sharing issue, regarding both music and movies. Yesterday in the Boston Globe was a lengthy article on the same topic. In Rolling Stone last month there was an article about home recording and how it is threatening studios and will have an effect on the music business. So, my question to you all is: What is the future of music? What will it look like? As an artist, how will you make a living from music? Is the idea of music as a commodity about to change? Are we in the middle of a huge change in how our society treats music, or is this simply a readjustment?

My thoughts....

I think that the whole idea of music as a commodity is going to change. While the new iTunes Music Store is nice, and apparently the most successful venture so far (yay apple! 1,000,000 downloads in the first week!), I think that this business model is failed. Why?

There is no incentive for the person who relies on file sharing for music to go and buy songs for $00.99. If I can get my music for free without worry, why should I turn around and buy that music? It's just the same as going to the cd store and buying the cd. While I'm able to just pay for the 1 song, it is still money I don't need to spend.

***side rant***

There is an entire culture that doesn't accept the whole concept of paying for services. They feel entitled to take whatever they can get. And it's not just file sharing. It's cheating. It's a complete lack of respect for other people in the most basic sense. I see college students who really don't give two shits about the person next to them, or how what they do affects that person. You think that people who have this attitude are going to care about the effect that their stealing is going to have on our society or economy?

When people decide to stop spending money for a product, then the business loses money, which in turn causes them to let employees go, which increases unemployment, reduces overall spending in the economy, which contributes to a recession. There is a cause and effect. True, right now the impact of file sharing is not having a huge impact on the economy, but if they can't make money, what are they going to do?

And don't think I particularly like music labels. They cheat and steal just as much as anybody else. But it's not an excuse to steal from them.


***end rant***

I think that the future of music is one where the recordings are not a commodity. As strange as this sounds, I don't think that's where the money will be made. It will have to be made elsewhere.

I have wondered why there isn't some type of 1/2 a cent tax added to the cost of blank cd's for the express purpose of offsetting the cost of people sharing music. If I'm not mistaken, isn't that what they did with tapes or videocassetts when they came out? Maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe it will be that musicians make their music by touring, not by selling cd's. Maybe this would be a good thing, put the emphasis back on performing. With the technology out there, musicians don't need a major label to finance a recording session. Bands can record their music themselves, and disemminate it on the web. As technology improves, who knows what marketing tools will be available to the general public.

The truth is, from the garbled mess I just typed, I have no idea what will happen, but something tells me that the entire concept of purchasing a cd is a dinasour of the past.

Part of me is sad about this. I love going to the store, sifting through cd's, buying them, opening them up, popping in the cd and flipping through the booklet. Maybe this is an outdated idea...
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:33 PM   #2
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I like the idea of record companies losing power, both over the consumer and the artist. Technology allows the consumer to get music for free and the artist to create music with these cheap digital studios.

The record companies have been screwing the music lover for years. Radio is a complete fucking joke. I say turn the tides and let the suits rot! Music will become a cottage industry, bands will crop up anywhere they can afford a $2000 digital recorder/Mac.
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Old 05-06-2003, 03:40 PM   #3
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Fortunately ( for us the consumer) and unfortunately ( for the musician & record companies) music will always find its way online and someone will always find a way to get it to you for free. End of story. The record companies are fighting a losing battle; they can stop the bleeding for a little but at some point the heavy flow of free music will start up again. I think it's great that Apple has the new new Itunes service and that it's been successful, but keep in mind Mac/Ipod users represent 3% of all PC users. Even with them selling a Windows friendly IPod, I don't think it'll make a significant difference in the long run. I could be wrong, but people are pretty coniving/cunning and will find a way to get you the music for free. I don't own a mac or an Ipod, but I'm slowly thinking of buying an IPod, solely for the fact that I'd be able to bring my large collection of music everywhere with me (1,350 cds and counting). But in NO way will I pay .99 cents per song. I'd rather go on soulseek and get the damned shit for free. I already paid $$$ for my computers. Oh well...end of rant.

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:10 PM   #4
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All I can say is THANK GOD U2 were a band who got thier start in the early 80's. The way record companies are now they'd have released Boy, then October, been dropped for not shifting enough units and never whould have made WAR, UF, JT, RH, AB Zooropa, Pop, ATYCLB.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:42 PM   #5
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interesting. i think that most peope forget about the large number of people who use the internet as a way to hear bands that they can't discover any other way. with the radio in the sad sorry state it's been in, mtv not actually playing music (and when they do it's the same 5 rap videos for a month straight), cds too expensive to just go out and pick up something based on the fact that it sounds interesting, the internet works in the same way that some used record shops have places where you can listen before you buy the album. i know this doesn't accuratly represent the majority of people with computers and access to the internet, i've talked to very few people who willingly admit to not purchasing music.

personally i buy cds because even though i know i'm supporting the record company more than the artist itself (in major label cases in particular)--the artist is only going to get a good sized portion of that money if it's cds that they sell at a merch booth at a show--i'd feel guilty if i downloaded all my music for free. and i'm also selfish; i like getting everything i can out of a record. i like sitting down with the lyric shet from a vinyl record or the booklet from a cd and reading where each song was recorded, who did the photography for the cover, etc. maybe it's the difference between being a music fan and liking something for the fad that was created. with mp3s, you can download something beacuse it's popular and then delete it. one click and it goes away, you don't have to worry about being uncool, keep ahead of the latest trend. and that's all very fake to me, so again i'm left wondering if the majority of people really ARE downloading music and not buying albums. i have seen many articles in papers and magazines (the boston globe had another one a few months back predicting the extinction of record stores in place of space-age mp3 stores) telling us that the business side of music as we know it is changing, yet i'm always going to be quite skeptical about this. peraps i'll beleive it when i see it.

side note: i read an excellent article about epitaph records last night that i should go try to find the link to.
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Old 05-06-2003, 04:57 PM   #6
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Funny about MP3s. I was at a party this weekend where all the music was playing though a pc. The guy had 10,000 or so MP3's in the damn thing, no cds in sight. He put the thing on ramdom and let it go. Seemed great, but i'd much rather he had 300 cd's on a shelf. Coulda picked through and played songs with him and the others at the party, gotten to know his personality a little better, would have been more fun. There is no joy in scrolling through files on a pc with a beer in your hand, scared I'm gonna spill on it.
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:01 PM   #7
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fsck the industry.

they still haven't explained how record sales were going up while napster was big, and have dropped like a rock steadily since they got their way and took em down.

radio also needs to burn, along with the so called "dj" they have now. your not a dj if all you do is read off a computer what it tells you should play. and its not a new song if your the only top 40 station in your area to get it, when it was playing on another radio station that plays only one format.

tv didn't kill the radio star, companies like clear channel and the fcc did because they allow record labels to buy their way on the air, and have stupid ass laws that hurt the artist.

for example, a poet named sara jones was fined for her song your revolution (the basics of the song was an attack on the sexual objectification of women that constantly plague "hip hop" radio stations) calling it indecent. this was while artist like jay z, ja rule, and dmx were kings of the radio. why is it that the fcc gets to pick and choose what they go after instead of making sure that the laws were that were created are enforced, not the ignored when it benefits them.
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Old 05-06-2003, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrBrau1
Funny about MP3s. I was at a party this weekend where all the music was playing though a pc. The guy had 10,000 or so MP3's in the damn thing, no cds in sight. He put the thing on ramdom and let it go. Seemed great, but i'd much rather he had 300 cd's on a shelf. Coulda picked through and played songs with him and the others at the party, gotten to know his personality a little better, would have been more fun. There is no joy in scrolling through files on a pc with a beer in your hand, scared I'm gonna spill on it.

ha ha ha! how true....
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Old 05-06-2003, 07:55 PM   #9
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I don't think you can blame downloading for poor record sales, or at least not entirely. The economy is in lousy shape right now, so that's got to be a factor. Also, interesting and innovative new artists hardly ever get exposure on commercial radio or MTV anymore, so the vast majority of the population probably thinks the crap being played on the radio and MTV is all that's out there.
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