The tech industry is excited about the music industry in the current day while others see it as a bad time for artists.
Which side is right or wrong is for another post. What I am getting out of it all are two very different arguments and experiences.
The techies see opportunities on a grand scale. They have introduced new revenue streams into the recording industry that did not exist previously due to the way fans started to accessed/get their music online.
The techies celebrate that they have created a direct to fan connection for the artists. People can now participate in the recording industry that previously couldn’t. Artists don’t need a record label however it can be argued that without the record label machine the artist more or less remains part of a niche. Their music can be up on all digital outlets without the need of a record label.
However, the artists, see a decline in revenue. I am sure everyone has heard the following comments;
“We made good money selling CD’s” or “Our music is worth nothing because of streaming” or “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.” The last one is from Taylor Swift in her Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.
Spotify is talking about competing and killing off piracy. Spotify is talking about adding a monetary value to the recording industry that was not there before. At no point do they state that Spotify is a substitute for selling CDs.
“Piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny – nothing, zilch, zero. Spotify has paid more than two billion dollars to labels, publishers and collecting societies for distribution to songwriters and recording artists.” Yep, that is what Daniel Ek said in his blog post response to Taylor Swift.
So what we have is the recording industry and misguided artists thinking about the “loss” and they keep doing what they did before which in the long run would end up hurting them more. What they forget is that without the public and the fans, they have no industry. So, yes I agree that music is art, however the price of that art differs from person to person and if an artist cannot cover all different price points then they are failing to service their customers/fans.
Seriously we are 15 years after Napster changed the rules of the game and we are still having the same conversation. The recording industry and misguided artists want us all to buy CDs again.
FAN: “But we only like one track.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “I’m sorry, but music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for, so hand over your one of payment of $10.”
FAN: “But I don’t want the whole album.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “How do you expect me to make a living if you don’t buy my CD’s. You fans are killing the music industry and the artists by not supporting us.”
FAN: “But I don’t want to own music, I want access to it. And all I am trying to change is the recording industry viewpoints. ”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “I put my blood, sweat and tears into making this music and its important and rare and since rare things are valuable, you WILL pay for it.”
FAN: “No thanks, I will go elsewhere.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “But, wait a minute, I have my own download store available where I am selling MP3’s”.
FAN: “Are you serious, Apple stopped making the iPod and you are still pushing MP3’s.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “But”
FAN: “What stuns me is that you have failed to see that the game has changed. The past is gone, it is never coming back. You want me to buy CD’s and Apple doesn’t even have a CD/DVD/BluRay Drive on any of their computers. You want me to buy MP3’s when all I want to do is listen. No one wakes up in the morning and goes to themselves, gee, I wish I bought an MP3 or a CD today. We wake up in the morning thinking, gee, I would love to hear “King Of Errors” from Evergrey.”
MISGUIDED ARTIST: “But music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for.”
FAN: “Your job as a musician is to make music.”