Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rant of the day

(h\t Bill in Exile)

The music business of 1994 is failing. Failed.

But their inability to grapple with changes to a variety of market factors is their undoing. It's easy to make the recent drop in CD sales about illegal file sharing (in fact it's more attributable to saturation of back catalog CD purchases--folks had finally gotten all the old music they were ever going to re-purchase on CD by like 1998) and labels are now quick to smack down any seeming copyright infringement at fan websites and on the youtube.

In another world, record labels WANT radio stations to play their songs. They WANT club DJs to play their songs. They WANT people to request their music. They WANT record store employees to make big creative displays promoting their products.

But if you take a song for which there is no music video, and create a music video of just the record's printed label with the song accompanying it, so that people can find it on youtube, the record labels (the companies, not the printed label) knock that shit off faster than you can say "whatever happened to travel agents?" (another industry challenged by the internet).

Here's a rant from someone a little more engaged in the whole scene than I am,  but it's clear that record labels are failing fast. And all they can think to do is fight this thing called the internet, instead of harnessing its amazing powers (many of which are non-pornographic I am told). Of course, that makes sense since justifying their own existence (in terms of the ridiculous percent of a record's sale they keep before paying the artist [for an artist's first 7 albums--if they're lucky enough to end that 7-album streak on a high note, they get a much better contract for the next 7]) is a lot easier when there are all kinds of pressing, printing, assembly and shipping logistics to account for. Uploading files to a server for paid download is remarkably easy.

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