Monday, January 19, 2009

The Dark Side of the Internet & The Music Industry

As we are all aware, of the music industry today is dominated by the internet and more importantly by the illegal downloaders who choose to take advantage of it. At an industry gathering in Cannes, France, the issue of pirated music was thoroughly discusses. The obvious conclusions were drawn; the music industry is being kicked to shit by those of us who choose to steal music. The only way for the industry to survive, embrace the dark side. Ted Cohen who helps host the MidemNet conference that took place wisely stated, "consumers will only move to legal sites from illegal ones if the proposition is better and easier to use". On that note, here comes Research in Motion who is looking to institute music applications like Shazam and Pandora, both of which help subscribers discover music for free, with the hope that they will buy the song or maybe even the full album. While apps like Pandora are all fine and good, they ultimately do not solve the problem of musical theft. In my humble opinion, the elimination of musical theft will never be halted to any large extent, and as a result, the music market will continue to drop in years come. Bands are smart however. Many new artists have been discovered via YouTube through the posting of homemade recordings. Blogs of course have also helped the cause of up-and-coming bands, point in case, the Fleet Foxes who rose to critical fame in 2008 and recently played SNL. What's important here is to note that in order to save the music industry, we must turn on to a new idea of what the music industry is. All former memories of the music industry must be eliminated. A complete overhaul needs to be seen, and right now there isn't necessarily a blue print which will suffice. Looting of music will never mean the demise of music, but it most certainly will mean a life of hardship for aspiring bands who may or may not recieve the critical praise they so deserve.
Those so readily stealing music from the internet do have a certain responsibility however. It is up to them to spread the word of the album they stole, whether it was good or bad. They need to blog about it, send out email's to their friends and co-workers alike. If the past has taught us anything, it is that word of mouth is effective. The best restaurants barely ever advertise, and the best unknown bands will likely not have the means to advertise. So take it upon yourselves to help promote a band you love, go see them live, buy a t-shirt, hell maybe even buy their cd if you can afford to. The music industry as we know it is on the out and out, but that doesn't mean a new one isn't far off, and let's all help draw the blueprint together.

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