Monday, July 9, 2007

Re: Thoughts on the Music Industry

My main question with the music industry is this: Is the radio better or worse for music as a whole?

Better: The radio is not just better for music, its necessary. It serves as a medium for artists to get their product to the audience, it publicizes artists and concerts, and it provides important quasi-journalistic functions like interviews.

Worse: The radio is detrimental to music as a whole because it creates a hierarchical system which artists have to placate in order to get their product across. In this way, the purity of music is fundamentally compromised--as Jay-Z said (contradicting himself, of course) 'If I don't play their show/ they don't play my hits.' This kind of politicization of music is a shame.

Better: This is not politicization, it's merely the fact of the matter with art. Artists must have their audiences in mind if they want to make money. Sure musicians can ignore the radio and make 'pure' art that nobody sees but then they won't get their message out and therefore sacrifice a basic premise of art, that people hear/see it!

Worse: Still, we don't need the radio to do this anymore. Because of myspace, cd burning, etc. there is newfound democritization in music. Anyone and their mom can get a cd out there. Radio can't be responsible for sifting through all these artists because radio is only concerned with their advertisers and the biggest record companies.

I THINK, The fact is that the radio can be appreciated for certain kinds of music but should not be relied on for the entire music industry because, as long as the goal here is to get the best music, there is simply too much out there and too much independant stuff (so that it purposefully shuns the radio) out there for the radio to be as definitive a source as it was back in the day.

Sara, Pat, Josh, People--what say you?