Tuesday, October 30, 2007

stay out of trouble.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

The more I think about it, the more and more I realize that the recent global crackdown on music downloading and the subsequent shutdown of Oink hurts the artists the most.

How? Fine. Not the Britney Spears or Ne-Yos of the world, but the indie rock bands that seemed to have been so popular as of late. It will be hard for there to be the next Arcade Fire because the platform in which bands are being discovered is now regressing.

Fine. Say what you will. It's stealing. Record sales are up. But, more than ever, I feel that concert attendance is up and the number of venues are up. There are more bands that people listen to, and this was all facilitated by file sharing services.

I mean, bands love when they sell records, sure, but they make absolute change on the albums. They have to pay the label back for studio time, distribution--it's really hard for these less famous bands to actually make money.

So they go on the road--where merch and ticket sales go into the pockets of the bands. Bands like the Arcade Fire may not sell a ton of records, but they sell out everywhere they go. Same with M.I.A....and the same with LCD Soundsystem.

This is all going to backfire. The big labels won't recoup any more sales or dollars because people just aren't going to know what to buy. Buying an album from a band based on a review? In this day and age? Preposterous.

In the past few days, I tried looking for albums I wanted on iTunes. I couldn't find most of them...and, it's not like I can walk into a record store, because they're all closing down. Even if i did happen upon a record shop, the chances that they would have a release I wanted would be absolutely miniscule.

Sure, I'll buy your records, but I'm not going to go to the bottom of the ocean or out to Neptune to do it, which is what it seems the labels are asking us to do.

What this all really means is that labels can't afford to sign as many bands as they have been doing because it just won't be profitable. I really think the structure of music distribution is about to collapse, and I hope it just all turns into $5 downloads through bands' own websites, circumventing labels altogether.


Sorry for the lack of upates. You know the reasons why, and if you don't--well, you probably don't want to know anyway.