Monday, November 27, 2006

Finally, something worthwhile to read!

By Shane Carey, a musician from Arizona, by way of

Amateur musicians: You no longer need to "make it big."
The Internet is slowly killing the myth that only rock stars make popular music. The record industry still controls most of the fame and fortune, but a record contract is no longer necessary to reach listeners. If all you want is people to hear your music, get a website or put it on MySpace. Maybe you'll get fame if 50 million people like it, and maybe you'll have fortune if they send some money your way. If not, at least you have shared your music. Needing stardom puts the power in someone else's hands; being a musician is yours, right now.

Professional musicians: Kill your contracts.
To pick an example, Joe Satriani fans cannot just replace him with some other virtuoso guitarist released under a Creative Commons license; only Joe will do. Your uniqueness means the fans can't escape the music industry unless you do it first. Don't sign; if you've signed, don't renew. If you can't afford to quit without your fans' support, make sure they know it. If they won't give you that support, then you're not the star that you thought you were, and the record industry owns you more than you know.

Music fans: Support your musicians.
Enough about your right to hear the music, whether you can afford it or not: living in a world where people can afford to make that music is a privilege to be earned. Professional musicians who stop receiving money will have to start spending their days at jobs instead of writing music. A free download is not necessarily stealing, but if you don't want to wait ten years for the next album to come out, throw them a few bucks to buy them the time.

Record industry professionals: Change or die.
An industry might exist in which people like you make money from the honest practice of making it easy for musicians to get their music to listeners, but yours is not currently such an industry, or honest practice. Without you, the musician can author, record, and distribute; without the musician, you have no product. Stop alienating your market by suing them for telling you that the value you add is no longer worth the asking price: increase your value, lower the price, or get out of the business and leave the producers and consumers to work it out amongst themselves.


Anonymous said...

I always support the local musicians :-)

AndyT13 said...

Yes, Stealthy One, you are above reproach. :-)

ZooooM said...

This and movie theaters. Man do movie theaters ever need to start revising their shtick. Which probably means movie industry peeps.