Despite the doom and gloom in my last post, this decade will be unique and exciting for music creators and fans alike. But if the web is the death nell for the conventional record business, whats the upside?
Lets start with fans:
To state the obvious, music fans drove labels and artists into the 21st century through creating and participating in massive music sharing networks – or piracy if you come from the other side of the fence. This has created some amazing ways of finding, storing, sharing, buying and streaming music. On top of this there are fan driven web labels, fan hosted tours and fan-based popularity contests. Finding, following, collecting, obsessing over and communicating with an artist has never been easier.
For music creators, the big break-through has come in two parts. Cheap (relatively), digital music production hardware and cheaper (or free) software has fed an enormous market of music creators and is empowering them with tools that where once the sole domain of multi-million dollar studios and recording artists. Second, of course, is the mighty promotional/sales/networking/learning/collaboration/ creation/funding all-thing that is the internet. Never before has the power to create so much been in the hands of so many. We have used it for good, stupidity and evil, but there is no doubt that in our society at least, music creation in isolation is a thing of the past. There really is no excuse anymore for musicians not to attempt understand or engage with their audience.
I’ll leave you with quote from Danny Barnes, a staunchly DIY indie artist, who can remember buying vinyl on mail order in the 70’s…..
there is more cool stuff out there than we can even keep up with. All these new configurations new riffs and new structures built upon the shapes and forms of the past. or not! perhaps the older forms rejected entirely. it’s all one big giant database and music has never been better. enjoy some today. it’s really the greatest thing we have on the physical plane. so get to jukin’