A Sinking Ship: The Music Industry
Once in a while, we here at the Daily Awesome have mentioned the RIAA or MPAA and their inability to find an appropriate party to point their fingers toward (because apparently they don't have mirrors). So we end up with grandma's sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars for downloading music... when they don't even own a computer.
How did we get to this point? Why is the music industry choking on its own bile as it desperately tries to climb up the greasy slide back toward the top?
I think the main reasons are a failure to adapt, greed, and believing that those at the top always know what's best... always thinking the top is infallible. Oh, and please don't forget the biggest reason: they put out shitty music.
Also, their business model is quite literally extortion. They force bands (at this point, I should really just call them entertainers) into these ridiculous contracts that rape them of their music and out of the mega money that comes from selling music. They also forced fans of a particular song or three to buy an entire shitty album just to own those few good songs.
It's also the bands' faults, though. I mean, as a band, you want to have your own CD, right? It's the dream! To have a CD with your band's name on it, to have a booklet with lyrics, liner notes, and thank yous.
I think we need to stop thinking of music in terms of albums. That's the first step. The entire market needs to shift. But that hurts the great money making. It's much easier to complain and whine that people downloading music are killing the industry when in truth, it's shitty business practices (and shitty music) that's killing the industry.
Maynard James Keenan of Tool has said that he's no longer thinking in terms of albums, but instead in terms of releasing a couple songs at a time. I think that he understands the current climate far better than most. Really, this is what all bands should adopt. If you write a few really good songs, release them and sell them yourself. Then, you won't have to worry about all the nonsense that comes with record companies.
Unfortunately, this model works best for bands who already have a lot of money, because... obviously, you wouldn't make nearly as much from selling those songs as you do entire CD's. Still, if you think about it, the bands aren't making their money from CD sales anyway. It's touring that makes them all the money. It's touring that really makes or breaks a band.
So until we're ready to let go of what a band is, or how music should be released, we're just going to have to sift through the shit.
I suppose... at least there's iTunes.