Of Bach, The Digital Records And Crowd Funding – My 2 Cents On Changes In The Music Industry

 

OK, after spending 10 minutes choosing the correct and light sound background of this article, I’ve finally created a small playlist and it is time to write. No edits, no second thoughts. It has been forever since I wanted to sit down and write my thoughts on… what I think is going on in the music world nowadays. I have no professional knowledge, nor claim my thoughts are an exact representation of the reality. However, I think I’ve beenĀ  involved with music in one form or another for some time and I thought to give a try and express the chaotic madness in my head in a written form. That being said, let’s see what would actually turn out at the end. I hope you enjoy the music and the few words below!

Time-travel In The Music Industry

It comes to no surprise that upon being asked “What’s the future of music industry?”, different people would give quite polar answers. Some (I reckon people involved directly with major record labels) still very passionate insist on chasing harshly all illegal downloads. Yep, that kind of people who if ruled the world you and me probably would end up in jail. There are others, who stress on the importance of sharing your music to as many people possible and hoping to reach/touch those music fans, who would pay merch, go to concerts. Even donate, when necessary. The truth is that nowadays, there are so many talented young and upcoming artists who share their music for free that…well, even if I could afford paying for the new album by some famous band backed up a major label, I often would rather sticking to the aforementioned upcoming musicians and do whatever I can to help them spread the word.

A quick jump back in time. Back then where the word digital simply didn’t exist and music wasn’t… recorded. Music was played live and that was the music industry for our ancestor. No tapes, VHS, CDs, vinyls. No *.mp3s, *wav, *.flac. Simply live music.

With the obvious absence of iTunes store, beatport, bandcamp etc. these guys had to survive somehow, right? Now whether we speak about street buskers, traveling musicians or notorious composers from the Baroque/Classical/Romantic era (i.e. J.S. Bach), the model was pretty clear and straightforward. The community funded the musicians. There was no middle man. It was a simple patronage. Then again, the industry in those times hasn’t been saturated with the diversity, release intensity and general opportunities which started happening in 20th century.

Recorded Music Revolution

One of the most important milestones for the industry is the recorded music (physical copies). I’ve read on a few occasions people defining recorded music as a “second hand” music and preaching how listening to your playlists could never tap the magnificence of a live performance. Now, that is partially true. However, the ability to “move” your favourite sounds anywhere and anytime is something I personally find valuable. There are a lot of genres/artists I would rather listen by myself on a mountain top rather than being in a crowd. In that line of thought, unfortunately for many people in the business, the implicit value of these recorded properties eventually fell down. Why is that? Well, because it was lying in the scarcity of its distribution. Something, which was completely abolished with the digital revolution and the evolution of “The Cloud”. Of course I think this is just one of the drives behind the ongoing change in the industry. I also think a lot of people nowadays simply oppose the major companies, the well-known players in the business. I guess for many fans, being independent/small is appealing. Just a feeling…

So, backed up by the community. The already popular option for crowd-funding seems a definitely viable option for artists.

Crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd-sourced fundraising) is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations

Being part of the creation of the album, I think this is something a true fan of the band would definitely appreciate. Many of the perks offered are beyond cool. For example, the Canadians Protest The Hero, not only gathered 3x times more money than they initially wanted, but gained additional attention and lots of new fans, after sharing this funny video. Also, the perks – great fun – “Pizza Party At Tim’s House” or singing on the album itself.

Because of the whole Internet thingie, artists nowadays have much more control and paths to take on regarding how to reach fans. Platforms such as Soundcloud and bandcamp, the vast majority of music websites and blogs – they are here to bridge artists with the right “crowd“. What is next? I guess if there is a chemistry between both, a lot of artists would be able, just like centuries ago, to be funded and supported directly from the fans (the ones really touched by their music). There’s one thing I know – if music evokes any kind of emotions in me, I do whatever I can in order to help to the artist grow. Not always in terms of financial growth, but populity, support and these kind of stuff.

Haha, when I first saw this image on Reddit, I simply laughed my ass off.

music industry changes

I think the chaos in the article is still manageable, but I am afraid if I keep on writing, it would really mess your Sunday night. There would definitely be part 2 way further in the future. Perhaps with a slight take on the more marketing side of things. For now, if you want to discuss anything related to the topic, drop a comment or a message.

Cheers and I hope you enjoyed the ongoing sounds.

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