Wilmington, Delaware, USA
gl0tch :: premodea
Mac, M-Audio, Evolution, Bluesky, Abelton, Logic, Max/MSP, Numerology, PropsHeads, Native Instruments, Izotope, Spectrasonics, PSP
Electronic Music other: The Revolution of Greed and the Music Industry
Written June 23 2007 , Tags: piracy, labels, artists, mp3s
In response to Sublight's recent closing...
(wouldnt it be poetic if this rant got him Digg'd and then somehow landed him a rather ridiculous major label deal? I know he says he would never consider it, but I think a $5mil advance could sway anyone.)
I posted this in a similar thread on WATMM:
It's always a shame to read about the demise of yet another indie label, and while I'd hope that we can't yet attribute this to illegal downloads alone, the whole undeniable shift of consumer attitude towards access rather than ownership makes it especially difficult for existing indie labels.
If you want a more involving read as to why the download economy in its current form will do nothing except continue to marginalise independent artists and labels, and further galvanise the music industry (not to be confused with the recording industry), then have a read of this:
The Internet and the Decentralisation of the Popular Music Industry: Critical Reflections on Technology, Concentration and Diversification - Gustavo S. Azenha Barnard College, Columbia University
Although Benn makes some nice points (perhaps there are a few people out there who still think iTunes is a good deal for artists, I don't know), the article unfortunately comes off sounding a little too like promotional spiel for his next venture. I'll acknowledge it must be nigh-on impossible for him to take all this with an objective stance, being so passionately involved on the frontlines, but it might have helped it read a little better without the product placement, instead letting the listeners join the dots. I know his heart's clearly in the right place though.
Some more interesting recent articles about the possible shape of things to come within the industry as a whole:
The Record Industry's Decline
The Fall of the Record Business: What Next?
Replacing DRM With A Music Tax Is Incredibly Stupid
sublights closing? lame.. i didn't hear about that.
they're still brand new. and had some great ideas marketing wise.
why they closing?
fuck.. that's depressing.
it's no surprise that the artists get such a small cut of the profit on their record/song sales, because when you look at popular music, the artist is actually a really insignificant part. there are a million people who could fill the roll of any pop star, but it's really all the money and advertisement that the huge record companies put into it that make an artist a success.
Somebody should make a music website that, instead of selling albums as a retail store, just links to label's and artists' stores directly.
How much does Bleep.com pay labels/artists?
bummer. i thought sublight burned too bright too fast. so many releases in such a short time. i guess that's the hustle though. sad to hear.
reading about all the digital distro makes me feel hopeless even though i pretty much knew that's what was happening.
i think the key is just to find the right place to get hooked up with. specialty shops that cater to electronic music in all it's forms. someone you can deal one on one with and not worry about getting screwed. places like addictech.com are great and growing and i see them as being on the cusp of this kind of thing. many different downloadable formats including wav and FLAC.
anyway you slice it someone gets cut though. i like the idea of developing a strict system for handling these things. i've always liked the idea of no compromise releases in nice packaging in limited quantity for a fair price.
Is this not just an example of Digital Darwinism at it's best?
Though his essay was ok, ultimately I think people are maturing in their cynicism and wising up to genre trends. If Sublight didnt come across as a derivative label that seemed like it was releasing artist's leftovers, people would be responsing to their releases in a more respectful manner.
Plus, if his thesis was entirely true, we'd have seen labels like Rephlex, Skam, and Clone go under years ago.
I have to take issue with calling downloading music "unethical." Enjoying my music doesn't bind you ethically to paying me. Now, if you cost me money, or if you started selling my record and making money- that'd be unethical. But if NO ONE is profiting, I'm sure I'm getting my fair share.
i liked it. it's depressing in a way, but his observations on how to actually make money are quite the opposite.
as an aside, anybody have any idea what the difference might be if I order from someplace like forced exposure?
I don't think it's depressing at all. I think it's encouraging. if everyone moved to the simpler artist > label > listener model, I think we'd all be a lot happier, except the gangsters running the rest of the bullshit who would be out of a job.
I'd be interested to see how places like beatport and bleep split up profits.
my hope is that the real cream of the crop will rise to the top and we can throw the rest of the barrel over niagra falls.
fuck the whole mess. i can't wait for more open record label deals to work out.
may the best open source engine win.
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