Reading Matt’s earlier bitching about music kind of got me thinking about musical issues to post about so what better than the most controvercial issue surrounding music today, and no, I don’t mean that lesbo kiss from the MTV VMA’s you perverts! But on that note, this is for everybody in the media, nobody gives a fuck, get over it, please?!?! No no no, I’m talking about something that’s actually of some importance, downloading and why the RIAA and the rest of the world’s music conglomerates are full of so much shit they can taste it. I’m going to examine a couple of their arguments and why they’re flawed and then tell you what you can do to help the music business.
Myth: Downloading songs and albums without paying for them hurts artists.
Fact: No it doesn’t. Downloading songs and albums without paying for them only hurts the useless sacks of shit who are responsible for the creation of most of the shit that is stinking up the radio landscape today. I’m talking about the office drones who’s job it is to find the next exploitable teenager who they can market the hell out of by having her put out the same album that the other 12613 exploitable teenagers before her put out. These are the same people who are responsible for the constant flood of press releases about file sharing and how it’s going to be the ruination of the music business because exploitable teenager number 15847 can’t aford her new set of tits without the generous support of the sheep consumer, that’s you by the way there Joe Average in case there’s any confusion.
The fact is that artists make pretty much nothing on every CD sold. Whether you buy it new, used or not at all will make almost no difference to your favourite artist no matter what they say on those bullshit commercials. If you really want to help out the bands you like and support them, go to their shows, that’s where they make most of their money anyway. You can also buy the music directly from them whenever possible, at least then you know who’s coke habbit it’s going to support. And if you’re wanting to help stamp out these evil record label people buy your albums used, I’m sure you’ve got a used record store or a pawn shop in your area, they need your support much more than the major labels do. Actually the people who really need your support are the ones who had to trade their shit in at the pawn shop in the first place but that’s beside the point.
Myth: Record sales are down due to file swapping and we’re going out of business if this keeps up.
Fact: Yes, record sales are down and I suppose you could say that file sharing is partly responsible and not be entirely wrong but like with just about everything else, there are things you’re not being told, most important among them being that the industry has been putting out less content lately. How much of what is being released that can actually be clasified as content is a debatable point but let’s carry on. I read some stats awhile back that said that for just about every year that sales figures have been going down at the majors, less albums have been released. Now I’m not the world’s greatest math person but something tells me that by putting out less product, you probably aren’t going to sell as much of it. After all I’m not going to buy things again and I don’t think any of you are either, unless some of you are idiots, and for all I know you might be.
We haven’t even gotten into how much of what is making it onto store shelves would actually compell somebody to buy it. I’m not sure about the rest of you but I’m finding that most of the music I’m buying lately is either coming from lesser known artists or from older albums that I’m picking up at a discount. There are some acceptions of course but that’s just the way things go. Even those acceptions I’m getting used most of the time from the specialty store down the street from my house, either that or I’m buying CD’s directly. Rarely will I go into a place like HMV and actually buy something.
The bottom line of all this is that sure, file sharing is contributing to a drop in sales, but no more than actually being able to walk into a store, sample an album and decide that it sucks ass and not buy it. But at the same time, swapping is contributing to the making of sales. I can think of a few artists that I’ve gotten interested in because I heard something they did through a download reccomendation, or just through finding it by accident. It’s free advertising, kind of like radio only without the bribery and power tactics.
There’s so much more I could say in this space but this is getting pretty long as it is. Maybe I’ll write more on this in the future, who knows? Pretty much what I’m trying to say here is that record companies are evil. Not all of them, just most of them. Do a little research into how much it costs to actually make a physical CD and then how much you’re paying for it. If that doesn’t piss you off enough, look into who gets what from the CD you buy. If that’s still not enough, research the way that record contracts work and tell me who’s really getting the shit end of the fuck stick here. Support the artists, and I mean the real ones, boy bands don’t count. They deserve nothing because they are a record label concept and should be treated as such. Support the people with talent who are making the truly good music you like. They don’t need the labels and neither do we. They’d do just fine on their own, it’s just that the music business needs to change for this to be truly plausable. And who better to force that change than you, Joe Average.
Any feedback on this can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.