Is It For The Best Or Not

record industry’s decline

i dont know if anyone read this yet, but i was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts or feelings on it.

they are failing their business strategies, and maybe they will really disappear one day. In the meantime, I will still buy those CDs I really think they deserve to be bought (most of which are by independent or old artists) and give my music for free, as I think everyone should.

more business ideas

I wouldn’t know what’s going on, because I rarely buy anything from any major labels. Hell, I barely even pirate music, free netaudio does it for me.

There are also online CD distributors like CDBaby, and of course digital download places like iTunes, where the artists get a bit more revenue percentage-wise than if they were signed onto sony or warner music. The internet takes the businessmen and CEOs out of the picture, and that’s usually a good thing.

I don’t think anyone with any power in the real world, whether in the music industry or otherwise, really “gets” the internet. Just Senator Ted Stevens. Just wait until all those old farts die, and people who grew up in the digital world fill the positions. Should get interesting then :)

i like your ideas, overcoat… but your avatars always freak me the hell out :smashed:

Yeah, but make sure you don’t diss musicians who die, right? Bleagh.

I liked the post, but this kinda spoilt it.

I never mentioned that any musicians should die - you probably read it wrong. I was referring to the CEOs and the lovely people in my Senate.

You want to make lots of money? Get into property.

You want to make amazing music? Hop to it, there’s nothing holding you back.

The REAL problem that all of us face here is getting enough audience members (globally or nationally) to derive enough income to quit our day jobs. Please, I would like to hear some brainstorming on how this can be done.

Live gigs and being a good and known DJ. I heard that is the only thing left really giving you any income. Atleast high three-figure-numbers are possible and if you can do it regularly it will work.

Making Remixes for people being “stars” in their own little subculture, can earn you four-figure-numbers or more. Hard to get though.

Also music for movies/advertisements, if you can sell music to a big corporation and they use it in a world-wide campaign you get get paid a six-figure-number. But even harder to get.

making real money with music pressed on vinyl or sold on CDs is working only for a few selected people, most get nil or even have to pay some cash to make it happen.

Then this is as I thought. Looza you’re pointing out the situation realistically, and we all have to acknowledge those points as you have.

So… what of the exceptions? What elements cause the desirable situation of maintaining artistic integrity as well as being commercial?

In Australia I believe this is possible. Gotye is a fine example. Indie commerce - and then he was picked up by a national broadcaster (Triple J) which quickly provided a market. It also helped that his tunes were heavily vocal based, dark, emotional, and sonically distinct. Was it simply a case that his music ‘was the right type by design’ or is this haphazard luck?

Either way I find the example motivating.

question is how long he remains in that position. that’s the next thing, alot of people have two or three hits and are dead afterwards, especially if they are only “performers” and not “artists”.

we have a few people here in my city living from music (it’s all based around the “moon harbour”-label, they are pretty big in the “deep house”-scene).
Their week basically looks like this : Flying off thursday or friday playing gigs, coming back monday and sleeping, going to the studio wednesday-thursday making remixes/producing and all over again. Which is pretty cool (really) and also gives a steady income to some other people (booker, manager, designers etc.) But as I heard sales of vinyl/beatport is the minor source of their income, really.

No, I understood it as you meant it, and still thought it was a horrible thing to say, the kind of stuff that generally speaking backfires. You can hardly hop on a soapbox, say how some people just don’t get it, finish with such a statement and not come off across as ignorant yourself.

I also mentioned “waiting until” they were dead and gone, I’m not advocating murder, just a morbid kind of patience.

And yeah it is a horrible thing to say :D

Karma is a Goddess.

really though, the industry is falling over rightly so. I mean f****- I understand alot of people liking one thing, but they really don’t know any better I suppose. don’t get me wrong, i don’t hate on a guy who is making music and people are buying because for some odd reason they think its great, look at richy hawtin. who am i to diss on a bunch of turtle neck wearing snot nosed nazis who like his shit? thats what they are into, and he has a demographic to fulfill ! sorry if i dissed anybody, but thats how i feel. can’t stand the hmppphh-tsa-see with nothing behind it. really boring minimal dookie. thats art though. but the point is the industry had its place… but there are a lot of people who still make millions and persevere through piracy. don’t hate them! its just technology biting us back in the ass. we cant deny our own monster, it’s taken a life of it’s own. as soon as a person hands it over to another with rights even though you made the shit, you’re f****ed. that’s your own fault. it’s about being independent and gaining base! if people love you, you will make money at what you do the way you do it! it’s about leasing out rights. renting out. im a “poor artist”, yet I made 15k in two months as a student doing audio for major players, doing what they wanted. as a musician I bring this up because as far as anybody on this board is concerned, were just worried about our livelihood. or else we wouldn’t bitch about it. we would just be secure and shut up. its all just a big old hustle. the music doesn’t even matter. its all translated into dollars for everybody on all ends. cant deny that. as far as being creative? well thats left to people who are good at selling themselves. i think right now is the perfect opportunity to purge a dry spell of the industry. when they die its in our hands as musicians to try and thrive one way or another. screw people and downloading mp3’s. so what? give your shit away if you wanna get known. people love free stuff, and often its sufficiant enough to stirr up a buzz. if they like you they will support you. its a proven fact. you don’t even have to be good at this! look at the cream. these guys pump out tracks that are less than standard fare and make millions- and this is after piracy- still eating fat regardless. its in the attitude and the strive. if you wanna make money making music you might as well just become a business man instead. thats where I hate the deal.

I agree Louis, money making and music making don’t equate to each other. The more we realise these are completely separate the better.

I think there are many young people, like myself once, who get into all of this because they think that is how they can make money. These point have to be faced:

  1. Your talent or unique perspective on culture is not economically viable.
  2. If you need income then you need to skill/experience yourself in a “related area” to your creative interest, but not with music composition.
  3. Don’t secretly hope you can turn this into your day job. You can’t. You can only hope for a day job that is related in some degree to your core passion. This is not the fault of your passion, rather, it is the fault of an economic system chosen by an elite who are into corrupted self-oppression.
  4. In the extremely unlikely event you derive commercial sustainability from music composition then it certainly will not make you happy, it will not bring personal fulfillment, it will not solve any deep personal issues you have with yourself or the people in your life.
  5. The event of or even the whiff of commercial success will bring with it all the aspects of ‘endless grief’ associated with dealing with shallow, greedy, rude, narrow minded people that thrive in fostering commerce at the cost of art. At worst you will adopt these personality traits yourself, rendering you to a life of stress and wasting your goodness as an artist and as a decent human being.
  6. Commercially successful artists, due to the current economic model, make sub-par art.

What then to do after the above is acknowledged? I get back to my original point: people should be doing this with the core intention to produce the best art possible. The ‘best art’ is certainly debatable in definition, but nevertheless can be taken as a culturally separate distinction to commerce. Because of the long history during the 20th Century of commerce and music being so intertwined people will find it difficult to lock onto the essential separation. But once it is done, then we can collectively get on with the task of making the most amazing music possible, fostering a culture of soul and exploration.

Then, in the meantime while we are working on our craft, we can have a sideline discussion about ‘how does one earn a living?’. And perhaps an even more important related discussion: ‘how do we collectively establish an activist culture that works to challenge the systematic insanity of our society and suggest and implement a healthier alternative?’. That’s what I’d like to work on. And I think good that’s excellent soil for great music to flower out of.

very much agreed foo.
I think the downturn in even the more unusual and interesting end of the record industry will eventualy get rid of those people who are there to get rich.

Itd be a huge shame if it pushed people to seeking out cash from advertising though imo. Out of the frying pan and into the diarrhea.

As for the waiting for people to die… yes a bit grisly but theres a great quote usualy attributed to anon. but which is paraphrased all over the place that goes “Science advances funeral by funeral.”

Ok we re not scientists but it applies really well to the music industry.

Im happy to make my living gigging. Hand to mouth is the way to go!

Totally with ya…

Imo there’s no point in making music for money in this world unless you really wish to lose the soul of the sound you’re making… =)

Excellent article dealing with this topic, also deals with the recent closure of Oink:…k-birth-of.html

I worry about this with indy musicians. The interesting thing about the internet and it’s link to independent music is that on one hand it gives indy musicians a much wider audience than they would have previously had, but on the other hand, piracy robs them of what little income they could have made from record sales. In fact, many indy labels are being forced to shut down of late. I can’t by any means claim that I’m innocent of pirating indy music, as I’m relatively broke myself, but I’ve often wondered whether internet based artists would prefer me downloading their music illegally, then sending them a cheque. It’s very odd to try to think of any other way to defeat piracy, when it almost seems the global assumption is that music has now become disposable. The reality is, people download music not only because it’s easy and accessible, but also because it’s free… nobody wants to pay iTunes $1/song when they can just get the album from a torrent site and ditch DRM. Perhaps a DRM-Free sales model would work though, presuming that listeners were reassured that the bulk of the cost was going to the artist. This of course brings up the entirely different issue of the uselessness of corporate labels… taking large cuts of artist revenue for relatively little service in the modern bedroom-studio, free-distribution paradigm. The indy labels however, do serve the valuable function of promoting and booking gigs for their acts, something which can be hard for an indy artist to do themselves. So yeh… it’s sad to see the state of music declining as it is, but perhaps it’s time for a new paradigm of media distribution and retribution to emerge, something that everyone but the corporate pop-music cartel will be at ease with.