I’ve stumbled on all sorts of good things online last week, which may account for the absence of posts on ANBAD.
These have been namely: The World’s Greatest Rave Video, The Most In-Depth Prècis of Warren G‘s Regulate Ever, and then – most importantly – the trailer to a documentary called Unsound, which spells out the impact of the new music business model on actual artists.
You know: the people who make the music.
I’m taking the rare step of posting a video on ANBAD, because this trailer contains more thought-provoking sentiments than anything else I have seen, heard or read on this topic, and that anyone who cares about music will intuitively feel too.
Perhaps the most important issue here is that we just don’t know where the music industry is going – and is still making up its own rules.
The kicker is that at the moment the status quo is not just as it ever was (big biz making the $$$, artists getting a rough deal) but now, when we have the opportunity to spread the dough around a bit, the realistic options for an artist to make decent money might be slimmer than ever.
Only making money from gigs is simply not enough, assuming we consumers want to enjoy music as we have done for decades.
Yes, you can make money playing live – but it’s just the old model’s final hurrah: it works on exclusivity alone.
The supply of the product is limited (you have to be in a certain place to experience the gig), just as the supply of recorded music used to be limited (you had to buy a CD to listen to it).
Now there are a zillion technological ways of making/distributing cash, or at least potential ways: micro-transactions, crowd-funding, et al are pretty bog-standard ideas now.
Are there other ways that could help make artists money for the amazing music they make?
Ways that are more direct (i.e fewer slices taken out of the money en route to the artist), less heavy on the purchaser (i.e.: no-one is going to pay £15 for an LP any more – what feels right? £5?) and enabling (i.e. the artist is not compelled to live under the fear of what happens if they cannot play live)
Either we change and start coughing up in new, interesting, this-feels-right ways, or less music gets made. Because when the artist you love can’t, for some reason, perform any more, and thus can’t make money, you can bet your/their bottom dollar that they will choose to put food on the table first.
And their music will fall by the wayside. And that third LP that would have been a true artistic revolution won’t get made. And you won’t hear it. And your life will be poorer. And so on.
Oh, here’s BLUFRANK, by the way, who is buried beneath all this, and is here for two reasons.
Firstly: because he is making the kind of trashy disco quirk-pop that is unpretentious, fun and can hold your attention in a way that, say, a song by any number of buzz-bands can’t, and secondly, because he is apparently from Egypt – and I haven’t featured a band from Egypt before.
I guess that BLUFRANK doesn’t perform live all that much. I wonder if he makes much money from music?