THE MUSIC BIZ PENDULUM, AND HOW IT MUST KEEP SWINGING IN THE FAVOUR OF INDEPENDENT ARTISTS

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ANBAD has, as you may well have noticed, been pushing the grammatical-correctness of its moniker in the latter half of last year.

There’s a full post here, but in short, the whittling-down of regular posts has been due to work constraints (boring/inevitable) and the fact that the new music dam has well and truly burst (a wider problem), and sifting through the vast amount of actually new stuff has become more time consuming than ever.

The inevitable thinkpiece on The Future Of ANBAD is to follow shortly – and – SPOILER – it’ll probably be me musing on the creeping feeling that music blogging and/or the music industry needs to change to keep moving forwards.

If the liberating democracy of the internet has open the floodgates, well, great – but the danger is that this vast increase in noise is frightening off bloggers/radio producers/’tastemakers’/etc because the size of the gate-keeping task is so great.

My fear is that this overload means these grass-roots filters find it impossible to resist the temptation of drifting back to the safe simplicity of the old industry; where a quasi-old boy network chooses bands, packages them, informs tastemakers that they are the Next Big Thing, and waits for these apparently independant, ‘new industry’ tastmakers to give them their seal of approval.

This would be bad for a few reasons: it would erase some of the progress of the new independent/DIY music industry model and hand some power back to the old music industry model for one final hurrah; and it would shackle the influence of the people at the new grassroots, who try to highlight new musicians free of external influence.

After all, what is the point of an open and liberated music business model if the people who are writing about new music are effectively just doing as they are told by the old business model?

How does this help showcase artists that are looking to the future, doing it for themselves and ploughing their own furrow? We will all lose – big – if these voices are snuffed out, or restricted to niche coverage.

Maybe now that we’re reaching the inevitable input/output overload of music tastemakers, the Hype Machine is about to cement its position as the only independent, online new-music resource of real use.

Maybe now is the time that the indexing, aggregation and smart sorting of that individual human filtration becomes essential as opposed to merely really useful. (NB: Insert standard ‘I am affiliated with hypem.com disclaimer here.)

My wish for 2014 is that the music business pendulum keeps swinging in the beneficial direction of the independant, the individual and the intruiged. In the meantime – happy new year, pop-pickers.

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