On the 19th of this month, Rolling Stone released an article which discussed the decline of the recorded music business, and attempted to analyze it’s fall.
Much of this article makes complete sense and it is precisely what many music lovers have been saying since the RIAA filed its original lawsuit against Napster. Give us digital music. Do not tell us how we will listen to music that we pay for the right to listen to, we will decide that for ourselves, thanks. Do give us a better way to fill our lives with music at a price that makes sense.
Note what I said there: Pay for the right. Most people believe that when they pay for something, that means they own it. Now, obviously I don’t have the right to release tons of copies of James Blunt’s latest CD and make money off of them… but *I* do have the right to listen to the CD because I paid money for it! And if I want to listen to it on my iPod, or in my car or as a ringtone on my cell phone, why should anyone else care? I paid for it and that means that I should get to choose how I listen to it.
That is what music lovers believe they have purchased when they buy a cd or download a song off iTunes, and the music industry has never been able to wrap their head around it and it’s only part of why their business is failing.
The other reason why they are failing is because of people like me.
I have been desperate to find CDs to blow my money on, but I can’t justify spending my money on the latest pop act. My teenagers don’t even listen to that bubblegum crap. The last CD I bought was originally released in 1999 (Powerman 5000’s Tonight The Stars Revolt), and I purchased that CD a few days ago. The other two CDs I bought with it were both released in 1991. The most recently released CD that I purchased for myself was an anime soundtrack. Before that… I picked up a copy of The Rolling Stones 40 Licks, and The Beatles 1. Why? Because these CDs have good music and I was guaranteed to not get ripped off.
I purchased a CD not that long ago by Evanescence. I was in love with “Bring Me to Life” until the radio overplayed it so much that I stopped turning on the radio in my car so I could avoid listening to the damned song. The rest of the CD… was a waste of my money. I never listen to anything else off of it. I spent 15$ on a CD so I could listen to 1 song. This is how it goes with every CD that I have purchased that is not at least 7 years old.
As a result of my experience with purchasing music from new acts, phrases like this one at the end of the Rolling Stone article… simply blow me away: “We have great records, but we’re less sure than ever that people are going to buy them,”
Let me put this into perspective for you guys as a music lover who listens to her iPod every single day: If the recording industry had great records, I would buy them!
I would not be importing CDs from Japan! I would be walking into Wal-mart or Best Buy, or I would actually sign up for an iTunes account because there would be music that I would want to spend my money on available to me… but there isn’t! What I would want to spend my money on, I already own on CD because it’s been around for ten years.
Music right now… is shit, and when the occasional rare gem comes along, it is destroyed within weeks by radio stations overplaying songs to death. I can’t blame the DJs for that, even though I know computers do most of the DJ’ing for them… good music is hard to find, especially in this day and age.