Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sign o' the Times

I wanna hasten the death of the music industry. The most recent example of 'aven't a clue arrogance involves British music retailers and the new record by Prince (the musician, not a member of the royal family). The retailers are infuriated because Prince chose to have his new CD, "Planet Earth", distributed free inside copies of the July 15th issue of Brit tabloid newspaper The Mail, rather than allowing them to sell it. Keep in mind that Prince, in more ways than one, is unique in the music world. For the last 10 years, Prince has been truly independent. He doesn't have a long-term recording relationship with any music label. He records his music and will license the finished work to a major label for distribution or, as he has done in the past, make the music available for sale online. Basically, he can do with HIS music WHATEVER THE HELL HE WANTS! It is not his responsibility to prop up the rest of the rapidly declining music industry! His job is to make music and wear assless chaps! But tell that to the retailers. One British retailing official says Prince should know that if he keeps it up, he'll soon be known as 'The Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores,' which I guess is some kinda threat. Prince, wanting to do something for the fans that have long supported him, chose to make available some of his music for free. He's not hurting for scratch and doesn't have to rely on CD sales for revenue. But, until CDs became dirt cheap loss-leaders for big box stores, music retailers have been quite content to RAPE YOU by selling every piece of shit CD for $18.98 AND insulting you under their breath as you walk out the door. Capitalism often involves the Herbert Spencer/Charles Darwin concept of "survival of the fittest". The music industry is in trouble because it hasn't been able to adapt to the new technologies that have developed over the years that allow for digital music distribution. TOUGH SHIT! It should go the way of the dodo! Why should consumers and even the artists themselves suffer because music companies haven't been able to figure out how to harness the technology and make money with it? But it's probably too late. Any sense of goodwill that might have existed in the hearts of music consumers EVAPORATED when the RIAA started SUING people accused of illegal downloading. I know it's a complicated issue and I certainly don't have a solution, but it's clear that artists and record companies are going to be forced to adopt a new model for music distribution. But until then, the labels and retailers have to stop blaming their problems on the likes of Prince.

1 comment:

Yeah Him said...

It's not often that Herbie Spencer gets blog credit for what most people think Darwin is all about.

That said, Prince kicked bare ass at the Superbowl when all of the detractors thought he would suck (I admit, I was 1 - but now, I'm eating my words).

Death to the music industry.