How The Internet Has Changed The Music Biz!
Well…among other things, nobody can deny the sale of music over the Internet has affected the sales of CDs. No longer does one have to purchase a whole CD with just one decent track out of twelve when you can just buy individual tunes at an online music retailer.
Music piracy online is quite rampant, which affects artists’ and record labels’ profits and anyone that has an Internet connection can probably find illegal music downloads all over. Naturally the labels lose more than the artist since they keep the bulk of the money and the artist only sees a small percentage.
Also, it’s easier for artists to self-promote and self-release nowadays with all the avenues for advertising and promotion online.
Artists can also collaborate online with each other to produce music and nowadays you don’t even see your mastering engineer. You just upload your raw files to their FTP site and they give you back a mastered album. Not as intimate and close, but it’s the way things are going now.
Finally, the Internet enables smaller acts to receive exposure they wouldn’t normally receive if not signed to a label.
In an ironic sense, musical performance has gone full circle. In the 19th century and earlier, the only way a musician could earn a living was to perform (and perhaps give private lessons to wealthy patrons). With the advent of recording media and – more importantly – the economical mass production of them, musicians could make money “selling units.” In fact, the big money was in selling records, not performing live. Artists and bands went on tour to publicise their records and albums; touring was the cost of doing business.
But with the digital revolution, all that has changed. Since anyone with a computer can replicate recorded music with little or no loss of fidelity, it’s hard for artists to sell units anymore. Hence, the big money is in live performance. The smartest new artists, the ones with the greatest business sense, don’t concern themselves with “illegal file sharing,” because they understand the more exposure they get, the more likely their music will go viral and the more tickets they will sell to live events. So, in other words, the recorded music promotes the live concerts, not the other way around, the way it used to be. Musicians must once again literally ‘sing for their supper’ and perform live to get a payday.
At last, real bands and musos are beginning to rule the roost once more!