Bands adapt to changing industry

Major record deals are outdated and it seems the only reason the Recording Industry Association of America exists anymore is to complain that nobody wants to buy its music (I do not blame people, the music is not worth the price tag). People think that the music industry cannot exist without these two things, but that theory is flawed. The world and technology are changing, our idea of the music industry just is not the same as the RIAA’s anymore.

Illegal downloading helped big artists feel small and small artists feel big. Stealing is certainly not a positive idea, but it changed things, and we have to accept that and adapt and change. Artists like Radiohead and Defiance, Ohio have started donation-based systems, allowing people to make their own price on each album.

Things like MySpace and Last.fm also changed the music industry considerably, both for consumer and artists. Music listeners expect to be able to hear something before they buy it, so you can often find ways to get samples of artists’ entire discographies. The Internet created an immediacy of information among our generation that surpasses the so-called “glory days of music.” Before the Internet, maybe you would only go to concerts based on what you heard on the radio or by word of mouth, but now anyone can access the band’s MySpace and make sure it is worthy.

I see positive and negative ramifications to this. The positive is that a lot of the times, terribly generic bands will get ignored and no one will waste his money at the show; however, some bands may not have the money for good recordings, and they will get unfairly passed up. Even the best live band in the world could have horrible recording quality.

The music industry’s changing and it is our decision to change with it or let it die. But I think we all know it will not die, music is too important to the world. So artists, burn your own CDs, make your own cover art, and sell your own CDs. The major record deal will not pan out to what you want, but you can make music what you want it to be.