Monday, January 27, 2014

How new technology did not save the record industry


Good to see women and contemporary music triumphing in the classical categories at that most self-regarding of industry events, the Grammys. In her acceptance speech for three classical Grammys composer Maria Schneider "took the opportunity to lambast music piracy, calling it "legalized theft."" and her multiple Grammy winning CD Winter Morning Walks had to be 'fan-funded' by artistShare instead of being brought to market by a piracy-stricken major label. Just a few hours before seeing the LA Times report of the 2014 Grammys I had been reading the newly published Less Noise More Soul: the Search for Balance in the Art, Technology, and Commerce of Music. In this commendable anthology veteran radio presenter Rob Reinhart suggests the distinction between thief and victim in piracy is not as clear cut as the music industry would like us to believe. Here is the relevant passage:
"Have you seen one of these?"
It was a woman from Columbia Records who was accompanying an artist to our studio for an Acoustic Café taping. It was March 2002, and the device she was waving at me was an Apple iPod. She thought it would "save the record industry" because of the storage capability. To demonstrate, she showed me the entire Beach Boys catalog that was loaded on her iPod. To be funny, asked why this Columbia Records employee had the complete catalog of one of Capitol Record's most enduring acts in her pocket. She answered that her friend worked for the Boy's publisher and loaded it up for her. For free.
Industry saved.
Figure it this way: If an iPod holds five thousand songs, and each was purchased legally, the average person would spend about five thousand dollars to fill up one iPod. Who has an extra five grand to buy music? So, of course people fill their iPods with stolen music....
Photo of my iPod, which is loaded with 100% legal music, comes from the post Label me obsessed. I borrowed Less Noise More Soul: the Search for Balance in the Art, Technology, and Commerce of Music edited by David Flitner from Norwich library. In this . Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).Also on Facebook and Twitter

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