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Problem X - Saving The Music Industry

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]Each day dreams are dreamt, new businesses meticulously planned, written words become actions, peoples lives play into a butterfly effect and music, well, remains to be music. As an art-form music is one of commodities that acts as a saviour in the wake, or continuation, of endless recession and financial ineptitude. With this thought it is rather confusing as to why we, as the consumer, should sit through an almost daily battering of how some millionaires business, with financial intent, is going to sporadically grow billions for an industry… No. If this was the case then why and how has it taken the best part of ten years for everything to crumble. Nothing has fallen into place here since the iPod and its respective iTunes was once a concept because who were we to know that it could have potentially done more harm than good?


A decade ago, at that time that music as an industry began to fall, when those weighty lossless formats began to be sneered at by sticks that could only hold one WAV track where ten were boasted by the cool MP3, I was a young lad attempting to even simply make sense of what was music and what did it mean to me. However, although a careless young introvert, what I would have been able to tell you, without hesitation or whisper, was that millions of dollars thrown by a pseudo .com celebrity into the investment pool of one mans 'next big thing [for music]' doesn't magically gain the international respect by everyone. With this idea nor will it open a see of eyes and pockets that will multiply into billions of dollars for the soul purpose of quenching the music industries thirst but what do I know because whilst Kim Dotcom has been fitting extradition to the US on copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering, he has come up with an idea that will directly benefit the musicians themselves with the (to-be-launched) one stop music licence 'MegaBox' and 'MegaVideo'. Whilst it is admirable that Dotcom and his team would like to change some former ideologies, there might be a few things that they have forgotten……….


First of all if musicians already have this option, and although I believe that some of the companies I am about to name take far too much of a percentage for themselves, then maybe Dotcom might have forgotten about BandCamp, YouTube, CD Baby, SoundCloud and Myspace. Don't these web avenues already directly cater for the musician where they exist for the artist to develop, become known, build a fan base and be immediately accessible without directly asking for the consumers to pay or try before they buy? In addition, in the world of commercial licensing if a business just paid say 99 ¢  for a track then they can financially benefit from it no end. Recently we saw the Nyan Cat creators suing Warner Bros for using their creative image in an environment where they were were denied fundamental rights as an artist for creative control… continuing on, does this mean that a new service that pays the money directly to the artist for the signal across-the-board right can then benefit a third-party without limits? If so this would lose the artist and the industry a huge amount of money that could best go into A&R and distribution - an industry that builds a bigger fane base and offers jobs to many whom are suffering as a result of recession or music industry failure; I think that this is called the cycle of disadvantage.


I know that this article may seem like a rant, and in some ways it is but I may just be a bit tired of reading peoples supposed actions that are going to be wonderful.Many people who work in the industry are currently working hard to form a collective, working towards an intricate and articulated method, that benefits everyone responsible for making music great. Because there are endless arguments here, on a final note if it wasn't for distribution companies then indie labels would have never have had a chance to manage their own distribution, promote up-and-coming artists and create a mutually beneficial cycle that could use crumbs as mortar and artists as the bricks in a wall. End of rant.


Edd Harris

Each day dreams are dreamt, new businesses meticulously planned, written words become actions, peoples lives play into a butterfly effect and music, well, remains to be music...

Edd Harris  - 7th May 2013

Article Ref: #ProblemX