Does the music industry have an internet problem?
Music listeners contribute very little to the music industry due to YouTube and music piracy. Generations now are growing up without having to pay anything for music because some way or another they can get it for free.
Streaming, on a whole, could be considered to have failed artists. Many believe that services like Spotify, undervalue them as musicians. Spotify revealed that they pay artists $0.007 per stream and they claim that they only get 30% of what they earn from subscriptions, thus handing over 70% to the record labels, where they then decided how much the artist gets. Most notably, Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke, who have both pulled albums from Spotify. Thom Yorke claimed that he was boycotting Spotify to take a stand for fellow musicians who don’t get paid from Spotify. Taylor Swift removed her whole back catalogue because she believed that they undervalued her as an artist, “I think that people should feel that there is a value to what musicians have created, and that’s that.”
Crowdsourcing just isn’t the answer.
Crowdsourcing might work for some people but it really isn’t the future of the music industry. Not many people will want to put money into an album that hasn’t been recorded, it all comes to the fact that they haven’t heard it. What if they don’t like it? Then they’ve probably wasted a lot of their money on something that they don’t even like. This won’t work for most musicians, especially ones who have never been signed to a record label. It’s just a waste of time.
Is it harder to get noticed?
For the first time ever an artist can have a far more direct access to fans, but so do thousands of others. That is the fundamental problem. When a consumer is constantly ambushed with new and upcoming artists on iTunes and YouTube they can feel overwhelmed and with this influx. It’s difficult to keep their attention on one artist, so it’s hard for them to become a fan. An overload and a constant stream of music makes it difficult for even the most dedicated of fans to notice when an artist releases music.
Piracy will never go away.
Piracy is always going to be around there’s absolutely no doubt about that. It’ll change the way it looks as the industry progresses but it will still be piracy. As the internet is rife with piracy it’s impossible to contain and manage illegal downloading. As one site gets taken down another will always pop-up. The industry needs to stop being against piracy and come on board with it so they can use it strategically to their advantage. No one’s saying that it’s morally right but it’s here to stay and it’s easy, so why not?
As it slowly progress away from CD’s and record stores it’s difficult to guess where the music industry will be in the future. Will it go back to the days of bustling record stores or will piracy have completely taken over? Only time well tell.
– Neil Young