My blogs aim to explain current and relevant issues within the music industry. They are aimed at people who are interested in music and would already have some assumed knowledge in the area e.g. terms such as “bit torrent” need not be explained. It aims to further inform on current issues such as file sharing and the move from print to online journalism. It is also aimed at someone interested in the trends in technology in the media. Although a blog is opinion, I have tried to be fair in my arguments and discuss every side to the story as well as giving general information surrounding the issues to help the credibility of my blogs.
Blog entry 1
The old belief that to write you had to go to university and become a journalist has long been dismissed and with it all appreciation of what has been written since. Back in the 90’s when everyone thought the Internet was a phase and probably wouldn’t last, we got our news from the TV, radio and newspapers. These days it’s the Internet, but without realising that its main source of information is the holy trinity previously mentioned. When it comes to all things music, people usually turn to radio, the net or music magazines to keep up with music trends and upcoming events.
As a print fan myself, I have faith that music magazines will always be popular. There is a certain nostalgic quality, especially for collectors and subscribers. Other qualities such as freebies, posters and great photography are added bonuses.
The Internet is full of music related sites, from blogs such as:
These are now very successful in the world of music news. However, the print empire has also jumped on this bandwagon with magazines going online as well as print to increase their popularity. These include:
These days it is possible for anyone with an opinion to put it forward on the Internet, with blogging and twitter trends and trash travels inexplicably fast. If the Internet is free, easy and convenient then why should we pay for magazines that are quickly outdated and take up space? Because the writers at these publications are paid to know what they are talking about. You can be sure that information given will be more reliable than a 16 year old girl complaining that Britney Spears tickets sold out to fast.
So what now for the old school (1.0) media? Will it perish leaving thousands of learned men and women in tedious government document related jobs? Or editing the latest issue of “Who’s the fattest celebrity?” The fact of the matter is that technology is changing quicker than we can account for, even if the practices and values of the brains behind the whole operation remain the same. Someone has to put it all together and get paid to do it.
For those of you interested in this issue, here is a link on the issue that you may find valuable:
Blog Entry 2
The issue of file sharing has been a hot topic for quite some time in the media, especially since the recent court case involving Pirate Bay when the brains behind the world's largest bit torrent tracker were charged in a criminal court in Sweden.
The debate usually revolves around a moral stance on stealing profits from artists when their music is downloaded illegally from sites such as the previously mentioned Pirate Bay and more recently Limewire. Such programs enable users to bypass costs and download music files straight to their computers.
Hence, an uproar within the music industry! Cd sales are an integral part of artist’s paycheck, not to mention producers, mixers etc and every other trained professional involved. On the upside, sites like myspace means upcoming artists can put their music on the web for free, a step towards gaining a large fan base and even record contracts. Surely the Internet is not the double edged knife most believe it to be. If anything, if it can be used to increase the potential fan base of an artist and ultimately their success in the industry, then why not?
Admittedly this could mean that middle men such as cover art artists and layout specialists will eventually become obsolete. Even though CD sales are greatly affected by this trend, the recent number of artists releasing their albums and EP's on vinyl has been increasingly popular. The nostalgic value of this blast from the past has been mediated into contemporary music. Maybe this is where the people missing out from illegal downloading should be moved? This is more about the ownership, the want rather than the need for music. To hold something in your hands that physically connects you with John Lennon creates a feeling of belonging.
In the centre of this argument are artists themselves. With well known names such as Lily Allen condemning file sharing, it does impact on her fans as well as her critics. Comparatively, singer Kid Rock is in favour of the practice, saying “I was telling kids: download it illegally, I don’t care. I want you to hear my music so I can play live..."
In Britain recently the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, proposed that people who persistently download illegally will be disconnected from the Internet. New laws are being made in Canada. Downloading copyright music from peer-to-peer networks is legal, but uploading those files is not. Canada has imposed levies (fees) on recording mediums like blank Cd's and similar items. These levies are used to fund musicians and songwriters for revenues lost due to consumer copying.
But no matter what laws are made or how much musicians complain, as long as file sharing is possible it will be popular. Just because not everyone can afford $30 for a CD does not mean they should have to miss out. With ticket sales and merchandise, artists will still get paid. Lily Allen recently claimed her opposition was not about money, then what?