Why should people pay to download my single when radiohead have given their album away for free? It doesn’t make any sense, I can’t possibly compete. I’m an unknown entity, and how can I charge on that basis? If I am to have a career in music, I need as many people to listen to the songs as possible, why should I put stumbling blocks in their way? Don’t get me wrong, I would welcome financial contribution, but why should anyone pay for what they can get for free elsewhere. If people are interested they’ll buy a ticket, come to a show; I’d rather they paid for a badge than paid for a download.
I think the music business is in trouble, but not for the reasons part of the industry think. Its nothing to do with the availability of free downloads; moreover it has more to do with quality output, and the lack of added value. People pay to be part of something, I think responsibility lies with the artist, the label, (in fact everyone) putting more effort into that something rather than just cynically churning out the same old manufactured commercial record. The reality is the consumer can now chose independently of shrewd Svengalis. This is a turning point.
When I discovered that the ‘music business’ was in fact the ‘business of music’ my heart sank. Suddenly artistic merit had to take a back seat to commercial awareness, great pr, and a truer focus on marketability. Selling music or being commercial now means that the opposite is true. We need to add value, suffer more; put more effort in. That really means by breaking your back to make better music, you stand a greater chance of a pursuing a music career and if that’s the case it validates the last 10 years, the soul destroying jobs and the constant disappoint that though I always felt success lay in a melody, its real success was measured in its palatability deemed by a team of tastemakers I would never meet.