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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Macklemore and the Death of the Music Industry

Posted by on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:54 AM

The writing is on the wall...

Music is a much smaller and less significant part of many people’s lives than 10-20 years ago. There is more competition for our attention and the value of music has declined precipitously. This graphic shows the rise of digital against physical music, and the overall impact of piracy, widespread distribution and digital media on the music industry. The sad story is that overall the music business is shrinking. That is a fact that we all have to face. The silver lining in all of this may be on the horizon, but it cannot come soon enough for me. We have to do something to reverse the trend.
No reversing this trend. It began with Napster, and nothing can stop it. As for the silver lining, it may not be found in the record corporations but in the artists themselves. One of its current forms, for example, is Macklemore, who, as Larry pointed out, has achieved unprecedented commercial success by means that are not conventional but consistent with the distribution technologies of his and our moment. The recording industry should fear him more than it fears people pirating music on the web. It is wise to always fear producers more than consumers.


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This is only "sad news" to record company execs who don't think they have to grind to make millions and billions. Perhaps also to mainstream music listeners also, who's relationship with music means flipping a switch on their radio or TVs. The underground is stronger (and more accessible) than ever, and to the people indebted to these scenes - performers, club owners, booking and promotion agents, bloggers and fans - I'd say it's a very special time to be involved in music.
Posted by jsteez on January 3, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
trstr 2
Macklemore hired a fucking PR firm to foster a faux DIY image. Same old fucking shit.
Posted by trstr on January 3, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
I spend as much money on Bandcamp as I ever did on CDs, I just get more music and less clutter. The difference is that all the revenue isn't getting reported in the same metrics because it's diffused over a bunch of different independent artists who aren't beholden to shareholders instead of centralized through large corporations. I wouldn't call this the death of the music industry. It's our victory over the very idea of music as industry.
Posted by tired and true on January 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 4
It began with Napster, and nothing can stop it.

Maybe this is true, but I really doubt that digital music or filesharing was the actual cause of the decline of the industry. It may, however, be because the arrival of "Napster" coincided with the wide availability of so many new ways for people to distract themselves and at approximately the same time that the industry had just finished selling CD versions of old records and cassettes to people who wanted to bring their collections into the late twentieth century.
Posted by Josh Bis on January 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM · Report this

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