Digital Meltdown

As the rights row between YouTube/Google and the PRS rumbles on, I can’t help but feel that the PRS are intent on destroying their own industry.

If the PRS and other music industry players don’t get their act together and sort out their anachronistic approach to pricing, they will just encourage more and more illegal file-sharing and therefore lose more and more revenue. As a consequence fewer and fewer new artists will make the break into the big time and the industry and music loving public will be further starved of quality musical product. Especially in the current economic climage.

I love music and over the last 30+ years have no doubt spent a small fortune on LPs, cassettes, CDs, legitimate downloads, concert tickets, t-shirts and other merchandise. But in recent times I’ve had less and less money to spend on such things and the temptation to satisfy my addiction with shared music is proving harder to resist. My interest in trading in free, artist approved (usually) concert recordings is helping to provide a distraction but this approach doesn’t give you access to the latest tunes laid down by your favourite artists. So even though I’m a great believer in making my contribution to ensure artists are paid for their creative output I can see why downloading free music is so attractive – even if doing so is illegal.

That said, the thought that occurs to me is that in this digital age every artist has the opportunity to take control of their own future. By using the proliferation of digital recording software that’s out there coupled with the distribution potential of ye olde interwebe it looks as if you could realistically cut out the agents, labels, promoters, etc., and do it all yourself. Couldn’t you?


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