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The very deserved death of the record industry

January 20, 2009

There’s been a couple of interesting stories on the BBC news site today demonstrating the death-throes of the music industry as it fails utterly to adapt to the realities of the digital age. Of cousre, that’s not how they interpret it…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7837605.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7838362.stm

Here in Broken Drum Records we have to face some of the same issues as the big labels; it’s proving very hard to sell CD copies of Secret Archives of the Vatican‘s 2008 album, Babylon Halt – not because it’s shit (it certainly isn’t!) but because people just aren’t buying CDs. Heck, we’re offering it free to people on various forums but they still don’t want it. They like the music but would rather download it and they’d rather not pay to do that.  How do we keep these people interested in our music? Is there a way to earn a little money for our work?

So – what do we do?  I’m  a little reluctant to become a fully fledged Netlabel, where everything is freely available with a Creative Commons licence. I suspect we’ll explore a balance of releases on the commercial download sites and some free Creative Commons releases. If that doesn’t work, hey – we’ll become a Netlabel.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2009 7:58 pm

    I think this will be a good year for the music industry, it seems like people have finally got the idea that you cannot stop people sharing their digital music… so hopefully some creative ideas will come through

    Guy
    http://www.sleepywhisper.com

  2. January 21, 2009 7:48 pm

    Some questions and thoughts…

    Do you think people just want downloads, not CDs, because they want something immediately, because they only use an MP3 player to listen these days, or is there another reason?

    Have you had many downloads from iTunes for Babylon Halt? If not, is it because people don’t want DRM on the tracks or something else?

    If you really want to go down the netlabel route with CC content, then it may be worth considering jamendo.com. There have been some amazing albums uploaded there in the last year, and they encourage donations to the artist (see http://www.jamendo.com/en/donations).

    Alternatively try magnatune.com. They ship CDs or downloads in MP3, WAV, OGG, FLAC and AAC (all DRM free). Artists get 50% of revenue. Buyers decide what they want to pay between £3 and £10, and they’re allowed to share files with 3 friends as part of the license.

    I’m sure it would be great to setup your own netlabel, but do you really want that hassle?

    Just a thought. I’m sure there are arguments either way.

    Pete
    http://petecogle.com

  3. vincemillett permalink*
    January 21, 2009 8:12 pm

    Excellent suggestions, Pete! I will investigate.

  4. artyf permalink
    January 23, 2009 5:57 pm

    Well said Pete…

    I came across jamendo.com and magnatune.com through linux (ubuntu), they have some great musical nuggets. I am currently looking into signing up to them too (when I can get off me arse!). Apple have announced that they are going to stop using DRM (wayhay!), so i’m waiting for that too.

    I find that most of my music these days come from downloads, but if I can get a hardcopy I would.

    Marillion seem to have got it right with their last album (although that too requires a bit of setting up).

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