I came across Ashley Morgan and his site Upstart Blogger early in my research for this blog. I used his free 30-day blogging course to get me started and have referred to his writings many times since. I was also pleased to meet another trumpet player in the blogosphere, and with his blessing used his idea of Micropatronage to help raise funds for my latest CD.
Ashley is very knowledgeable about blogging and always happy to share that knowledge with those of us who could benefit from it. He’s also in the process of making his latest CD. Today he shares with us his thoughts on record labels and independence.
Lizards in a Tin
The balance of power has changed. Record labels, with their pack of manufactured plastic faces straining at their collective leash, are sinking.
Flailing around in the quicksand like lizards in a tin, desperately trying to find ways to continue to force the public to part with their cash.
And I, as a fully independent musician couldn’t be happier.
Because the record label’s loss is my gain.
When the record label Dinosaurs roamed the earth they controlled what people listened to by the simplest and most effective means available to them – they controlled what people could hear.
File sharing, or home taping as it’s distant cousin was once known, was the spectre that always haunted the record labels. They knew, since they weren’t all fool, that any kind of sharing had the potential to shine a light into the dark corners of their restrictive business model.
Sharing music benefits the artist, since it allows their work to be heard. It also benefits the music lover, the audience and the fans, since they are able to make a choice without the need to gain permission to listen from a label.
A few years pass, the internet arrives, file sharing becomes a wonderful reality for the majority, and the power is, finally, put where it belongs. In the hands of the artist and the music lover.
And when the music lover is able to make an unhindered choice they can choose exactly what to do with their money.
Of course, many music lovers will still choose to take rather than to give. But it is important to remember that the number one reason for a person’s reluctance to contribute financially to an artist’s work is their fear that the money will end up in the hands of a slick record label agent in a badly fitting suit.
As time goes by, and as the music loving public continue to learn that they can connect directly with artists, more and more independent artists will be able to generate increasing levels of support, including financial support, from their fans.
Independence is the key to success in an increasingly intelligent and informed marketplace.