Imeem.com and Pandora.com are two prime examples, coupled with blackberry’s and other wifi phones coming out every day now, of how the music industry is definitely done for. Right now as I write this I’m listening to the album “Her Majesty” by the Decemberists. The whole album streaming; no 30 second previews. Track by track, I can bounce around if I like. But it took me less than 45 seconds to pull up the album on Imeem. So who’s to say I couldn’t have had my phone plugged into my car and at a stop light just did a quick search for ANY album?
Of course I could because the technology currently exists and I don’t see how many bands will be able to turn a hard profit in the coming years OR ever again? Of course people go to college for marketing and just as people are creative in coming up with new music listening alternatives, an equal amount of creative energy could be spent on how to still get a dime out of you for streaming just about any song. Granted, but still it’s neat to see the industry pull a complete 180 in my life. Considering I’m an 80s kid, when the CD was just starting to emerge. The age of mix tapes and hard sought after bootlegs.
I’m no disciple of Lars Ulrich though. I think this paradigm shift is a great thing as music becomes more of what it was ever intended to be: An accompaniment to life, not a wholesale commodity to be slopped off to the consumer. Musicians play and write music because they often have relatively small interest in making millions (or becoming part of a housing association anytime soon) to begin with; Just enough to subsist off of, or even playing music in addition to whatever job they may have.
Think of music before it was ever sold in individual packets. Familes learned and played music together, as it was more of a simple activity to engage in. The idea of having it as your career for your whole life must have been absurd. I think as a whole we’re returning to this mode of thinking. The rock star is clearly dead and music may just start to bridge the gaps between people rather than further isolating them in overly narcissistic ways.