A thought occured to me just now and maybe it’s worthy of being shared so here goes…..
These days I very rarely part with cash for music due to being able to legally stream music to listen to. It’s been like this for a few years now. Previous to that I’d buy half a dozen CDs every month or two. So I figure I’ve put about £5k into the record industry over the years - that’s more than I’ve paid for my TV licence since I’ve been paying it.
I’ve also spent tens of thousands of hours producing music in my lifetime, some of which has been recorded and - other people tell me - is actually enjoyable to listen to.
At gigs I used to offer a swap to other artists on the bill if I enjoyed there music - your CD for mine - and it was always accepted with a big smile and good vibes.
There are loads of people like me - talented, determined, creative, original - making good music and making it available for free on the ‘net. I figure that this is a fair return for my effort.
These days I’m trying to be content with making music that I want to hear then popping it on the ‘net for free. I can’t afford to buy music anymore and I can’t sell recorded music easily so I figure that my reward for my efforts is everyone else’s music for free.
That’s my contribution and I can look forward to keeping the £5k I might have spent on CDs for other things in the coming decade.
If you’re curious then click here for a link to the last project I completed and maybe swap a link to your free music in the comments.
The point of this post is not to get you all to listen to my music - honestly - it’s to see what you think about this idea that if you are a musician then the minimum reward you can expect for putting your music out there is access to lots of free music for you to listen to. It takes a massive investment in time to record music that is truly engaging and worthy of attention because we’re all massively over-exposed to and saturated by music, but maybe if you look things from this perspective your efforts are rewarded in kind by having easy access to everyone else’s efforts.
Sorry if I’ve not been very articulate - I try, but hope you get the gist of this post anyway.
George is a regular bloke who resides in Gloucester, UK. His work involves community music projects and strategic music development projects in the South West region and he also does a day a week as learning mentor for young people too. In the past he’s worked in a London mastering studio, a prison, as a secretary and spent a couple of fun years running his own commercial recording studio and as an unknown producer of unsigned singer songwriters and over 100 local young bands.
Fair enough if you buy the music you like and ignore the stuff you don’t. You don’t buy my idea - but it’s happening nevertheless.
I’ve fallen out of this habit because of legitimate streaming and instead of browsing the record store and hassling the shop assistants to let me listen to this or that album before I consider buying I can spend as much time as I want everyday finding new music on the net without breaking the law or spending money (apart from my ISP fees of course).
I’m justifying this behaviour of not spending (and by default not financially contributing toward the efforts of other artists) on music observing that I used to go along with the old record industry business model by occupying the role of the consumer with my £5k total expenditure on CDs. Not anymore. It’s evident that I am fairly typical and that there are a large number of people like me not spending so how can I expect others to spend on the music I create? Maybe a few will, but not so many people are likely to now.
Instead I continue to contribute by a sort of “payment in kind” through my own creative efforts making my music available for free adding it to the collection of freely streamed music on the ‘net.
Perhaps what we need are better filters and referrers. Again the ‘net means that there are likely to be quantity over quality in this regard - just like the music freely available!