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  #11  
Old 09-18-2012, 05:31 AM
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Honestly, I don't know how to feel about the whole issue of illegal downloading. I can see some positives in it and some negatives. All I know is I love my music collection so I'll keep buying as long as physical product is available.

I do love the fact that tour information is so readily available through the internet now, what the hell did you do in the 80's if you wanted to find out about a show? Especially one in another city. Though I'd kill to see bands back in their heyday.
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2012, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerslave_85 View Post
I was thinking about this because of a post Jeff made on Facebook. I came to a realization: I think right now is the best time it's ever been to be a music fan/consumer. A few reasons why:
1. Being a casual fan is much more cost-effective
When I was a kid and I heard a song I liked, I had to buy the whole album. Yes, sometimes this would lead to a good discovery, but more often than not it was a waste of money. Nowadays you can choose your songs a la carte. You get what you want without the unwanted chaff.
2. Greater access to artists
Social media has made it much easier to keep in touch with your favorite bands. You can find out about tour dates and release dates within minutes. You're never out of the loop. Before the internet, if you didn't have any friends who were into the same bands as you, you were pretty much screwed.
3. Artists have more freedom
Want to do a digital-only album? Pay-what you want? Special pre-order bundle? Artists not only have more/easier ways of getting their music out there, but they also have more ways to offer their music to fans.

Sure, there are drawbacks to all of these things. Piracy still screws smaller artists. The easy access to music tends to make fans entitled and spoiled. Some of these conveniences take the "fun" out of it (though I think a lot of that is romanticized by nostalgia).

Thoughts?
This is brilliantly articulated, I agree 1000%. Well done man.
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  #13  
Old 09-18-2012, 06:04 AM
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Slideshow: State Of The Music Business

Worth looking at in the context of this discussion.
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  #14  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrritatedTrout View Post
what the hell did you do in the 80's if you wanted to find out about a show?
Local newspapers, music magazines, record stores, MTV, the radio.

The info was still out there back then. You just had to do a little more work to find it. Unlike now where all of our lazy asses can just type whatever band we want into a search engine and you'll know in a minute weather they're coming close or not
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  #15  
Old 09-18-2012, 08:18 AM
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I agree on all counts. These days, being a musician and putting music out there has never been easier. Band's don't need your conventional record deal to get out there anymore. Granted, for now that's still where the living is, but that's dwindling. It's going in the direction of touring/merchandise/lessons, all straight from the band to the fan. Band's won't ever be Metallica or Rolling Stones again, but they will make a living without the business middle man.
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  #16  
Old 09-18-2012, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerslave_85 View Post
I was thinking about this because of a post Jeff made on Facebook. I came to a realization: I think right now is the best time it's ever been to be a music fan/consumer. A few reasons why:
1. Being a casual fan is much more cost-effective
When I was a kid and I heard a song I liked, I had to buy the whole album. Yes, sometimes this would lead to a good discovery, but more often than not it was a waste of money. Nowadays you can choose your songs a la carte. You get what you want without the unwanted chaff.
2. Greater access to artists
Social media has made it much easier to keep in touch with your favorite bands. You can find out about tour dates and release dates within minutes. You're never out of the loop. Before the internet, if you didn't have any friends who were into the same bands as you, you were pretty much screwed.
3. Artists have more freedom
Want to do a digital-only album? Pay-what you want? Special pre-order bundle? Artists not only have more/easier ways of getting their music out there, but they also have more ways to offer their music to fans.

Sure, there are drawbacks to all of these things. Piracy still screws smaller artists. The easy access to music tends to make fans entitled and spoiled. Some of these conveniences take the "fun" out of it (though I think a lot of that is romanticized by nostalgia).

Thoughts?
1. Totally agree, and I'll take it one step further -- being truly "casual" about something means I'll probably listen to it on Spotify when I want and never move past that stage. It underpays the artist, but it does pay them. And when I do want to buy something that I truly love, I'm more likely to go whole-hog, 180 gram double vinyl with expanded artwork, whatever the case might be. So again, the artists who I really want to reward, I'm rewarding the shit out of.

2. I got into music in a big way for the first time about 10 years ago and I was going strictly off shit I read in books and magazines about music and from posters on the IMBB. (No wonder the bands I first explored after Maiden were Blind Guardian and Helloween.) I'll take this present music media environment over that any day.

3. True to a degree, but I think labels are still crucial here. Granted, I work for one, but you can't just be a band and put out whatever you want. It's cost-prohibitive to do anything more elaborate than a digital album if you want to tour, and labels also bring with them name recognition that makes them carefully curate your roster. Hell, I'll listen to anything on Profound Lore, Southern Lord and Relapse even if I've never heard of it. Can't say the same about "any atmospheric black metal album" or the like -- there's just too much.

But in general, yes, this is a perfect time as a consumer, and now having worked on the producer-side for about six months, it's been fascinating to watch how distribution has adapted to accommodate this. From the inside looking out, I can say that in the six months I've been at Secretly Canadian I've witnessed four or five new hires, and this is coming from an independent label group in the middle of the fly-over zone. Things aren't as bad as some people would have you believe. You just have to be smart enough to run a business in a changing time.
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  #17  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenheart View Post
On a personal note as a consumer of recorded music, I don't. I hate it.

I'm tired of small bands and labels either having to charge insane amounts of money for their CDs, or not being able to release their music properly at all because they can't afford it, or the more cost effective way of releasing it has become a cheap knockoff with no overheads.

And I'm tired of digital music in general degrading and devaluing the concept of a music collection.

Although, all of this is down to two main factors really. People are cheap, and people are lazy.
One of the first things I thought when reading the OP was, "ravenheart is going to disagree with everything posted here."

Indeed.

I'll reiterate what Powerslave said though, where are the outrageous prices? Barring shopping for CDs at FYE, Best Buy or Barnes & Noble (or the UK equivalent, whatever that may be), most of which don't carry much I'm interested in anyway, prices across the board seem pretty reasonable right now. Small bands generally charge very little for their music, labels charge a tad more, but I haven't paid more than $15 for a CD in a long time (excluding shipping), years even. Often vinyl is no more expensive than CD, unless it comes in deluxe packaging of some kind or if it's double. And often these releases are more personalized and include more than they used to. A lot of bands write personal notes of appreciation, include patches, posters, candles, maps, photographs, razors, etc. at no noticeable extra charge just to try to reach out to the consumer and offer them more (which in marketing terms is called an "in-pack premium"); seemingly an appreciative gesture just for buying the music in the first place.

So quite the opposite really, bands seem to be reaching out and making their products as affordable and cost-productive as they can without losing their shirts. These are consumer benefits.

As far as digital music degrading physical collections, I've learned that almost all bands worth a shit release their music in some physical medium. In fact I can't think of a single instance where I wanted a physical copy of a band's material and couldn't find it. And I listen to a lot of independent artists, so expecting this to be an issue wouldn't be unreasonable, as compared to signed artists. In my experience though, it's not. So this might hold weight if you're talking about rap or hip hop or some genre of music I'm not familiar with, but for the most part it seems metal is very consumer friendly if you're looking to "collect" it.
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  #18  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:36 AM
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In fact, Best Buy is one of, if not the cheapest major retailers when it comes to music. A very big chunk of their CD inventory is $9.99 these days. Even FYE is pretty reasonable for the most part.
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  #19  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerslave_85 View Post
Even FYE is pretty reasonable for the most part.
Since when? I used to only buy things there if they were used, it was the only way to get a reasonable price.
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  #20  
Old 09-18-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerslave_85 View Post
In fact, Best Buy is one of, if not the cheapest major retailers when it comes to music. A very big chunk of their CD inventory is $9.99 these days. Even FYE is pretty reasonable for the most part.
I was gonna say that. Best Buy has a pretty big 4.99 and 7.99 section and most other things are only around 9.99 I believe. They're pretty reasonable.
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