Great article, but this transformation and direction of music has been changing quickly for about the past 3-5 years and even longer and anyone
especially independent artists already are saavy about this.
The indie label has such advantages over even the Iron Maidens and old established artists, they found that they had to either change or not unless
they have an established name and fanbase, disappear.
There are so many dynamics as to why pirating changed the music industry possibly for the better , before torrents there was Napster and Gnutella,
also before there was protools and other recording software, low cost laptops either Mac or PC, there was ADAT tapes, huge analog mixing boards,
multimillion dollar studios and hardware gear, all costing huge sums of money for production.
You did not have to buy entire albums with 10 crappy songs and 1 you wanted, remember the days when they knew this back in the late 80's and they
would sell cassettes with 1 or 2 songs? and who could forget 45's from the 60's and 70's, artists were putting out EP's in the 90's with 2 or 3 songs
, the labels were understanding that people wanted only 1 song in some cases but they never saw the illegal file sharing coming until it was too late
The big money in contracts also decreased, so the artists were not getting offered multi million dollar contracts, because even the big labels
understood their own cost for production was actually going down because of technology, more producers and engineers that they could hire for even
less money and produce entire albums.
Now anyone with the talent and drive and not only that, can put together albums, build a fanbase and make money for hundreds of thousand of dollars
that the big labels used to invest in studios, production and hardware, then create enough buzz that an establish label may want to sign them, if that
is what they are aiming for.
So once this reality set in , the labels were trying to figure out how the Little Johns, the Eastside boys, Cash Money Millionaires were able to make
virtually millions of dollars without them, in certain regions, these were some of the true innovators and acts that were rich and started the whole
independent aspect of making millions of dollars with their own methods, and not being in the pocket of a major record label.
I used to go to all kinds of music conferences in NYC and the East Coast when I was producing music in the mid to late 90's, I used to hear the label
execs, lawyers etc, from all of the major labels spelling out the change that was coming circa 1999-2000, and also how piracy might affect the current
way they were doing business, because people were not buying albums and songs, that income stream was drying up.
The labels saw that they were losing control of their own destiny and they were now competing with independent record labels that could be successful
without them and their control over them, so the labels started looking at BDS scans, etc to see what music was getting lots of airplay that was not
being produced by them, then they started coming up with imprint and 360 deals where they would invest money in these small labels but at the same
time own a stake in their overall success.
I could go on and on even from one of my most recent attendance at ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers ) events where they constantly
drill home what it takes to make it nowadays, they also talk about piracy but think about it, sales is only one part of the total packing of an
artists success and income, tours and publicity are two other driving forces so , I think they understand piracy may hurt their bottom line, but they
are saavy enough to know that this is also promotion and they must find other ways to make income streams.
There are more ways now than what used to exist, to make money off of music that is streamed or broadcast from the internet and there is more
willingness for publishers that pay royalties and performance monies to allow credit for certain streaming, therefore creating new ways to make income
from their music.
So is the digital millennium act a huge deal for today's artist? to me not really because many of them are products of the generation that benefited
from being able to get music for free and not be forced to buy songs they did not want, but they also understand that there is a new dynamic in how to
succeed and make money from being an artist or a band, I am glad old acts understand this, but hey, they already made their mark, they're just proving
that in order to be successful they had to change with the times.
The people that had a big problem with pirating are the big record labels and they are the first to initiate many of the actions against it, it is not
the independent labels and small timers, they have always given away music for free promo.
edit on 25-12-2013 by phinubian because: (no reason given)