Now here’s a quote that really pushed my pen to the paper:
“So, to sum up: musicians shouldn’t get paid for radio as it is promoting record sales. They, in turn, should not expect to be able to charge for their records, as everyone can get it for free anyway on the hundreds of pirate sites. But not to worry, because their records promote their live performances – never mind if they have to pay to play, as performing is promotion for their records (that they don’t get paid for).”
Musicians, the above quote is your record label speaking to you.
Instead of forever worsening contracts with the music industry, let’s crowdsource money for your next album and maybe even hire you a manager! Distribution will take place through your own website and elsewhere in the internet. After that, you can sell your content for whatever price you have given in your crowdsourcing pledge and forget about the middlemen. Everybody wins.
Except the content industry, of course.
For them, it would not even be that last fatal hit, but a world, that has no place for record labels as we know them. Greedy not only to give you as little as possible for your hard work, but also threatening and suing your potentially paying fans for sharing your creation.
I seriously don’t think we need their existence anymore. Let’s ignore them for a while, and reverse the tables: How much are the musicians paying them, for each sale of the album? I would like to see a world that has record companies fighting each other to suggest the lowest provisional salary, for selling as many records as they thought was possible. Let’s finally shift some risk back to them, that has been shoved on artists’ shoulders ever since the content industry existed.
I think all we really need, is some new attitude among the artists, and this can actually become reality. The technology and the crowds are already there. Forget about these dinosaurs that are giving you less and less of the pie that wouldn’t even exist if you didn’t. Don’t try to outsmart them and haggle, just forget about them. Let’s see when they start coming back to the artists.
The content industry really does need its content. A musician only needs to reach its audience and that is becoming constantly easier from the convenience of your bedroom. With a little reputation, in comes crowdsourcing and hiring people to do the unnecessary chores, so you can concentrate on making quality music. You only need to make appreciated content and people will pay for it too, be it in the form of advertisement, or direct purchases.
To me, this is not some paradox with a chicken and an egg, but an obvious perversion of the way how things really should be. Let’s get our copyrights back.