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betao
09-14-2008, 01:04 PM
Hey everyone.

I thought I'd ask for the boards help on this one

For my english 200 class, I have to write a 13 page essay on the topic of my choice. It is basically just a research assignment. So I have chosen to write about the internet and the way it has impacted the world of music/music industry, and more importantly, how this relationship they have is affecting the listeners, fans, and artists.

All i'm asking for here is ideas/examples/situations.

Some examples I have come up with are:

- downloading music (illegally, and legally - The release of IR is a big thing in this. Also using NIN as an example. Who else has released albums online like this?)
- online radios (pandora, last FM)
- advertising music in various ways (need some help with this one)
- selling tickets (both good and bad, like ebay)
- communication between fans (and artists and fans, too)

and there are others.

I figured that the board here probably knows a fair amount about this subject and could help me come up with some creative ideas.

So, what do you guys think are some ways that the internet has impacted the world of music?

Any input I receive from you guys is really helpful and highly appreciated.

- Matt

-

Pixiessp
09-14-2008, 01:14 PM
i think Myspace has done a lot for the advancement of a plethora of bands be they well known or unknown. I know i have discovered many a band this way.

betao
09-14-2008, 01:17 PM
thats good - myspace is something I definitely should talk about especially when it comes to advertising yourself. Thanks!

gaypalmsprings
09-14-2008, 01:19 PM
Do an interwebs search. I found this.

THE HISTORY OF INTERNET RADIO
by Alex Cosper


Internet radio started out in the nineties as the wild west then it went to war with the protectors of the old guard music industry and had to reinvent itself. Now in the 2000s, it is poised to become a powerful medium for people to learn about any kind of music. The term internet radio has grown to mean several things. It can be as radio-like as a program streamed live on the internet or it can be an archive site with on-demand music files. It can simply be a terrestrial radio station's broadcast to a bigger market, or an internet-only operator starting from scratch. It can also be a music store that allows listeners to sample music before they buy it. Many internet stations feature independent music you cannot hear on regular radio as a way of cornering new markets.

Prior to the internet as a popular communications medium, six big corporate record labels controlled the music industry against a backdrop of thousands of indie artists and labels shut out of the process. See also History of Record Labels and the Music Industry. Most big radio hits came from these six big labels (Columbia/RCA/Warner/Polygram/Capitol/MCA), which were all eventually absorbed by or merged with bigger companies. There really weren't more than three major labels until the 1950s. Each of these major labels have been represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (the RIAA) who protect the intellectual property rights and interests of the record labels. The record industry started to create a demand for marketable discs with the masses in the early 1900s and became a league of powerful empires by the twenties, which was the first decade in which radio brought recorded music into people's daily lives.

Corporations gobbled up radio frequencies all along since the beginning of AM radio in the 1920s. But the FCC made rules that one company could only own a few stations in a market, based on an understanding that the public owned the airwaves due to radio's perceived nature as a public service, although commercialism was always a necessary concern in order to pay for the expensive costs of running a radio station. The rules softened in the Reagan administration with deregulation. Then the Clinton administration went a step further in 1996 with the Telecom Act, which allowed about a dozen companies to buy out hundreds of independent stations, as owners could now have up to seven properties in a market. This created a homogenized sound across the dial that may have been one of the reasons radio ratings and audiences steadily began dropping off the following years.

New media also contributed to radio's decline. The internet was mainly an educational and government tool since its introduction in the 1960s. Then the World Wide Web was developed in the 1989-1990 period by Tim Berners-Lee. In 1992 MP3s were approved as the new storage medium for computer audio files, by the Motion Picture Experts Groups. With the web becoming a new medium for popular communication, Congress approved in the early nineties for the internet to be used for commercial purposes.

The first internet radio stations appeared in the mid-nineties with little fanfare. Their arrival was drowned out by the growing popularity of the bigger picture of computers and the entire internet. Early internet radio stations had poor sonic quality, as the internet started over regular phone lines and bandwidth was a huge issue. Terrestrial radio stations and audio firms had the ability to transmit high quality audio over phone lines for years, but with the more expensive ISDN and T-1 lines. Broadband technology gradually was embraced by the general population first with DSL then cable internet, due to more affordable costs.

In 1998 President Clinton signed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which laid out specific rules for internet broadcasters regarding use of copyrighted material. The law specifically forbids internet operators from allowing professional recordings to be available for free digital download on the internet without the permission of the copyright owner. In the coming years debates were held between the copyright office, record labels and internet radio operators as to what webcasters should pay in royalty fees to the labels, who owned the recordings, and the songwriters, who owned the songs. The parties finally agreed on a fraction of a penny rate per song, depending on amount of spins and audience size. Many webcasters simply started playing unsigned or small indie label music to avoid paying royalty fees. An example of this was SacLive from 1999-2000, which played the local music of Sacramento, CA nonstop all day.

By the end of the 1990s there were thousands of internet radio stations and music sites online. The most popular became Napster, the online file-swapping site that allowed users to trade music files for free. Mp3.com was another popular site that allowed users to consume music for free. The record industry cried copyright infringement on both companies and proceeded to defeat them in court for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As a result, new legal models of electronic music distribution emerged. The labels themselves, such as Sony, began to issue their own online music services. Apple Computer ultimately changed the face of the music industry in April 2003 with the iTunes Music Store, offering legal digital downloads of individual songs for 99 cents. Napster began offering a similar service after the legal smoke had cleared and the name was bought by a software company called Roxio.

In the mid-2000s internet radio has become a growing phenomenon, with the number of stations at five figures. There are huge networks such as Yahoo's Launchcast, Live365 and Shoutcast, while there are also individual owners who run their own stations. While a network such as Live365 offers a simple solution for anyone who wants to stream online, running one's own internet station with a dedicated server can be expensive. Not many internet stations have found a way to yet meet these expenses due to small audiences. The key will likely be advertising but advertisers want to reach large audiences through media. Another model might be subscription fees, but it would have to be a highly targeted format to build such a loyal base.

One thing is for sure. People want alternatives to terrestrial radio, which has become too corporate and standardized for the common person's taste. Most people are looking for a degree of diversity, which internet radio certainly offers, while terrestrial radio has been confined to narrow playlists. In the years to come internet radio will certainly become a bigger force in society and may be the first giant step toward world integration and globally-minded content. In other words, while terrestrial radio is busy trying to nationalize networks, the internet itself is actually internationalizing the mindset of the common people.

betao
09-14-2008, 01:59 PM
Thats a very interesting read GPS, thank you.

BobCaygeon
09-14-2008, 02:10 PM
Podcasting might be another area of interest. In the early days it appeared that it might be more of a cowboy kind of medium, but in the end it appears that all legit music podcasts license their content from BMI etc.

Although you mentioned downloading, the effect of iTunes specifically might be another area. The return of NBC to iTunes, although a television issue and not a music issue, might highlight some changes in who holds the power with (legit) online distribution. (Is it the label or the distributor? It appears that it still isn't the artist.)

Finally, a theory called "The Long Tail" says that the internet is making it easier to distribute non-mainstream things, and facebook and iTunes might be a manifestation of this. NIN chose to use torrents to distribute their latest album. I would it find it interesting to read whether the long tail is coming true or not.

BobCaygeon
09-14-2008, 02:11 PM
Slate magazine www.slate.com did a couple articles on the long tail:

http://www.slate.com/id/2146225/
http://www.slate.com/id/2195151/
http://www.slate.com/id/2146301/

hawkingvsreeve
09-14-2008, 02:14 PM
Online music collaboration

Ability of lesser known bands to market themselves (Linkin Park's story comes to mind, even though they are terrible)

The demise of the record store / re-rise of vinyl

You can tie in the internet's function of making music more portable (ipods, and mp3s and such) which ties into lesser issues relating to the downplay of sound quality, who music fans are (demographically speaking), etc.

The end of the album release era, and album listening as a whole era


13 pages shouldn't be too difficult. There is a lot to explore here.

wmgaretjax
09-14-2008, 02:17 PM
The demise of the record store / re-rise of vinyl

I actually think that the re-rise of vinyl has a lot to do with a surge in the appeal of brick and mortar stores. I don't know many people that get most of their vinyl online. Myself, and those I talk with about it, tend to buy most of it in stores... Although there is always the internet for certain things you can't track down.

The online/brick and mortar conflict is an interesting one though.

hawkingvsreeve
09-14-2008, 02:20 PM
I meant mainly the bigger record stores. Warehouse, Sam Goody, etc. They seem to be disappearing. Remember Blockbuster Music? The was a while ago.

wmgaretjax
09-14-2008, 02:25 PM
I meant mainly the bigger record stores. Warehouse, Sam Goody, etc. They seem to be disappearing. Remember Blockbuster Music? The was a while ago.

Tower Records... Yeah. Definitely.

God, Sam Goody was such a shit hole.

betao
09-14-2008, 02:28 PM
I'm really liking these ideas guy. Keep them coming.

I'm really starting to think this is an interesting topic up for discussion.

menikmati
09-14-2008, 02:30 PM
I meant mainly the bigger record stores. Warehouse, Sam Goody, etc. They seem to be disappearing. Remember Blockbuster Music? The was a while ago.

Um you all should be happy that Warehouse stores are disappearing. I remember going into some where the average new CD was costing you like 20 fuckin bucks. Thank god there is no more of that.

hawkingvsreeve
09-14-2008, 02:32 PM
Well, they were $20 because sales were dropping significantly. I remember hearing some figure relating to a sales drop at those stores within 10 miles of college campuses. 40% or something close to that.

menikmati
09-14-2008, 02:39 PM
Hell, they were 20 bucks back in 1997. I remember having a $40 certificate after Christmas way back when, and I was able to get 2 new CDs. Thankfully 40 bucks these days can get you a lot more music (assuming you're going for CDs/digital files).

R41N570RM
09-14-2008, 02:51 PM
Here's a little rant I wrote about Ticketmaster, and the somewhat monopoly it's becoming.
It may be of some/little/no use to you.

http://musicandhatred.blogspot.com/2008/08/inconvenience-charge-ticketmaster.html

idrive1life
09-14-2008, 02:58 PM
- downloading music

* = impending death of CD (CD singles still around?)
* iTunes etc.

- advertising music in various ways

* streaming full/30 seconds albums/songs in artists/recording company web sites/amazon/myspace/lastfm etc.

- communication between fans (and artists and fans, too)

* message boards/forums (stuffs like suprefan & co./diehard fans texting/reporting gigs' setlists to message boards should be mentioned)

and there are others.

* youtube (online music videos/bootlegs + streaming live events like AT&T blue room, RH shows)
* mp3 downloads in vinyl
* everyone has web sites / is on internet (artists, recording companies, music magazines, festivals ... even satellite radios etc.)

betao
09-14-2008, 03:04 PM
Youtube is a great idea. There is so much to say about that it isn't even funny. Thanks arman!!!

I'm loving this guys, and really appreciate it.

betao
09-14-2008, 03:05 PM
Hell, they were 20 bucks back in 1997. I remember having a $40 certificate after Christmas way back when, and I was able to get 2 new CDs. Thankfully 40 bucks these days can get you a lot more music (assuming you're going for CDs/digital files).

It's still nearly 20 bucks to buy a CD at a place like Barnes and Noble, and I still think that their in-store selection of CDs is better than that of Circuit City.

thedevious
09-14-2008, 03:37 PM
Remix contests and the like resulting in acts such as Guns N' Bombs being recruited by labels like Kitsune directly from Myspace.

betao
09-14-2008, 03:42 PM
interesting. I could also talk about how Hollywood Undead beat out We Are Scientists in the V-Fest Baltimore "book the band" contest. All because you have friends on myspace means you can play at world class music festivals.

I'm still pissed about that.

TommyboyUNM
09-14-2008, 04:01 PM
I'm not sure if this falls into any categories you already have, but how about how Radiohead sold In Rainbows. I guess the internet allowed them to circumvent the record companies.

And I know iTunes has made it great for me to get music instantly and for a uniformed, and relatively low, price.

betao
09-14-2008, 04:13 PM
I'm not sure if this falls into any categories you already have, but how about how Radiohead sold In Rainbows. I guess the internet allowed them to circumvent the record companies.

And I know iTunes has made it great for me to get music instantly and for a uniformed, and relatively low, price.

It most definitely is. I pointed it out in the initial post haha. But yeah how they did IR is a huge example in what i'm doing here. I actually just wrote a 3.5 page paper on the release of IR. I had to do a "primary subject" kind of essay today so I chose to do the release of IR.

And iTunes is definitely going to get mention in this essay. It has certainly played a significant role in the internet's relationship with music.

TommyboyUNM
09-14-2008, 04:49 PM
It most definitely is. I pointed it out in the initial post haha. But yeah how they did IR is a huge example in what i'm doing here. I actually just wrote a 3.5 page paper on the release of IR. I had to do a "primary subject" kind of essay today so I chose to do the release of IR.

And iTunes is definitely going to get mention in this essay. It has certainly played a significant role in the internet's relationship with music.


I re-read your first post and IR is most certainly there. I'm a douche. Haha. Good luck with the paper.

betao
09-14-2008, 04:55 PM
haha no problem man, thanks the help.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 06:41 PM
betao --

being old, perhaps I can offer some historical fan's perspective.

it used to be the only way to hear, or read about, music was to find a good radio station or music magazine. rolling stone, in its day, served a purpose. Ditto Creem, Trouser Press, etc., plus of course the NME etc imports. A band'd get reviewed, or interviewed, then one of your friends (or you if it was your turn) would get the album and you'd listen and judge. we'd make tapes and pass them around, and if a band was really great we'd all go get their album.

Key point: information trickled in, and required cash.

Now, of course, it's all so much more freely available. we have boards like this one to talk about music, share information. read pitchfork or whatever and then if you hear about a band you might like it's easy to find free stuff and decide for yourself. then if we like the free stuff some of us will buy the "record" and others won't. Information is plentiful, and no cash is necessarily required. that latter point is key, and not to be underestimated: it used to be, to explore a band you either had to get someone to make you a tape, or just take the plunge and buy the album unheard, or if you're lucky, catch a few songs on a decent college radio station.

Result: people are so much more aware of what's out there now. "speculative buying" which used to be quite common, at least amongst what we now call 'indie' music fans (buy a CD that you read was good, and hope that it actually is) doesn't happen any more. No need for it.

I think the upsurge in music festivals is directly attributable to this. in 1983, say, if you offered a festival with 135 bands, 125 of whom had never sold more than 100,000 records, you'd flop: not enough people would know enough about the lineup to travel and go. Now though it's a proven succesful strategy, because people either know about the bands at the bottom of the lineup, or can find out.

betao
09-14-2008, 06:50 PM
Thank you for your input Tom, I was hoping I could get some feedback from some music veterans like you or Ron.

The music festival example you make at the end is an interesting point. Definitely something that can help solidify the argument that the internet provides very efficient marketing for smaller, up and coming bands.

Hannahrain
09-14-2008, 06:54 PM
I would probably credit what Tom said with also being the reason that there aren't really history-changing musical fads in the present day. Sure, there are small fads, but we're so inundated with bands, whether they're recording in a professional studio, a studio apartment, an igloo, or a local sewer, that it's impossible for one band to be on everyone's minds. It's a clusterfuck. In ten years, people trying to reflect on the voice of this generation are going to go completely out of their minds.

Backwater
09-14-2008, 07:06 PM
it's impossible for one band to be on everyone's minds.

Excuse me? Radiohead

TomAz
09-14-2008, 08:37 PM
igloo rock roolz

TomAz
09-14-2008, 08:43 PM
Definitely something that can help solidify the argument that the internet provides very efficient marketing for smaller, up and coming bands.

well, maybe. up to a point. there are other changes that have happened that work in the opposite direction. American Idol. I don't think a band has ever "made it big" simply due to internet exposure; to make the top of the charts they need something else as well. Or maybe I mean: Clay Aiken found much more efficient marketing via television than any band could ever hope to get on the internet. at least so far.

in other words, to get from 0 to 10 or 20, the internet is good. to get from 10 or 20 to 100, it's not so good.

betao
09-14-2008, 09:00 PM
Yeah thats true. Internet exposure won't get you to really big game I guess. But programs like myspace and online radios are examples of ways to become somewhat known.

Also, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if, in time, the internet becomes more efficient for marketing music than the television could be. Contests with the magnitude of American Idol could be broadcasted entirely on the internet. Bands could actually get to that "100" you speak of.

Pixiessp
09-14-2008, 09:20 PM
It's still nearly 20 bucks to buy a CD at a place like Barnes and Noble, and I still think that their in-store selection of CDs is better than that of Circuit City.

i go to Salzers in Ventura. Barnes and Noble personnel are very misinformed. they always stare at me blankly when i ask for certain CD's. It's sad because I get a discount there.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 09:27 PM
Also, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if, in time, the internet becomes more efficient for marketing music than the television could be. Contests with the magnitude of American Idol could be broadcasted entirely on the internet. Bands could actually get to that "100" you speak of.

I think that happens when the distinction between televison and internet becomes pedantic and irrelevant. Which is a few years off yet, but is a convergence that is happening now and will continue. "URL" and "channel" two different ways of talking about the same thing.

but even then, though, there will still be the mainstream content deliverers vs. everything else. I don't see a band getting to '100' without hitting the mainlines, the FOXes and ABCs, regardless of whether they are 'internet' or 'cable'. And I see no reason to think the mainstream will get any brighter, more welcoming, or more enlightened. I think the most likely scenario is the mainstream becomes the internet.

betao
09-14-2008, 09:27 PM
i go to Salzers in Ventura. Barnes and Noble personnel are very misinformed. they always stare at me blankly when i ask for certain CD's. It's sad because I get a discount there.

That sucks man, i'm on the east coast, and the one I go to is always helpful. Just real pricey.

Best music/record shop in my area is Plan 9. When my friend's and I go to Plan 9, it's not a stop at Plan 9... it is a trip to Plan 9. Always in there for at least 45 minutes.

betao
09-14-2008, 09:30 PM
I think the most likely scenario is the mainstream becomes the internet.

That's pretty much the scenario that I was going for, I guess I didn't just word it right. I just think that in time the internet will be the easiest/most efficient way to market an artist.

algunz
09-14-2008, 09:31 PM
The biggest impact that the internet has had on my relationship with music (besides this messageboard) is the loss of album art. I don't know how that fits into this discussion, but it's the loss that makes me saddest.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 09:32 PM
Best music/record shop in my area is Plan 9. When my friend's and I go to Plan 9, it's not a stop at Plan 9... it is a trip to Plan 9. Always in there for at least 45 minutes.

I think the internet kills that sort of experience. I mean, if Plan 9 has 10,000 titles instock, Plan9.com can have 100,000. and no reason they can't make the same resources available online via chat that you have now in person with the folks that work there. ('hey jason, how you doin. what new bands are there that combine the postmodern folk-rock of the Beta Band with the postrock modern folk of Iron & Wine?')

betao
09-14-2008, 09:38 PM
It really is a good experience. It's really the only shop in Richmond that has a very wide in-store selection of music that I listen to.

It's kind of similar for the people who collect CDs and vinyls. With music becoming more digital, like with more releases on iTunes and similar programs, and also, the overwhelmingly greater use of mp3 players versus CD players, CDs are declining in popularity. I wonder where CDs will be in 15 years.

Hannahrain
09-14-2008, 09:40 PM
Probably filling the basements of robotic indie snobs who won't shut up about the authentic warmth of plastic.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 09:40 PM
same place vinyl is today. a niche market amongst cult collectors.


edit: hannah said it better.

betao
09-14-2008, 09:41 PM
Those are both sad scenarios, but unfortunately they are realistic.

Hannahrain
09-14-2008, 09:42 PM
Those are the same scenario.

betao
09-14-2008, 09:43 PM
Yeah I guess they can be depending on how you look at it.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 09:48 PM
they're the same scenario, and I dont' think it's sad. unless you're the cultist.

other than the loss of album art than gunz noted -- and which is in the process of being addressed, from what I can tell -- getting music over the internet is better. the reduced capital requirements (storefront, content stock, etc) mean the more creative and innovative folks are playing on a more level playing field. (8 years ago google was nothing vs. yahoo, now see where they are today, just cuz of a good idea.) catalogs are deeper, which means access to market for unknown bands is a smaller hurdle. the problem devolves to getting people's attention vs. getting some corporate monkey to give your band a lot of money.

betao
09-14-2008, 09:54 PM
While what you say is true, I still think it's a bit sad because I really value my CD collection, and enjoy adding more to it once in a while. I also look forward to rounding up albums for long trips and what not. I guess all of that will still be possible with that scenario, but new CDs would be harder to get I guess.

The internet scenario does indeed seem far more practical in terms of business and distribution. I guess it's just something we'll have to adjust to.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 09:58 PM
I used to be that way. Have these hundreds of CDs on shelves for people to pour over when they came to a party at my house or something. A way to prove my cool, if you will.

fuck that shit. what works for me now is firing up the itunes on the widescreen HDTV. people go nuts for that shit.

as far as rounding up albums for trips... this is why God created iPods. so that you could take all (or most) of your albums with you.

Hannahrain
09-14-2008, 10:00 PM
Not to mention that if something happens to your digital copy of an album, in most cases you can replace it with relative ease. If a CD gets scratched with any significance, it won't play any longer and you have to shell out another fifteen bucks to have the same thing you had before.

It's also much more environmentally friendly, if you're into that sort of thing. No plastic, no package, no factory.


I do still buy CDs quite often. It's reassuring to have a physical copy of something you love, not to mention being able to lend it or leaf through the liner notes to see how interesting these people really are, or use it as a coaster. And besides, sometimes I just want artists to have my money. Simple as that.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 10:02 PM
I buy most of my downloads.

betao
09-14-2008, 10:03 PM
Right now I see ipods perfect for walking distances (thats when I use mine most). But when it comes to long trips that involve driving, CDs all the way. I use my ipod on airplanes, but mine doesn't have the battery power or capacity that I want it to. Not that i'm complaining, as I got it for free.

By the way, happy 13,000 Tom.

Hannahrain
09-14-2008, 10:04 PM
I buy what I can afford and get the rest from direct uploads and soforth. I also check out CDs from the library and put them on my computer. I don't torrent at all.

Hannahrain
09-14-2008, 10:05 PM
(I'm a failure as a young person).

TomAz
09-14-2008, 10:05 PM
Right now I see ipods perfect for walking distances (thats when I use mine most). But when it comes to long trips that involve driving, CDs all the way. I use my ipod on airplanes, but mine doesn't have the battery power or capacity that I want it to. Not that i'm complaining, as I got it for free.

By the way, happy 13,000 Tom.

hey. how bout that.

my ipod has gotten me to india and back several times. that's a long walk.

betao
09-14-2008, 10:06 PM
Likewise. I do download once in awhile, but not through torrents. But a majority of my music has just come from friends.

betao
09-14-2008, 10:07 PM
hey. how bout that.

my ipod has gotten me to india and back several times. that's a long walk.

that is a very long walk indeed.

Mine can get me to and from VCU, and maybe some more. thats about it though.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 10:13 PM
Hardware problems are solvable in time.

TomAz
09-14-2008, 10:24 PM
at the risk of flogging a dead horse let me give you a concrete example of what i was talking about earlier.

example: the first Gang of Four album, Entertainment! -- 1980 or so

nobody (well, hardly anybody) in the US knew of this band or the scene they came from. RS and others gave the album rave reviews (this was before the stupid star system). RS gave it prominent placement, in fact led with the review in that section, if I recall correctly.

directly as a result of the reviews I bought the album. I shared it with friends, who taped it. Maybe 8 or 10 people total. I doubt anyone taped their tapes for others, though, so my infleunce, my word of mouth, pretty much ended there. (though I had a shift on a radio station and played it some).

today, the dynamic would be totally different. see arctic monkey for the best example I can think of. UK band records a debut album, doesn't get any radio, but still finds an audience in the US, and plays coachella.

25 years later, Go4 plays a big stage at coachella 05, because of how influential the debut album was. most of the people listening to them at the main stage had ecome familair with their music from the internet. many more than I was capable of influencing in 1980. 10s of thousands, just at one festival.

BROKENDOLL
09-15-2008, 08:18 AM
thats good - myspace is something I definitely should talk about especially when it comes to advertising yourself. Thanks!

I was gonna suggest My Space as well, but in order to get an idea of what to look for, or specifically a recommendation on checking something new out, I come right here to the Coachella board and go from there. I guess you could file that under Internet Music Forums?

BROKENDOLL
09-15-2008, 08:28 AM
betao --

being old, perhaps I can offer some historical fan's perspective.

it used to be the only way to hear, or read about, music was to find a good radio station or music magazine. rolling stone, in its day, served a purpose. Ditto Creem, Trouser Press, etc., plus of course the NME etc imports. A band'd get reviewed, or interviewed, then one of your friends (or you if it was your turn) would get the album and you'd listen and judge. we'd make tapes and pass them around, and if a band was really great we'd all go get their album.

Key point: information trickled in, and required cash.

Now, of course, it's all so much more freely available. we have boards like this one to talk about music, share information. read pitchfork or whatever and then if you hear about a band you might like it's easy to find free stuff and decide for yourself. then if we like the free stuff some of us will buy the "record" and others won't. Information is plentiful, and no cash is necessarily required. that latter point is key, and not to be underestimated: it used to be, to explore a band you either had to get someone to make you a tape, or just take the plunge and buy the album unheard, or if you're lucky, catch a few songs on a decent college radio station.

Result: people are so much more aware of what's out there now. "speculative buying" which used to be quite common, at least amongst what we now call 'indie' music fans (buy a CD that you read was good, and hope that it actually is) doesn't happen any more. No need for it.

I think the upsurge in music festivals is directly attributable to this. in 1983, say, if you offered a festival with 135 bands, 125 of whom had never sold more than 100,000 records, you'd flop: not enough people would know enough about the lineup to travel and go. Now though it's a proven succesful strategy, because people either know about the bands at the bottom of the lineup, or can find out.
I'm visualizing a historic bronze statue of TomAz dashing across the polo field as I type...

BROKENDOLL
09-15-2008, 08:29 AM
Sewer Music stinks.

Quadromarshia
09-15-2008, 09:32 AM
The biggest impact that the internet has had on my relationship with music (besides this messageboard) is the loss of album art. I don't know how that fits into this discussion, but it's the loss that makes me saddest.

I'm OCD about making sure that every album on itunes has it's album art. I used to have record covers tacked up on my wall as sort of a mosaic of my favorite albums.