Music without intermediaries

Did “video kill the radio star“? Record labels may be dying, but music is thriving. People have easier access to more music– more than they can listen to in a lifetime. More artists are making themselves heard, and are communicating directly with their listeners.

“We may be coming to a world of entertainment where we don’t need intermediaries,” says Ken Ledeen, co-author of Blown to Bits. In a recent private discussion, he said, “What you see is dying gasp. They are trying to hold on to something that won’t exist in 30 years.”

For the majority of musicians, making money was never in selling albums. Think beyond pop music- how many classical musicians make money from their recordings? Except for a small number of international stars, most musicians don’t even get a deal with record label. Their livelihood until now has been based in people’s appreciation for music in the offline world.

Of course, it has never been easy for musicians- after all, they are artists and the monetary compensation for art is on more of a subjective scale than any other industry. But the Internet is not to be blamed. If anything, it should be lauded for making it easier for musicians to find gigs and be able to promote themselves on the web without an agency. Musicians should be making more active use of the Internet- perhaps integrating webcasting to conduct remote lessons, or sharing interpretations of songs.

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