Newsflash: Music Industry Position Continues to Be Laughable
Among other things, the widely talked about independent and variably priced Radiohead release of “In Rainbows” seems to have cracked people’s heads open just a bit more with regards to what is really possible with digital distribution. Moreover, two other developments, though smaller in scale, have also caught my attention: Tunecore and B.R.T.C. Tunecore is a remarkably simple iTunes publishing site; so that even without a label, truly independent musicians can get their work up on iTunes, get their own royalties, and keep their copyrights. This is for musicians what Lulu is for writers; that is to say: DIY. B.R.T.C. (Bum Rush the Charts) is a grassroots movement that is attempting to influence iTunes charts by getting mass numbers of people to buy some particular song. But a neat sidenote (that wasn’t even mentioned in the article I first read) is that the band is giving some of the profits away to charity. Predictably, when asked about the movement:
Don Hogarth, a spokesman for the Canadian Recording Industry Association, points out that MP3 sales only make up about 10 per cent of overall music sales. As such, he says, the “digital market is still a secondary concern” to record labels.
Hey, Mr. Hogarth, here’s a few line from Spoon’s “The Underdog” that you should think about: “You got no time for the messenger / got no regard for the thing that you don’t understand / you got no fear of the underdog / that’s why you will not survive!”