So I guess now that U2 is giving away their record on iTunes, we have an officially sanctioned "why buy it when you can get it for free?" attitude, and not just from an impossibly wealthy rock band or some young Internet savvy Torrentheads.
But within the last shoal of middle-aged record buyers. The same people that remember going into their local record store, standing by a listening post, headphones on, listening to the hot band on college radio that month, or someone they'd read about in Creem or Melody Maker.
Whilst touring with the Pierces in Britain, I heard the record company talk about ORM's (Older Restless Males). To put it into more legible vernacular, they were a sizable section of the audience who fancied the girls but simultaneously were conditioned to act out some kind of brand loyalty, usually through CD sales or digital downloads.
I can understand where U2 is coming from, but I can't help thinking they're a step behind what would have been the cool move. To me it seems a bit cynical, like offering a free 8 track to anyone walking past your van parked in the alleyway behind the market. Now that cloud-based technologies have taken over, is there really any point to giving up space on oneâ€™s hard drive for an mp3?
Streaming websites like Spotify look like they are on the right track, at least: after a rocky start navigating a profitable business model that effectively remunerates the artist, they now seem to be enlisting the same artists to promote the service.
Within this fledgling medium, there must surely be some scope to recreate "the experience" us old farts speak of so fondly. I keep hearing people tell me that vinyl is back â€¦ but really? It's not back, is it? The spike in sales merely demonstrates that people do need "the experience" even if they've never experienced "the experience."
The playlist mentality on streaming websites personalizes the act of listening to music sanctioned by a human being who's personal taste might actually mea…Read more...