According to the RIAA music sales are decreasing. This is ironic as music labels are trying to combat music piracy with things such as DRM which lead to such problems as the Sony DRM Trojan. I’ll admit to downloading music without paying for it but at the same time I’ve bought a lot of cds from artists that I would not have heard of otherwise if not for the internet and the chance to listen to their music. This leads to somewhat of a paradox as by downloading a band’s music I am supposedly harming their sales yet at the same time I may gain exposure to this band through these downloads and end up buying their album or merchandise.
Maybe it’s because many of us are spoiled with being able to “find” an album online before it’s officially released that the excitement has escaped from it. I can remember when I was in high school and found Rage Against the Machine’s – “The Battle of Los Angeles” online before it was released. Although I downloaded the album (painfully slow on a 33.6 modem) I still bought a copy of the album. But the excitement from it was gone, even with the cover art and liner notes. I don’t know if it’s the state of music, technology or personal greed which has lead to this problem. Since then I can only think of a few albums that I anticipated and when they came out I wasn’t disappointed (Tool’s – “Lateralus” is one of these albums)
The first video MTV ever played was The Buggles “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Sometimes I wonder if the Internet killed the music star as music seems to have been pushed to the back in exchange for the marketability of an artist. Or maybe I’m just listening to crappy music.