My New Deal for the Music Biz

Hey Music Biz,

I’m a music fan. Since I was five years old, I’ve spent a large portion of my disposable income on music. Even today, every week there are albums that I want to own. I hope you’re happy. I’m a lifetime music-buying sucker, and portions of my income will continue to flow into your pockets. But you’re going to have to meet me on my terms. Don’t worry, they’re pretty generous.

I don’t want to mail order music. It’s 2003 and I don’t read Maximum Rock and Roll anymore. I’m not waiting a week. Fuck that. When I want an album, I will take the following steps:

1) I will walk to Benway Records, my local record store here in Venice, and look for the record. This is really nice of me, actually, as they *never* have what I’m looking for. Not that they have bad records, but what I need and what they have never intersect at the right time. The bummer of modern retail. The only album I’ve ever bought there was an old HR 12″. Impluse buy. Anyway, I’ll give ’em a shot, even though the idea of paying $17 for an album seems utterly ludicrous.

2) I will check Apple Music Store (I bought a Mac), Rhapsody (I’m a subscriber! (I expense it :) ), BuyMusic.com, and whatever else I can come up with to maybe purchase the record. Incidentally, $10 is TOO MUCH for a digital album, but since all the early entrants into the digital music space already seem to be at a “race to the bottom” I’ll assume the market is going to sort this one out for us and bite the bullet this year.

At this point, I’ve put out an hour of my time and made a serious effort to purchase what I’m looking for in ways that are absolutely financially and technologically viable for you to offer me. If these have failed:

3) I will fire up a file sharing program and I will steal your product. You suck.

I think that pretty much sums up where we, the music loving consumers, are with this debate. Make the music available to us. Let us own it. Charge us a decent price. Make good music. Stop selling us “hit-driven” albums from prefab retards. Fire the 6 guys at the top who make $250K+ and have dumb expense accounts. Develop artists again. Breathe. Everything is going to be ok. Sorry, I got a little ahead of myself there. But you get the picture.

Sincerely,
ian

ps – Truth be told, I haven’t used a file sharing program since they shut down Audiogalaxy (congrats! your law suits are successfully marginalizing piracy, at least in my household). I hate Kazaa and all that cockamami spyware bullshit. So this posting is really a bit of fiction and my threats are idle (I’m sure you’ll sleep better). But it sums up where I think the music industry is missing the point pretty well.