ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The implosion of the music industry, and what it means to the consumer

Updated on November 4, 2014

Our objective was to stick it to the man. Why pay the record labels when they take advantage of their artists? Advances that put them into debt immediately, no control over their own career path, lawyers that represent both sides of an argument. How would stealing music hurt the actual artists who didn't make any money off of the album sales anyway? The problem was that there was no plan in place to compensate the artists in a different way. Sure the big labels themselves could have done something right then and there and jumped into the digital fray. Instead of fighting Napster and Limewire, maybe they should have embraced it. Develop a way to make the songs available at a cost that everyone would be agreeable to. Those labels would have lost a lot of money, but the industry wouldn't be in the place it is today.

Look, I get it. The cat's already out of the bag. streaming music for free or "freeming" is not going to go away. As long as the technology exists, the general population is going to seek out a way to get things at a discount. But what about respect? How much does that cost? Are we as a society really willing to say "Screw good music. I want it free, no matter the quality." I speak with others in the industry constantly. I am always in amazement at how they are able to keep forging ahead in an art that is based solely on trust. Trusting your fans to purchase your music and come to your shows. Trusting that if you are signed to a label, that you are getting a fair deal. (Fair is all relative to the industry, keep that in mind. Nothing is going to be fair.) And ultimately trusting that if you do take a break to actually have a life outside of music, you will be welcomed back with open arms by your fans and the industry that you helped grow at some point.

Here's the part when I try to gain some credibility by mentioning names of artists and groups that you may or may not recognize. But seriously, I want you to know where I come from if you're going to take a ride with me. My musical memories start deep in the disco era. My parents raised me in an extremely diverse neighborhood. My friends and I would always either be outside playing or over each other's house. All of a sudden, I had aunts and uncles that opened me up to music I wouldn't have been exposed to. Back then, there was still some residual racism going on with some of the adults in the neighborhood. But kids don't even give it a second thought. So I was raised on a diet of John Lennon, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, and The Jackson 5. My taste buds for music were always looking for more. All the great artists in that era, they really pushed the boundaries. They tested new sounds and people started having music that defined a time, a place, even a person. You know what I mean when I say that R. Kelly's 12 Play album defined a night. And that's what is a little depressing. Where did that all go? Are the kids these days "freeming" Drake on youtube while hanging out? Do they remember the music that was playing in the background of a really special moment?

At this point in time, music is in need of a good nitro boost. There is no lack of talent out there, there is a lack of understanding of what talent really is. As a society we are told what is good and what is not. The reality singing television shows have both changed and diluted what our brains think is quality music. Think about that the next time "Lisa" makes it all the way to the end even though her voice was shrill and she forgot most of the words to the Star Spangled Banner. Just be comforted that she was voted through based entirely on the lead-in video of her struggles growing up being a normal kid, produced entirely by the network. There aren't enough musical geniuses in this country to fill one arena, let alone five a season for the last ten years. So we have to take what we can get on those shows. Or we can turn our attention back to the real artists. The ones that got us here.

The relationship between the artist and fan is the foundation for the rebirth of music. There needs to be a mutual respect from each side, and there needs to be a trust there. We need to find a place for musicians to present their music, and the fans to willingly compensate them for it. I have heard songs on the internet for free before. I realize I can go back anytime and listen again. But I go and buy the cd or purchase online because I respect the artist. Go see them when they are on the road. Show them that they are relevant. Still relevant in my heart are artists and groups like New Edition, Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Babyface, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. These are some of the artists and producers who were playing such a major role in what music was going to become, before we stopped paying for it. Now it is time for a new era. A welcome back to all the artists who had little control over what they put out there, and were not fairly compensated or recognized for their efforts. Let's fight the "freeming" before we get down to two good artists and a bunch of puppets that the industry can play with. And finally let's expect more out of our artists as far as talent. Make sure the real musicians are made aware that they are needed. Maybe a kickstarter-like website where you raise money for the artists, and once it hits a certain level, they then have to release music. Just a thought.

Musicians are not going to continue to present their art without compensation. Imagine yourself as a baseball player. You are paid based entirely on the sales of tickets to each game. But you don't get 100% of the sales since there are 25 men on the team and coaches and what not. When times are going well, you can make some pretty decent money. When it's rough, or you just wanna take a break, things are awful. Now imagine that things are going well and the stadium is completely packed, but you find out after the game was played that everybody got in for free. How would that feel? You have put your soul into something that you can make a living at, and people decided that it wasn't worthy of paying for it. Now I completely realize that there are some things that we overpay for, and music was one of those things for a very long time. But I think it is time that we think about saving the music industry from itself.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)