Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Downloading Music on the Internet

This week British Record Label EMI have announced they are to cut 2,000 jobs worldwide to cut costs in the face of falling CD sales and the problems encountered with the new digital music era. In light of this news I am going to give you my take on the current state of the worldwide music scene and what I think needs to be and can be done to help young people in the music industry.

I think that the music scene was always going to see casualties and a lot of money expended by companies in the transition between CD being the leading format to Digital Downloads taking the helm. This will only be a short term financial problem as when Digital Downloads, MP3’s and MP3 players are as common in the home as CD Players and CD’s have been over the last decade then the Record Labels will have the chance to reap higher profits through smaller distribution and production costs.

The brilliance of the new digital age is that it has levelled the playing field for smaller record labels and up and coming artists that can’t afford to do a full CD release. Now smaller artists can be made available to download and purchase on the same websites that the bigger more recognised artists are on whereas they may never have been able to get themselves on the same high street shop shelves as the big artists.

The main problem with making music available to download on the Internet is that millions of people each day are finding ways to illegally download and trade music for free. This is taking money away from the record labels which causes them to invest less money in promoting their new or fringe artists who need that investment. Record labels will always spend money promoting their big artists and this won’t change regardless of the state of illegal downloads but it will affect the young up and coming artists.

Now I think there needs to be a place online which is regulated by the music bodies where artists and companies can post their music to be available to be downloaded for free. I think if artists released some of their music for free they would encourage more people to pay to download their more popular songs. Also it should be a place for unsigned artists to post their music for free if they wish. By having popular artists giving away the occasional track for free it would encourage more people to the site who would then see a host of free downloads for unsigned artists.

When I go to the websites and MySpace pages of up and coming artists I see a lot of them trying to sell their music on CD or legal download. I don’t blame them for wanting to make some profit after all there investment but I personally would give all my tracks for free download if I was an up and coming artist. If you ask people to pay for your tracks not many people will hear your music but if you make them available for free you will expand your fan base and improve your chances of getting signed and making big money down the road instead of making a few pounds here and there but never making it big.

Going back to Record Labels I think they need to capitalise on this new digital age. The age we live in has made it easier for young talented singer and musicians to record, produce and distribute their work so it is much easier for the record labels to scout new talent but they don’t seem to be investing time to do this.

One question I get asked a lot is how do I get signed by a record Label? To this there is no one answer as it seems that the record bales employ a million and one different ways to notice talent. I think record Labels need to be clearer on their websites and publications on how they discover new talent. I think instead of deliberately not informing people on how to get signed they should set up an address and a policies and procedures guide on how to submit demos to them and encourage people to send them in.

Remember if you are illegally downloading music on the internet you aren’t hurting the established artists the most it’s the up and coming artists you are hurting.

Do you download music on the internet? What are your thoughts on downloads over CD’s? And what are your thoughts on illegal downloading we here at Talented Young People want to know and you can share your opinion by joining in our topic of the week by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

1 comment:

AravindFerrare said...

Hi pal u hav a good stuff going keep on posting!!!