Monday, July 24, 2017

The Politics Of Dancing #43: How technology is killing music!

Struggling Very few, I suppose, are the ones who figured they opened Pandora’s box when they started applying information technology – as first described by Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler in an article published in the Harvard Business Review some 57 years ago – to music…
Of course, this would sound like a natural evolution, following the introduction of non acoustic devices, such as the electric guitar, the synthetizers and other beatboxes. Of course, the record industry would find a new way of making extra incomes when coming up with the first CD commercial release (Billy Joel‘s ’52nd Street’ album) back on Oct. 01, 1982, and eventually transferring their catalogues to this new format. And of course, musicians, producers and DJ’s would jump on the DAT format when introduced by Sony in 1987. And even though most of us said hoorah 8 years later, with the arrival of the MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, the song would song different along with time, with the almost disappearence of the vinyl format and the current agony of the CD. A situation which happened to synonymous with enormous loss of resources for both the record industry, its main actors (the artists)and eventually the specialized press. And if that wasn’t enough, the MP3 got conceived in such a way that no code was inserted to prevent the illegal copying, and therefore ensuring a minimum of resources for the editors. This leading a big majority of nowadays consumers to not even think / agree on paying when coming to get music!!!

No need saying how, facing such a reality, any other segment of the econony would have gone bankrupt for a long time already. But this doesn’t obviously help the technogy industry corporates from going always further way with the recent streaming process allowing an ever growing mass of people to have access to almost anything for a low subscribtion fee which is far from leaving the necessary incomes to the artists to cover the production cost of a recording.
As a result, countless DJ’s/producers would come up with unceasing releases with the aim to get bookings, this contributing to the saturation of the market. And as if it wasn’t enough, with many of them dropping low quality material, and therefore leading to a relative and natural lack of interest from the consummers. Something that sounds similar to nothing else but modern slavery. The latter also affecting more and more musicians left with no other decent incomes but the ones from performing on stage and, in the meantime, no other alternative but keep on recording in order to keep on touring…

Can such a situation last? As usual, time will tell…

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