Musings in Cb: Online Music Distribution (Is Anyone Really Listening?)
Part 1 of 12: Introduction
Many readers and musicians may recall the rather prophetic toned article by Fred Goodman titled "Future Shocks: The End of the Music Business As We Know It" (Musician Magazine, 1993). For those who haven't read the article, or those for whom memories of things from ten years ago are a blur in the ever-changing world of online music, this opening excerpt is a quote by Mr. Goodman that offered one possible glimpse of a possible future for music online:
."..you dial up a shopping number through your TV's computer modem and pick the title off a menu of new album releases. The digital recording is immediately sent to your computer, where it is downloaded onto a blank compact disc. You load a sheet of laminated, pre-creased cardboard into your laser printer, and out comes the printed sleeve, complete with credits, lyrics, and thank-yous. The price of the album is automatically charged to your American Express card."
Ok, so the above is a bit dated by what has actually transpired since 1993 concerning most online music related issues with regard to retail distribution. But the fact still remains that the Internet and the World Wide Web have changed the music business forever. Whether Online Music Distribution (OMD) will actually "level the playing field," indeed for those unsigned and independent musicians who are still creating some of the best music on the planet, remains to be seen.
For the purpose of this particular musings topic, I have chosen to focus on those aspects of OMD which primarily relate to musicians, and particularly the unsigned or independent variety of this artistically talented demographic of our population.