1984 Came and Went: Streaming as a New Form of Censorship

A week and a half ago, Progarchy’s brilliant editor-in-chief wrote an editorial about music streaming services. I agree wholeheartedly with his reservations regarding streaming music. Brad attributed his luddite ways to being 50. Well, I’m 24 and I think streaming music is hogwash, so age has nothing to do with it.

For one, I like having a physical CD to look at. I like the artwork, and being able to read the lyrics is important to me. In comparing my own reviews with other writers out there on the internet or in magazines, I’ve noticed I focus on lyrics more than most, so that just goes to show the importance I place on reading the lyrics.

Continue reading “1984 Came and Went: Streaming as a New Form of Censorship”

Last Stand of the Analog Kids

The digital future is here. Streaming is increasing and downloading is shrinking.

While the major record labels are floundering, Google is backing a small new new record label called “300” (named after the movie about the last stand of the Spartans at Thermopylae).

This reveals “that Google is prepared to invest in at least partially owning music copyrights and helping to develop artists outside of the traditional label system“:

  • 300 will be “a music content company devoted to the discovery and development of the artists of the future.”
  • The general idea is “to create an innovative artist development structure with greater flexibility and lower overheads to challenge the majors.”
  • Other investment funds are involved in addition to Google, but Google is the biggest investor.
  • … 300 “promises to push the envelope in terms of artist development and distribution.”

Stream of Consciousness

Rocco Pendola announces that iTunes is dead:

Digital downloads are dead. As reported by Billboard, digital music sales decreased — for the first time ever — by 5.7% in 2013. …

Apple wins no matter what happens. The record industry cannot hang its hat on the still-breathing iTunes Store. That’s a ticket to certain death. Put another way, iTunes will not be the sole long-term survivor, as digital sales go the way of the compact disc. That’s why Timothy D. Cook hedged his bets with streaming service iTunes Radio.

Sending Art Downstream

Sending Art Downstream

I’m sharing a link here to a wonderful Pitchfork essay by Galaxie 500′s (and Damon and Naomi’s) Damon Krukowski, on streaming and the economics of sonic art.  One high point: Damon’s observation that Galaxie 500’s first record was first released only as an LP, and his next will mostly likely be released only as an LP, because streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify have made the idea of selling one’s art for a profit obsolete.  For all the bands we love on Progarchy, my guess is they face the same economic hurdles, something David Longdon of Big Big Train shared with me at any rate: they make no money, it’s a labor of love they’re lucky they’re not losing their shirts on.  On a somewhat unrelated note, I love the convenience of digital, streamed music, but I also am skeptical of it satisfying the same benefits many of us (I think) got from the LP.  Rewarded patience, a linear experience as imagined by the artist, the tactile and visual experience of the sleeve…. If streamed music also means a watering down of the artist’s reward, my skepticism grows.

Craig Breaden, January 5, 2013