Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Music's emerging digital market

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  • chris,

    what is stupid about "antibusiness as usual?" Racking (stealing) materials for street art. It's antibusiness.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O, extra comments added to your original post: a LOT of people pursue arts for their own - but also, generally, others' pleasure. My mother is in her 80s. She is a calligraphist. Her cards are high ranking collectables among her family & friends. *She is on a pension.*
    I *am not* in that happy position.

    You write
    "Having followed the capitalist business model"
    -geez mate, I spent a long time earlier in my life NOT following the capitalist business model. To this day, I am an outsider in the literary game.

    On what - extremely unlikely- grounds do you base your comment that *I* assume "Banksy would have just given up at a certain age if he'd not received the gratification (I) aspire to-"

    what gratification do you assume I aspire to?
    how ever do you know anything about what Banksy would do or not do?

    Chris, you seem to know v. little about current conditions in ANZ, and even less about the non-music arts here. May go have a kaputi & lie down, eh?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Sure you can Islander, You mentioned Banksy being funded in response to my praising him as the reigning king of guerilla artists. so I assumed you were suggesting his funding to be a motivating factor.

    from the quote I was responding to I assumed the gratification you aspire to is "feedback."

    I don't know what Banksy would or wouldn't do, nor would I suggest funding was an influence, motivation etc. On the face of it, it would seem highly unlikely that it was.

    "Chris, you seem to know v. little about current conditions in ANZ, and even less about the non-music arts here."

    As you like Islander, but let see, it's a first world welfare state with a reasonably generous funding system. Some artists make it, some don't, some stop, some continue, some bloom late, some crash early.

    an artist dies, another one uses her paints, palette, brush and easel.

    -geez mate, I spent a long time earlier in my life NOT following the capitalist business model. To this day, I am an outsider in the literary game.

    And no disrespect intended, in fact full respect givem, it's a well defined model, merely that it's not the only model.

    I like "An artist dies" as a romanticized notion, But there's no shortage of artists in ANZ.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Perhaps we could not have this thread turn into another unresolvable philosophical argument about cultural funding.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    That's definitely not where I was steering things there Russell. I'm keenly interested in art (not specifically musical) produced outside the traditional corporate framework and instances of the framework adjusting its boundaries to accommodate this work (or not as the case may be). How this became specifically about Arts in ANZ, what I'm drinking or accusations of stupid and unfounded comments, is obviously a point of contention.

    Simply, I could name numerous established and non established artists, both musical and otherwise who have bucked the corporate trends in recent years to engage in antibusiness practices, either with sampling, giveaway albums, subscription based distribution models, rooftop gigs, guerilla marketing, anonymous urban art (made all the more powerful by the free dissemination of information via the internet), performance art etc. to gain unique footholds in this rapidly evolving sphere.

    Digital technology's influence on art distribution, marketing, manufacture, and inspiration is not only relevant to the ways in which human creativity is evolving, but also relevant to this discussion.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    How this became specifically about Arts in ANZ, what I'm drinking or accusations of stupid and unfounded comments, is obviously a point of contention.

    The "what are you drinking" crack was unnecessary, but I also don't want to see yet another thread derailed by personal bickering.

    Just trying saying "I see it differently" rather than applying "scrutiny" to someone else's personal opinion.

    FWIW, citing Banksy -- whose works have sold for as much as half a million $US each -- doesn't seem that useful in responding to what Islander says. He's wealthy, successful and he gets to travel. It's not like he has to get a job so he can afford to eat.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    antibusiness practices

    that might be the problematic phrase - you're setting up a binary opposition rather than a spectrum of different approaches

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    FWIW, citing Banksy -- whose works have sold for as much as half a million $US each -- doesn't seem that useful in responding to what Islander says. He's wealthy, successful and he gets to travel. It's not like he has to get a job so he can afford to eat.

    That's a pretty good antibusiness gig he's got going there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Then in part two, he looks at what's happened to record shops

    Can someone look at what has happened to all the Blacksmiths Shops? My Horse needs new shoes and the buggy needs new rims.
    Conflating the issue of music sales with book sales is a bit pointless as the latter is more to do with corporatism and "the bottom line" than the ubiquity of music in modern life, it no longer has a rarity value and sadly, is becoming more like wallpaper, however good it is.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    the ubiquity of music in modern life, it no longer has a rarity value and sadly, is becoming more like wallpaper, however good it is.

    True, to a point. Music is all around us now -- many of us don't feel the need to buy it to hear it. But artists are getting paid for a lot of that wallpaper, which is good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    They even ran their own label for a while and it was a thoroughly worthwhile exercise in many ways.

    didn't know this was a council thang - thats well cool

    they had some cracking releases, have all those on discogs (you do good work there alonside a few others Mr Grigg, thanks)

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    But artists are getting paid for a lot of that wallpaper, which is good.

    There's nothing wrong with good wallpaper, unless it is pretending to be a painting. Know what I mean?. Selling us garbage like Lady Gah Gah (sic) does a disservice to music.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    There's nothing wrong with good wallpaper, unless it is pretending to be a painting. Know what I mean?. Selling us garbage like Lady Gah Gah (sic) does a disservice to music.

    I don't believe you're obligated to buy it, or listen to radio stations that are playing it, etc.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    No, I am not obliged to buy it or listen to it. However, there are enough people out there gullible enough to feel the need to buy into it that the commercial radio stations pump it out continuously like oil into the Gulf.
    See what I did there? ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    But a recent slump in music sales could see The Warehouse back away from CDs.

    One of the chief victims of digital downloading has been the 12-18 track album, since people are now just downloading self-selecting top 40 compilations. No one buys albums anymore. In a sense, we are going back to the era when the three minute radio single dominated the airways.

    The sale of physical music media from a store is now hopelessly obsolete; If you hanker after the physical properties of the CD jewel case art then you can download that as well, and the cost of getting it professionally printed is just a few dollars.

    Music has proved to be the perfect medium for the internet.

    the ubiquity of music in modern life, it no longer has a rarity value and sadly, is becoming more like wallpaper, however good it is.

    Once I knew and coveted every CD I owned and had an opinion on them all, and bloated record companies could afford to rent a 747 to fly the Auckland music media around the Hauraki Gulf to release a Bee-Gee album. Now, I have no idea what I own - I have so much - and the record execs get around in a Toyota Corolla, if they are lucky enough to still have a job. As a consumer, I know which is better.


    Oh, and it looks like they are coming for iTunes, and good job to, ever since Steve Job's decided to go go after Flash his arrogance has creeped me out.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Selling us garbage like Lady Gah Gah (sic) does a disservice to music.

    I LOVE Lady Gaga, she rocks!!!

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Selling us garbage like Lady Gah Gah (sic) does a disservice to music.

    What? Have you even listened to her album? She writes and performs really good pop songs. Songs that make me want to dance and not wear any pants.

    And you know her stage name is a play on "Radio Gaga"? She's much smarter than you think.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    +1 for Lady Gaga.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Ohhhh I see U2 have pulled out of Glastonbury...

    I suppose that is what happens when you carry the weight of the world on your back...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and it looks like they are coming for iTunes, and good job to, ever since Steve Job's decided to go go after Flash his arrogance has creeped me out.

    Hmmm. If Apple has simply said "if you want to do an exclusive promotion with them, that song doesn't get a promotional push from us," I'm not too bothered.

    The real problem is that Amazon still hasn't managed to grab more than a tiny share of the market and so the labels still need iTunes more than is healthy.

    Also, I'd be happy to see Flash die.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    No one buys albums anymore.

    This has to be the lamest line trotted-out regarding the music business in recent times.

    Sorry but people do still "buy albums".
    Possibly 18-21 year olds prefer singles ie. they can't afford a whole album or do not have the attention span to listen to a full 11 tracks.

    Sure, there's the newer model of an artist releasing several EPs over a shorter period instead of a full length album, but an album – and we are talking about a collection of consistently good songs which run together as a whole – is an album!

    Tom - you obviously have lost your passion for the tactile nature of the physical side of music - fair enough. Luckily that is not the case for many people who love reading the liner notes (iPads excluded lol) and flicking through LPs or even god-forbid CDs.
    Hell I hell there is even a cassette revival going on!

    All of us will be buying some music on-line these days - that's a given - but many of us will continue to go into a good shop and buy it too.

    And those kids now, who only download "free stuff" and don't go to record stores? Remember one day they will be adults with more income who may want to discover what all the fuss was about and get into record collecting.

    It's far too early to write off the physical product right now.
    Even if physical exists only as niche in the future, some niches can be pretty huge.

    On the subject of record stores - The Warehouse NEVER had a decent selection of music to start with.
    Sure it was the biggest retailer of music but of what kind - mass market fluff essentially.
    At one point the Warehouse even dictated parts of my job.
    I had record company people saying "Oh you can't do this (title) as a digipak/put the title there - the Warehouse don't like that sort of thing."
    Well f@#k that!
    I'm glad those days are gone (and you don't need to leave space on a cover for a digital store!).

    Funnily enough JB Hi-Fi tends to have employees who are ex-workers from indie record stores that have since closed....

    In Auckland at least, Marbecks and Real Groovy still have a loyalty card scheme offering discounts/bonus points/freebies which is great. I'll shop there please.
    JB has a good selection at cheap prices (great for back catalogue stuff) and reminds me of Tower Record stores in the US in the 90s.

    I think the Warehouse should stick to selling other things - I'll buy my music from a record store thanks.

    PS: I'm about to release a 32 track double CD with a 24 page booklet for an artist on my own label - physical and digital.
    All the above points make good reading and give me some faith in the record buyers out there despite the cries "music biz is dead" camp.

    Only opportunities present themselves AFAI can see.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    No one buys albums anymore.

    I still (almost exclusively) buy albums. Even if I buy digitally (which I don't much at all) I prefer to buy a whole album and play it as such. Threw out an old taped copy recently and bought Tricky's Maxinquaye in full digitally. I find that just tracks in no particular order lack structure and I don't know what's coming up next.

    Old fashioned and all that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Also, I'd be happy to see Flash die.

    The technology isn't the issue. The issue is whether or not you are comfortable with Steve Jobs deciding he is king of the world.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Flash should die - agreed.
    It's buggy, greedy, can be used very effectively for viruses and is used far too much for a bunch of websites that tend to be style over functionality.

    'Flash' is actually quite an apt word to describe it.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sorry but people do still "buy albums".
    Possibly 18-21 year olds prefer singles

    You do know what market segment buys almost all the music, right? Here is a clue: A lot of them have a crush on Justin Beiber.

    I still (almost exclusively) buy albums.

    But you are from Dundein, they still serve scones on two tier plates down there.

    There is always going to be a niche for the collectors, the chin strokers and the true believers, but for most consumers of music the album, the music store and vinyl have gone the way of the Yangtze River dolphin.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

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