Why music matters

Last week I had to go to London for a few meetings, and while I was there I went along to an event organised by Why Music Matters, to show a new animated film in their series showing ‘why music matters’ to people. This new film was about the Beatles, and although it’s well-documented (on here, at least) that I’m not much of a fan, it was actually quite a moving little piece…

I had some very interesting conversations with various music industry bods at the event, including one of the guys behind this website http://www.beehivecity.com/ I was also talking to people I know from the BPI, who were expressing some concern about the impact of the universal rollout of broadband on illegal downloading and piracy… stands to reason I suppose that if the other 50% of the country is soon going to have the ability to download at the speed and sizes already available to the rest of us, then it’s bound to signal an increase in downloading, illegal or otherwise…. Anyone disagree on that? Anyone have any suggestions as to what can be done about it?

When I say suggestions as to what can be done about it, I mean to protect musicians’ livelihoods. If people accept that music matters to them – which is why this campaign was set up, to remind people that it does – then people presumably want the supply of music to keep coming, and not just that hothoused in the Brit Schools of this world. Speaking of which, Adele currently accounts for one in ten of ALL the records sold in the world by UK artists… Whether you find that inspiring or depressing probably depends on your opinion of her work. It doesn’t particularly interest me one way or the other. I’m not concerned about the multi-million sellers, who will always be with us and some will be good, and some will be mediocre, and some will be dreadful (imho). I’m concerned about whether the independent sector will be able to flourish in today’s climate, when fewer people are buying records and the ‘solutions’ put forward by those who defend piracy, that artists need to make money instead by touring and selling merchandise frankly are irrelevant to all except the biggest acts.

I say ‘independent sector’… I’m not sure the term means much these days. A teenager on Twitter the other day was talking to me about Joy Division, and said something along the lines of “But I mostly listen to indie music. I’m not really into anything too intense”. In my day young man, indie music WAS intense. That was virtually the whole point of it! But now we have landfill indie and it’s “nice” music.

Anyway, I digress… End of teabreak.



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  • Jonneh  On August 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    As I’m sure you know Kerry, I’m a big supporter of digital rights and freedoms. I don’t condone illegal downloads in any shape or form.

    I will say that making your product readily available to the public so that they don’t feel pressured or tempted to steal your products is the best deterrent. If more things like Pandora (US only at the moment) or Spotify could revolutionise the entertainment industry, and more labels and artists embrace the power of affordable online distribution, I think it’d make all the difference.

    • Jonneh  On August 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Listen to this while you read my comment! ❤

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