Saturday, March 9, 2013

music industry - l'industria mùsical

After watching this video featuring Amanda F***ing Palmer at TED, I went into my class to show it to some of my more advanced students, I thought it might be a good way to get them to talk a bit.  The changes in the music industry and all.

What was not weird at all is that most of them pirate music, and feel no compunction about this at all.  They only buy CD's as mementos for bands they particularly love.  When pressed about how they expect the musicians to make a living, their response was through concerts and merchandise.

When I replied that what this paradigm means is that the music has now lost it's focus as the center of the industry and that the music, the creative process and product is now reduced to being a marketing tool for a circus show of concerts and t-shirt sales to make money.  They kinda didn't see this point.

I might add that these students are university and post-university students.

So, very much in the modern paradigm, in a way that is kind of thoughtless about the mechanics of the industry, they hold this dichotomy, but they very much feel that they should be getting music for free, as a right.

Then I asked them what they would do with their music if they were artists, and this is after watching AFP's video - where she gives it away and asks people to pay for it.  They all went with the traditonal line.  One direct to a record label, one to getting it broadcast on the radio (!?!?!?!?!??! - not the internet!?!?!?!?!?!!???????)  and the final one, sending it out for free and passively waiting and hoping for a label too pick them up as artists.

It was honestly TOO weird a conversation.  TOO WEIRD!

It also made me wonder just how well they understood the video.

oddness.  and maybe a little lack of thoughfulness too.


Anonymous said...

Saw the video too, and I thought it was really good. And gives a very different approach to things, compared to the big record labels' current pricing model. I think today's generations consider that whenever they are paying for a CD or MP3s on somethingTunes or the likes, they assume all the money goes to the label, almost nothing to the artist. In a model where the artist would perceive a better share of the cake, they would probably be more inclined to buy the music. Palmer demonstrates it very well. By asking (and thanking!) and seceding from labels, people know that what they give will go directly to the artists and their band. And people give more :)

oreneta said...

I think you have largely got the paradigm with which she is working, record labels do have the reputation of making pigloads of money off the artists, who make relatively little, and that isn't necessarily how people want the money to go, so paying the artist directly, when they ask, pretty neat. Seems to work for her.

She works hard at her fan base though too, much more so than any other artist I have seen or heard of.

Sam said...

My students are the same and they are IN this industry...they're shocked when I say I buy music from's like they have NO concept that someone is trying to make a living via their art. weird...

oreneta said...

Astonishing, isn't it. Probably mostly astonishing cause they. don't. THINK!