Yesterday I had a young man come visit me. He was a rapper who had a good product. I asked him how everything was going and he told me that things were going well with his song. He then said that he got a lot of “views” for his music. When I asked him how much money he made it was not as positive. We then had a heart to heart talk about today’s music industry and what it takes to make it. The old days of an artist making millions off the sale of a CD project are long gone. The internet made it possible for people to hear your music for free. This started with Napster many years ago and has continued with newer companies sharing files over the internet. Also there is something called “streaming” where a patron can get to hear your music. However, streaming is not very profitable and the artist does not make as much money. This has a trickle down effect all over, because the radio stations are suffering (Most big cities have shut down the jazz stations and the gospel stations). The big Record labels have dissipated to about 3 major ones left, and the quality of new music has suffered intensely. This does not spell good news for music makers. The consumer makes out fairly well because they can get to hear and even obtain what they want for practically nothing. What will happen when artists realize it is no longer practical to create music anymore? I think we are seeing that now. The music industry needs to be altered if we are to enjoy good music again. Now instead of providing the kind of music you like record labels are only interested in marketing songs that they force on you (no matter how bad it sounds). Back in the day you could buy CD’s or albums from Tower Records or Sam Goodies. Both have gone out of business and now you can order your music online from Apple iTunes (which sells them extremely cheaply and the artist will get a percentage of a penny from the purchase). I told my friend that if you are an artist looking to make money off of your talents, then you must re-invent a new system for selling your projects. Under the current system things are no longer profitable. I have an idea that I believe will work and I talked it over with him. We will see if this can make a difference. Music is essential, and if it falls into extinction it will effect our world. It will take all of us to keep it from going under. I hope we can make it happen. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Jazz guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., Bill Jolly, Kevin Outterbridge (on drums) and Brett Jolly in concert