Why? Because in today’s music market, I am in charge. I take some things for free: old, classic albums that were made by artists who the record buying populous turned into millionaires ages ago. I take new albums that I’m ‘trying out’. How do I justify my thievery? For one, I write this blog for free. But more importantly than that, if I like you, I will buy your concert ticket. And those are not cheap.
I will also buy albums from local artists in person- I know for sure there is no middle man there. And my last category- I’ll support those who are taking risks. Saul William’s album release was a risk- Radiohead’s was not. People will buy anything from Radiohead- their cult status has afforded them these leniencies. In Rainbows was seriously not that good. Saul William’s, while being second to the take-or-pay buying scenario, serves as a more relatable example for the other artists who might potentially use this model.
Will this model work? I think it has a chance. $5 seems to be the magic number to successfully get people to bite. Allow me to make a random analogy to explain what I believe will be the timeline for this situation. Once upon a time, families ate home cooked meals made from scratch. Then, the fifties came along, and all of this low quality crap called TV dinners, instant this and that, and fast food popped up, and people loved them because it was all convenient and cheap. Then, somewhere in the seventies and eighties, we realized that all of that stuff wasn’t that great for you, and it really didn’t taste very good anyway. And now we have organic, natural foods. The end. What does this have to do with music? Right now, we are in that middle phase- the fast food phase. Once people get over the high of having free music at their fingertips, they’ll start realizing that the quality of their music is crap. And then, they’ll reexamine their options. Hopefully, it won’t take 4 decades.
Unfortunately, when talking about all of this, TR uttered the 4 letter word- tax– in his interview. People will definitely pay $5 per album before they allow for any kind of tax, even if the math doesn’t make sense. That’s how much they hate taxes.
In the meantime, while all of this figures itself out, consumers will keep stealing their music, but buy more concert tickets than ever; new musicians will continue to starve, while the established musicians will continue to freak out about their livelihood; and record companies will shrivel up like a witch in water. But that’s just my two cents.