The Internet has made any kind of music imaginable increasingly available at our fingertips. While that’s great for us, what does it mean for the music industry?
Countless music-related websites are floating around on the airwaves out there. We can listen to any kind of music we want to at any time in any place where there’s an Internet connection. Though there may seem to be no downside to the free music scene available on the Web, where there’s an upside, there must too be a downside.
Most of the perks of the countless music websites on the Internet are relevant to the listeners and not the creators of the content. We get to listen to music for free, anytime we want. We’re not buying albums and using CD players the way we used too. That’s not really good for the musicians. However, some people are still purchasing albums online for listening on iPods or in iTunes. In reference to the decline of album sales over the years, Official Wire reports, “While digital downloads continue to explode, overall album sales have dropped by at least half.” The music industry is feeling the effects of everything going digital.
Musicians are not making money the same way they used to. A lot of that can be attributed to the fact that people do not buy music the way they used to. Musicians used to make crazy money off their album sales. Unfortunately for them, people do not buy CDs the way they used to. Today, if we want to listen to an album and don’t have it, we can probably find it somewhere on the Internet.
The problem is, we can find it in one of two places—somewhere we must purchase it in order to listen to it, or somewhere we can hear it for free. Sure, we all know the honest thing to do. We can buy the album on iTunes or order it on Amazon, we can become a member of a paid site like Last.FM… or we can stream it from a free site on the Internet, or we can download it illegally.
To say there’s no right or wrong answer here would be false. There is a clear right answer, and that is to pay for it. Unfortunately for the musicians, many people do not take that route. The musicians are the ones that feel the hit when we don’t purchase their music. They are not making money off the music we buy, simply because we’re not buying it anymore.
So, do the honest thing. If you really care about the music and the people who make it, buy the album. Save yourself the grief of a corrupted downloadable file or a spotty Internet streaming of an album. It is that possible that sometime in the not-too-distant future, musicians will be unable to make any sufficient income off album sales. They will be relying on other methods, such as concert ticket sales.
Everyone will feel that effect on our wallets when we are paying top dollar for concert tickets that used to cost a few bucks. Do everyone a favor, and if you really want it, buy the album. This should help the music industry stay afloat, and our favored bands and artists will appreciate it.