Stick a Fork In It, Already

“Kyle Bylin is Associate Editor of the highly influential music industry blog Hypebot, which is read daily by more than 10,000 music industry professionals.”

Kyle writes, in his article, What Will It Take To Unite Artist, Industry and Fan?

Nowadays, Digital Natives discard and consume popular music repetitively through file-sharing not only for reasons of fashion but because as fans they take it for granted that the Major Labels and a growing underbelly of independent musicians together will produce a continuous flow of new music. But, as we learn to appreciate the idea that the values of the world they inh[a]bit and the technologies they surround themselves with have had a profound effect on who they are, we can begin to understand that the social ecology of music culture that took decades or more to develop offline, isn’t just going to reappear online.

If you read the rest of the article, you’ll learn it’s implication is that the audience and music indutsry might come to realize what are their future mutual interests and then forge something massively neat under the ‘altered’ conditions.

Poppycock. Kyle is crying in his beer, I’m afraid. Whether music fans take anything for granted, or not, is besides the point. The music culture is whatever it is in the current moment. In actuality, today it’s a panoply of sub-cultures that self organize around whatever are the fragmentary interests of groups.

Salvation for the Recording Industry lies in their ability to offer services that are more in step with the emerging social norms of Digital Natives.

The ‘Recording Industry’ will always be around, but it’s going to keep shrinking and shrinking. It’s not worth saving, and forward-looking artists eventually will pay it little attention.

Thems the beans. If you want to evaluate musical culture, you leave the territory of the shriveled-up pipe dream of massive success and depart also from the shattered territory of the once monolithic recording industry.

“It’s a long shot, sure,” Eric Harvey of Pitchfork writes, “but at a time when so much of the structure that holds together music culture has disappeared, fans could take the initiative to create a new one.”

They’re already doing this. The various micro-cultures being created are neither industry or artist friendly. They’re not lucrative for either industry or artist. There’s an economic paradigm implicit in this development, but its much more aligned with behavioral operations than exchange value.

Free won. Under that single condition, any time trying to revive the music industry is time completely wasted.

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