Here’s an article posted on CNN just the other day. When I read it, my heart sank. The article goes on and on with the same message – how wonderful it is now that music is free and how happy everyone is about it. Oh that food were free like music!
I was shocked when I read the article that there was not a word in it about what this completely absurd turn of events has done to the poor musicians, vocalists, arrangers, producers, songwriters, recording studios, engineers, manufacturers, publicists, designers, (I could go on and on, but you get the point) out there who have to eat!
CNN) — For Camille Kim, music is life.
On a typical day, the Emory University student spends hours on her laptop, scouring the Internet for the latest music. She uses a site that aggregates music recommendations from blogs to discover new artists and songs, streams them online and then shares her finds with her friends through a Facebook group.
But she rarely buys songs or albums.
“If I really love an artist and I want to support them, I will buy their music,” said Kim, 21. “You can find [music] on the radio and TV, but those songs are chosen for you. The Internet allows you to find your own music. It’s more personal.”
Young listeners like Kim represent a looming sea change for the music industry, which has been in upheaval since the Napster era of the late 1990s. Five years ago, music consumers had to choose between buying a CD or downloading the album. Nowadays, thanks to the rise of music-streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, that choice is becoming whether to download music or just stream it online.
Interviews with college-age music fans suggest that more and more are choosing to stream music instead of downloading it. After all, why pay for music when you can summon almost any song you want, at any time, for free?
And the growth of music apps, online radio channels, and music-streaming platforms raise an even larger question: Do we really need to ‘own’ music anymore?
“The last time I bought a CD was probably in middle school, and I can’t even remember what it was,” said Sean Wilson, 21, of Atlanta, Georgia. “Ninety percent of my friends stream music. To be honest, I haven’t seen someone use iTunes in a really long time.”
In five years, Wilson believes “streaming will be the norm. It’s more practical and more convenient than buying music and uploading it onto something. And the best part is, it’s free.”
So music is free …
Woe is me.