Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spend Money On Music!

it seems like i can't talk about music with anyone without somehow getting into a debate about downloading music, free or not. I don't particularly like this argument since i usually lose, but i do learn a lot about how different people think about the music industry and how "illegal" downloading is effecting it. Now that itunes is the largest retailer of music, i think i should try it out.

I personally download a lot of music, i won't deny it. i also think the record companies and bands are going to have to get creative with how they make money because downloading isn't going away (not that this makes it right!). but thats another post.

This post is about a plan i have. Sometimes i feel overwhelmed with trying to help so many small bands get noticed or succeed. i'd love to buy a shirt and a cd from every small band out there to help them out but i can't. i go to a lot of shows, i think more than most people, and not just big venue shows, but a lot of very small venue shows helping out bands that need every dollar (especially with gas prices!). i want to make a pledge to go beyond just going to shows and buying the occasional shirt. i'm going to try and purchase at least $15-$20 worth of band merch (cds, dvds, shirts, vinyl...) every month.

Some of you probably already do this and more, but i don't. i've never bought a song off itunes, but i plan to now. i think i'm more likely to order the cds and stuff from the bands official webpages since that gives you something physical to have and hold for your money rather than just a file from itunes.

i've already started this, purchasing the pre-order package from Means (shirt+cd) 2 months ago and then ordering a shirt from Life In Your Way (RIP) this last month. this month i plan on buying a shirt from Haste the Day when i see them at Heavenfest (as long as they have a cool one!).

This little $20 isn't going to change really anything, except help those small bands. playing in a small-time band myself i know that $20 can actually really help, i don't know if people really realize that, but just buying one cd can really help offset the debt for a lot of bands (hint hint buy our cd!)

What do you think? do you already buy songs off itunes? are you a freeloader like myself? are you going to try and put some money back into the arts!?


scott said...

Yeah, most music debates miss the wider scope like:
a. most contracts give the artists a lot more money if an album is sold at a show vs at bestbuy or amazon. not sure where mp3's factor in.
b. lots of greatest hits/live albums are made only to fulfill record contracts so you pay $15 for one or two new songs
c. lots of "legal" download sites restrict your fair use "rights" by wrapping the files in unnecessary DRM which is why I rarely purchase from itunes.

I personally like the way Dave Douglas has done it:
note the multiple formats.

Jeff said...

i'm definitely not a music industry expert - so....

i usually try to pay for most of my music and discourage my kids from downloading free music.

having said that, i am a hypocrite - i do have a lot of music that i've copied from friends portable hard drives and thumb drives.

i have a larger cd collection that i've ripped into itunes. and i occasionally by songs off of itunes (like a new worship song that we're playing on a sunday). my daughter buys a lot of songs off of itunes. it's a different generation :-)

in general i like to own the media (cd, album, tape, etc). so even if i have an illegal copy of the music - and i really like - i end up buying the cd to actually own the physical media, also because i still like buying an artist's 'whole body of work' instead of just a single.

how's that for rambling non-sensical thoughts on my view of downloading music.