The Church of Music

I have been following the music industry economically for years.  The change from boy bands and highly produced and hyped records to the myspace, napster, free music ipod phenomenon.  I am in no way against big business or certain microcosm economies, I also understand how much investment needs to occur in order to produce an album.  Having said that there is no real excuse for the way that artists have been treated and interestingly enough, the internet, file sharing and information dessemination are all helping to move this industry along.

Obviously the WWW is a double edged sword really promoting good music and “damaging” the record industry at the same time.  The smaller arguably more artistic bands can now flourish and the larger arguably less talented but more connected bands are taking all the hits.  No longer can music be cranked out and fed to us without our choice.  People are voting with their wallets and no longer will pop music make the sales quotas they need to stay afloat.  Music being purchased as “disposable” is now simply downloaded.  There is no reason to buy it…  And where previously the record companies felt comfortable spending millions to promote the album, the new reality is they won’t be able to recouperate that expense because people aren’t paying for ‘garbage.’

The fuss about losing money really has to do with fat cats (again, not against big business, fat cats are good, but need to be flexible to survive) who are having to deal with a more grass roots and organic dispersion of music throughout the landscape.  The formula isn’t working and for the most part they are pissed off, using lobby groups to get 5 cent taxes on cds and other small pitances to bring their revenue into the black.

Now about the title of this little article… if you think of an analogy and if you know me i love analogies.  The record industry is like the church long ago and music can be seen as God.  If you are the sole channel for god, then you can have the biggest churches that reach the highest, that collect the most money and that have the most power.  You are able to hold back the thing people want most almost at a ransom.  Now does God need a church for his message to be heard… i don’t think so…  Think now about other channels and the impact that would have on the church itself.  If you could get to speak to the God of your choice without a building and without giving money to a church or building does that make you less religious or less faithful?  Maybe it makes you more faithful and conscious about that you are doing, more particular and choosy about when and where and how you worship.  This is exactly what is happening; the large churches of music now are being undercut by the street preacher with the better message, with the freedom of information the church is scared.  They are fighting back, but in the end…

We all just want to worship in our own way 😉

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