I go around and around in my head and continue to end up back in the same place: as a consumer, I love services like Spotify and Rdio. As someone who has plenty of friends in the music business, I worry about their futures. As a music fan, I can’t help but wonder if we’re creating a situation that will greatly change the amount and type of music offered in the long-run.
Music will never go away, but if the number of people who can make a full-time living at making music dwindles, that will change the landscape of the industry. We can argue whether that’s good or bad, I just wish we would all recognize that we’re doing it to ourselves.
If you get a chance, read Derek’s full article. He’s also linked through to a number of other gems. For example: I knew that Spotify varied its payment agreements between different labels, distributors, and indies, but I did not know that Apple is less compromising and gives everyone the same deal to work from.
Overall, Webb still has a very positive outlook for independent—as he calls them: blue collar—musicians. That said, I would like to hear more from artists who are starting out today. From what I understand, Derek Webb established himself before the industry began its digital transformation. I think he’s a great example of an artist that is constantly looking forward, not resting on past success, and trying new things, but I can’t help but wonder if anything would be different for him if he were to start from scratch today, without the support of a music label or the old industry infrastructure.